Western Kentucky University

Wendy Wheatcraft

wendy wheatcraft

Historic Preservation Coordinator

Kentucky Heritage Council

Graduated: 2002


Where do you currently work?

I'm working as a historic preservation coordinator for the Kentucky Heritage Council, which serves as the State Historic Preservation Office. I am now revising the Kentucky State Historic Preservation Plan, and I'm also responsible for Section 106 review. I have the privilege of working with another WKU folklore grad, Becky Gorman, who oversees the Kentucky Main Street Program.


Tell me a bit about your career?

After graduating from WKU, I managed historic tax credit and low income housing tax credit projects for an investment firm in Columbus, Ohio.Later, I earned an M.A. in historic preservation from the Savannah

College of Art and Design. I moved to northern Virginia to become the Historic Preservation Planner for a local government, which was an adventure. Each day presented new opportunities--the preparation of a proposed ordinance, review of a construction plan, a "friendly discussion" with a developer or engineer, surveying a historic property, preparing a staff report for the architectural review board, or investigating a grave robbery. It was exhausting but rewarding in its own way. 


How has folklore prepared you for your career?

I seem to assess historic properties and the issues involving historic preservation differently than my colleagues, and I believe that this is directly related to my folklore training. There are connections between living cultural traditions and historic places. Perhaps understanding this has allowed me to recommend treatments to historic buildings that complement lifeways, while still complying with the Secretary of the Interior's Standards.

 Last Modified 7/22/13