National Register Adds Indiana Sites

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Indiana Landmarks says its Partners in Preservation National Register Program has helped eight Indiana sites receive landmark status over the last several months. They include the Hobart Commercial Historic District in Lake County and Rush County's East Hill Cemetery.

February 5, 2015

News Release

Hobart, Ind. -- The Hobart Commercial Historic District in Lake County and seven other historic sites and districts in Indiana recently won landmark status with support from Indiana Landmarks Partners in Preservation National Register Program (PIP). The program provides matching funds that help pay the cost of hiring professionals to complete National Register nominations.

The sites that earned National Register listing include private homes, commercial and residential historic districts, a cemetery, and a vintage gas station and diner.

The Hobart Commercial Historic District in Lake County achieved National Register status in December 2014. The city's redevelopment commission matched PIP funds to nominate the original downtown area where buildings date from 1870 through 1950. The area is roughly bounded by Lake George, the railroad, and Center and Second streets, similar to the boundaries of the local historic district established in 2010.

The Hobart Redevelopment Commission hopes the national recognition will stimulate even more improvement, since National Register status makes income-producing properties eligible for federal restoration tax credits. The local district designation spurred the commission to create a downtown fa?ade grant program and build new gateways into the downtown.

The City and its redevelopment commission continue to work with Indiana Landmarks for assistance with rehabilitation of notable buildings. Indiana Landmarks awarded an Efroymson Family Endangered Places grant to the redevelopment commission for a fa?ade rehabilitation plan for the 1893 Roper Building, owned by Knight’s Coin and Collectibles. The owner followed the plan, matching a $44,000 downtown fa?ade grant.

Other projects, spurred by support from the fa?ade grant program, are changing the look of Hobart. A grant allowed the owners of the popular Cagney’s Saloon to restore the 1893 Fiester Building, where the original architecture emerged after a covering added in the late twentieth century was removed.

"Representatives of the Indiana Department of Natural Resources, Division of Historic Preservation and Archaeology, will present the National Register certificate at a special ceremony at the Indiana State Fair in August," said Mayor Brian Snedecor. "I am proud that Hobart will be among the places that have achieved this recognition."

Carla Houck, president of the Hobart Redevelopment Commission, echoed the mayor’s sentiments. "Being listed in the National Register of Historic Places is an honor. It means our downtown district was recognized as having historic value and being worthy of preservation. Everyone who lives in Hobart can be proud, knowing our downtown is an important part of America’s past," Houck commented.

"The listing will encourage additional investment in the downtown, now that income-producing buildings qualify for federal preservation tax credits," noted Denarie Kane, Hobart’s Director of Development. "Having another incentive available for the restoration of historic commercial buildings is financially important for the current owners as well as developers we attract to downtown," Kane added.

Other PIP-supported properties that won listing in the last six months include:

--Indiana and Michigan Avenues Historic District (La Porte Co.)

--LaFontaine Historic District (Wabash Co.)

--Oren F. and Adelia Parker House (Jasper Co.)

--Seller's Standard Station and Pullman Diner (Newton Co.)

--East Hill Cemetery (Rush Co.)

--Rufus and Amanda Black House (Hancock Co.)

--John and Caroline Stonebraker House (Wayne Co.)

The nomination of a site or district to the National Register requires in-depth research, mapping, photography, and a thorough knowledge of architectural history. Most successful nominations are drafted by historic preservation professionals. Kurt Garner of KW Garner Consulting prepared the Hobart Commercial Historic District nomination, which took two years from initial research to notice of official listing.

Source: Indiana Landmarks