Criteria for Monuments

The Historic Properties Advisory Commission is charged with the responsibility of developing criteria for the display of monuments and memorials on the grounds of the Capitol campus.  Monuments should be of historical significance to the Commonwealth of Kentucky.  Preference will be given but not limited to Kentucky artists.  Acceptance of works of art and monuments will be the responsibility of the Historic Properties Advisory Commission.

The following specifications: design, materials, weight and size of object, and location must have prior approval by the Historic Properties Advisory Commission before consideration of placement on Capitol grounds. Exterior “work of art” shall include any mural, artistic glass, statue, sculpture, monument, tablet, fountain, or other article or structure of a permanent character intended for decoration or commemoration.  The selection shall be based upon the individual’s  or group contribution to the academic, agricultural, artistic, civic, cultural, economic, historical, industrial, political, or social development of the Commonwealth of Kentucky.   A commemorative memorial may only be submitted for persons who have been deceased for at least 15 (fifteen) years to gain a suitable historical perspective.  The intent of a monument is to inform and educate, to honor people, and give meaning to the events that have shaped our enduring institutions and that have shaped us as well. As monuments are placed in the landscape and in relation to one another, they add to the ongoing living history of the community and state. Monuments affirm the past’s relevance and can provide instruction on how to proceed in the future.  They should be objects that reflect the pride of a craftsmen and one in which the use of human hand is evident. Due to limited space for monuments on the Capitol grounds, the criteria will be adhered to and reviewed quarterly and as needed by the Historic Properties Advisory Commission.

The Kentucky State Capitol is a historic building whose majestic beauty, architectural integrity, and historical character should be maintained for all future Kentuckians.  In order to insure the preservation of the Capitol’s integrity, the Historic Properties Advisory Commission has approved the following rules regarding placement of monuments in the Capitol Tourism Garden and Capitol campus.

Purpose of the Guidelines for Capitol Monument Park:

  1. To ensure the development and preservation of an appropriate historical setting that enhances and perpetuates the historic integrity of the Kentucky State Capitol.
  2. To ensure the continued public use and enjoyment of an appropriate historical landscape for the Capitol complex.
  3. To ensure that future commemorative works, such as constructed memorials and/or monuments, are integrally incorporated into appropriately designated areas that enhance the overall planning philosophy for the Capitol complex.
  4. To ensure that future commemorative works, such as constructed memorials and/or monuments, are: appropriately designed, constructed, and located; reflect a consensus of the lasting statewide significance of the subject involved; and are funded for appropriate materials, design, construction, and maintenance.

Procedures for approval of memorials/monuments in the Capitol complex:

  1. No additional memorials and/or monuments shall be placed on historic Capitol grounds except as authorized by the Historic Properties Advisory Commission.
  2. For any monument authorized by the legislature to be constructed within the Capitol complex, the office of Historic Properties, along with the Historic Properties Advisory Commission shall be consulted concerning potential sites available on the Capitol complex. A grounds monument location map will be incorporated into the master plan to define potential locations.
  3. A preliminary proposal shall be submitted to the Division of Historic Properties for review at the time potential sites are reviewed. This preliminary proposal will include:
    1. Administrative arrangements to oversee the project's fundraising, design, materials and construction.
    2. Preliminary design intentions.
  4. Using the Capitol’s approved master plan, the office of the Division of Historic Properties shall submit the proposal and recommended site selection for the monument to the Historic Properties Advisory Commission for preliminary site approval.
  5. The director of the Division of Historic Properties will submit the final design proposal and his/her recommendations to the Historic Properties Advisory Commission. The Historic Properties Advisory Commission’s consensus will determine final approval for the design and site location.
  6. The director/state curator of the Division of Historic Properties shall issue a permit for any memorials and/or monuments after a proposal has received Historic Properties Advisory Commission approval.
  7. Criteria for approval of memorials and/or monuments by the Historic Properties Advisory Commission will include the following:
    1. Site selection shall be consistent with the purposes stated previously and shall be based on the approved master plan.
    2. A military commemorative work may be established only to commemorate a war or similar major military conflict or to commemorate any branch of the armed forces. No commemorative work commemorating a lesser conflict or a unit of an armed force shall be permitted.
    3. A commemorative work commemorating an individual or group of individuals shall not be permitted until at least 15 years after the death of the individual or the last surviving member of the group.
    4. The construction of a commemorative work must be in the public's interest, must represent a subject of lasting historical significance to the history and heritage of Kentucky or the United States, and must reflect a consensus of the lasting historical statewide significance of the subject involved.
    5. No public funds shall be used to construct memorials and/or monuments, unless directed to do so through legislation. Funding must be secured and in-hand before a construction permit shall be issued.
    6. Knowledgeable persons qualified in the field of architecture and preservation/maintenance shall be consulted by the applicant to determine structural soundness and durability and to assure that the commemorative work meets high professional standards. Memorials and monuments shall be constructed of durable material suitable to the outdoor environment. Landscape features shall be compatible with the Capitol grounds master plan.
    7. Construction materials must be compatible with the design, historic importance, and building materials of the Capitol. Whenever possible, monuments shall be constructed of granite, bronze, copper, iron, limestone, marble or compatible materials. All materials should be enduring over elements of weather, time and require minimal maintenance.
    8. The maximum height of any monument shall be 10 feet
    9. The maximum cubic feet of any structure incorporated into a monument design shall be 3,000 square feet
    10. The maximum site dimension for a proposed monument shall be 20 feet by 20 feet or 400 square feet
    11. The maximum footprint dimension of any single structure incorporated into a proposed monument shall be 24 feet by 24 feet or 574 square feet
    12. Names of donors shall not be permitted on any memorial and/or monument except where directed by legislation. Permanent recognition is defined as architectural or decorative detailing attached permanently to the Capitol or attached permanently to decorative arts/monuments that make up the Capitol collection. No donor recognition of any kind shall be placed on the exterior of the grounds of the Capitol complex. Donors may be recognized by letters, certificates of appreciation, in printed material, and by other means determined by the Commission.
    13. A maintenance contribution of 20% of the total construction cost of the memorial and/or monument shall be required.
  8. The Division of Historic Properties and the Historic Properties Advisory Commission shall have review and approval authority over the construction of the memorial or monument. Any member of the Commission, who shall take part to execute a work of art or structure requiring submission to the Commission, shall be disqualified from voting.

*(Memorials and markers placed before 2006 are excluded from the guidelines)

(Revised June 28, 2007)

Criteria for Monuments