Monroe County, Indiana

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Historic Preservation Board of Review

PURPOSE

Historic Preservation is the practice of protecting and preserving sites, structures or districts which reflect elements of local or national cultural, social, economic, political, archaeological or architectural history.

Preservation has many diverse purposes and rewards, including strengthening of local economies, stabilization of property values, fostering of civic beauty and community pride, enhancement of cultural tourism, and appreciation of local and national history. Historic preservation has a public purpose that advances the education and welfare of citizens, while also providing economic and aesthetic benefits.   

Historic resources are defined as districts, sites, structures, objects or buildings that are at least fifty years old and significant in local, state or national history, architecture, archeology, engineering, or culture. History encompasses all cultures, economic classes, and social, political and private activities that form the background to the present. Our preserved buildings and sites teach us, as well as future generations, about diverse cultures, heritage values, and past and present achievements.

The Monroe County Historic Preservation Board of Review was established in 2001 to promote the educational, cultural, economic, aesthetic and general welfare of the public through the preservation and protection of historic or architecturally worthy buildings, structures, sites, and neighborhoods that area significant at the local level.

ON GOING PROJECTS

The Monroe County Historic Preservation Board of Review was established in 2001 to promote the educational, cultural, economic, aesthetic and general welfare of the public through the preservation and protection of historic or architecturally worthy buildings, structures, sites, and neighborhoods that area significant at the local level.

To be identified as historic or architecturally worthy, a building, structure or place must possess one or more of the following significant attributes:

  • association with events that have made a significant contribution to the broad  patterns of County history;
  • association with the lives of persons significant in the County's past;
  • distinctive characteristics of a type, period or method of construction;
  • example of the work of a master;
  • high artistic values;
  • example of a significant and distinguishable entity whose components may lack individual distinction; or
  • capability of yielding information important in prehistory or history.

Individuals, property owners, or groups can prepare nominations for the Board’s evaluation. The Board consults the Monroe County Interim Report of Indiana Historic Sites and Structures published by Bloomington Restorations, Inc. in 1989 in making decisions, Although the survey is not complete, it has already classified 1170 structures as being either Outstanding, Notable, or Contributing. The Board may also designate historic sites that were not listed in the interim survey. The Interim Survey Report is available at the Monroe County Public Library and may be purchased at the Monroe County Historical Society Museum.

Prior to voting on historic designation, the Board will have public meetings to discuss which historic characteristics of a building or property are significant and should be preserved. For example, owners may want to repair a historic building using modern materials, which could be acceptable as long as the historic character is maintained. New siding may be suitable for a historic frame house with clapboard exterior, but not for one with a brick exterior. To help protect designated sites, they are recorded in a historic preservation overlay in the Monroe County Planning Department. 

ORDINANCES

Chapter 823 of the Monroe County Zoning Ordinance authorizes the County to appoint members to a Historic Preservation Board of Review.  The Board has specific powers and duties, as outlined in Chapter 810 (Historic Preservation Ordinance), but shall in exercising its powers and performing its duties be concerned with those elements of development, redevelopment, rehabilitation, and preservation that affect visual quality in designated Historic Districts. The Historic Preservation Ordinance itself is established for the purpose of promoting the educational, cultural, economic, aesthetic, and general welfare of the public through the preservation and protection of historic or architecturally worthy buildings, structures, sites, monuments, streetscapes, squares, and neighborhoods. In implementing Chapter 810, the Board may establish Historic Districts which then officially are incorporated into the zoning maps as a separate zone district. With designation as a Historic District, buildings, structures, sites, and other historic or architecturally significant community elements become subject to the provisions of both the Historic Preservation Ordinances and the applicable zone district. The County Planning Department serves as staff to the Board, so please call (812) 349-2560 with any questions, concerns, or suggestions.

Meeting Schedule

Regular meetings take place in Suite 224 on the second floor of the Monroe County Government Center at 501 N. Morton Street. When the Board reviews formal petitions, the hearings take place in the Judge Nat U. Hill III Meeting Room on the third floor of the historic courthouse at 100 W. Kirkwood. All are welcome.

MEMBER
POSITION
Douglas Wilson Member
Danielle Bachant-Bell Chairperson
Amanda Richardson Member
Devin Blankenship Member
Don Maxwell Vice-Chairperson
Donn Hall Member
Duncan Campbell Member
Polly Root Sturgeon Member
Debby Reed Member

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