Biographical / Historical
Ann Sinclair Hodges Hassett (1941-2011) was the first director of the City of Louisville Historic Landmarks and Preservation Districts Commission, serving from 1973 until retirement in 1994. During her tenure, Louisville became a leader in historic preservation, forming five preservation districts and landmarking numerous individual properties that were also nominated to the National Register of Historic Places. Hassett first worked during Mayor Harvey Sloane’s administration during which time Louisville transitioned from Urban Renewal—a raze and rebuild focus—to optimizing the use of Housing and Community Development Act Block grant money for housing rehabilitation. Hassett helped Louisville navigate the process of becoming a Certified Local Government, a certification that advanced Louisville to national prominence not only for the number of national historic designations but for its use of rehabilitative and preservation tax incentive credits. Besides speaking at a national level promoting the benefits of rehabilitation, Hassett assisted other cities and towns to establish historic preservation commissions.
Prior to working for the city, Hassett advocated historic preservation at a local level as assistant director of Preservation Alliance of Louisville and Jefferson County, founded in 1972. During her career, she was also active in other historic preservation-oriented civic organizations including Preservation Action, Kentucky Preservation, Main Street Association, Historic Home Foundation, Inc., Brennan House, Inc., and Preservation Louisville. Hassett was a charter member of Third Century and the O2 Club, a short-lived local issues discussion group. She had several preservation articles published and worked as an editor for Grady Clay on his book, How to Read the American City Close-Up. She was active at Christ Church Cathedral, serving on several committees and as a choir member. Her other interests included rowing, traveling and gardening.