The Austinburg Historic District contains over 1,000 buildings along or part of 60 blocks in Covington, Kentucky. The district is composed of pre-1935 residential and commercial structures built in the Italianate, Queen Anne, Colonial Revival, and Bungalow styles. The area encompassed by the district is composed of flat terrain with most streets divided into north/south and east/west blocks. The original streets of the Austinburg neighborhood are aligned on a northwest/southeast grid.
Roughly bounded by Chesapeake & Ohio Railroad, Licking River floodwall, the rear lot lines of the north side of Wallace and Madison Ave, in southeastern section of the city of Covington, the Austinburg Historic District has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places since 1987. The neighborhood is named after Seneca Austin, who in 1844 purchased a sizable tract of land lying along the Licking River. About 1850 Austin subdivided the land and sold parcels, mostly to German Catholics, as Covington continued to grow. The city of Covington annexed Austinburg in 1851. This district developed after 1867, when the completion of the Roebling Bridge caused a building boom in the city. John G. Carlisle, a U.S. Congressman and Lieutenant Governor of Kentucky once called the neighborhood home.
Within the neighborhood, the Fourth Street Public School, designed by Covington architect Lyman Walker, opened in 1870 . In 1908, St. Benedict Church, designed by renowned architect Samuel Hannaford, who also designed Cincinnati’s Music Hall, was completed. By the 1880’s, public sanitation and paved roads were introduced to the area. The Covington and Lexington Railroad, and later, the Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad brought businesses to the community. In 1903, the Stewart Iron Works opened a plant along Madison Ave. in the Austinburg District.
By the early 1900’s, Austinburg had grown into a thriving urban community, Yet, by the 1960’s, like so many other urban neighborhoods throughout the United States, Austinburg lost a number of its residents to the suburbs. Today, with reasonable real estate prices, a close proximity to major highways, and easy accessibility to restaurants and shopping, a new generation has discovered the area. Austinburg’s newest housing on Thomas Street was developed by the Center for Great Neighborhoods of Covington and features some of the most energy-efficient homes in all of Kentucky.