The cultural heritage, architecture, and growth of Covington are strongly connected to its German roots. In the Mutter Gottes(Mother of God) Historic District, architecture represents an important period in Covington’s development as a residential community. The area consists primarily of intact mid- to late-nineteenth century domestic architecture built by middle-class German immigrants who settled in Covington beginning in the 1840s during Covington’s period of greatest growth (1840-1860).
Due to political unrest throughout the German states, there was a large migration of Germans into the Ohio River Valley. Many German immigrants began moving into the area to establish thriving communities. The Old Town area, located southwest of the original city limits, was one of the first areas to develop as a result of this rapid growth. By 1877, the area was almost completely developed:
The buildings in the district illustrate the major architectural styles of the decades between 1840 and 1880. The structures range from the modest brick and frame two-story houses along Craig and Kentucky, with grander brick and stone residences along Fifth and Sixth Streets. Throughout the district there remain brick streets and graceful wrought iron fences. Houses in the Old Town area were built close to the street on narrow lots. There are also a few commercial buildings found in the district as typified by the Morwessel’s Drug Store, a three-story building with a cast iron storefront built in 1881.
There are a few examples of the simply detailed Greek Revival style, but the majority of buildings are Italianate townhouses, characterized by ornate window heads and bracketed cornices. Buildings which are not ltalianate in their detail, such as the Romanesque influenced Koett House on Russell Street and the Gothic style First Christian Church, also contribute to the overall character of the district. The Mother of God Church ~.(Mutter Gottes Kirche) is the area’s landmark building. Mother of God was the first German Catholic parish in the city, established in 1841. The present church was built in 1871 and is an example of the Italian Renaissance style of architecture. It is the oldest Roman Catholic Church in continuous use in Covington.
Cornerstone laying of the Parish building on 119 W 6th St., Covington, August 13, 1905