School expansion to replace Anatok Mansion

Anatok Mansion
Anatok Mansion
Tom Hamilton
Tom Hamilton
Dixie Hibbs
Dixie Hibbs
Daniel Rudd
Daniel Rudd
Drawing of how Anatok Mansion will look following the campus expansion.
Drawing of how Anatok Mansion will look following the campus expansion.

BARDSTOWN, KY (WAVE) - A chain linked fence topped with barbed wire surrounds the Anatok Mansion in Bardstown, blocking access to the pre-Civil War historic house.

The 166-year-old house sits nestled behind Bethlehem High School on school property. The historic site is most commonly known for its ties to Bardstown-born slave turned Black Catholic journalist, Daniel Rudd.

In the forthcoming days, the Anatok will be deconstructed to make way for an expansion at the high school.

"We've developed a campus plan," said Tom Hamilton, Bethlehem High School Principal.

Under the plan, the Anatok will be replaced with an open air, multi-purpose classroom, as well as a new courtyard for students.

"We'd like to continue to grow as a school," said Hamilton. "We think our campus plan allows us to do that."

According to Hamilton, the deconstruction of the Anatok would include a reconfiguration of the building's elements, reworking the original framework by reusing "the original six feet of walls, and the original footprint" in the new construction.

The hotly debated project has been more than two years in the making, drawing the attention and preservation efforts of many opponents including historian and former Bardstown Mayor Dixie Hibbs.

"{We've been} talking with people from Bethlehem High School, talking with people from the Archdiocese [of Louisville]," said Hibbs."

Over the past two years, Hibbs has worked with other opponents of the school expansion to raise a half million dollars to halt the project. However, come the July 15 deadline, the group's funds only totaled $270,000.

"They want the house out of sight, out of mind," began Hibbs. "Our goal is still, please, reconsider this."

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