Historic Landmarks Foundation of Indiana and the Indiana Division of Historic Preservation and Archaeology are collaborating to identify all of Parke County's historic sites and structures.
The public is invited to a meeting to learn more about the Parke County architectural survey project on Monday, June 23 at 7:00 p.m. at the Parke County Extension Office at the Parke County Fairgrounds, US 41 N, in Rockville.
Tommy Kleckner, Director of Historic Landmarks Foundation's Western Regional Office, and Amanda Jones, Survey Coordinator, will present a brief illustrated overview of the survey project, introduce the two surveyors, and answer questions. Historic Landmarks has completed surveys of 83 of Indiana's 92 counties in the state's ongoing historic inventory program.
In June, field surveyors John Bales, Jason Kinney, Katie Lipes, and Daniel Osterhage will travel every road in Parke County to document and photograph all historic sites, structures, and districts built before 1968 that meet survey criteria.
Their work, phase I of the project, is expected to take 11 months. The survey team seeks accurate historical information on sites in the county from residents or others who have an interest. Owners can be of great assistance by allowing the surveyors to photograph structures.
"We expect to complete the field work by May 2009," says Amanda Jones, Survey Coordinator for Historic Landmarks. "Until then, if you see a person in front of your property with a clipboard and a camera, chances are it will be one of our surveyors assessing the age and architecture of the building."
In the second phase of the project Historic Landmarks publishes the survey findings in an illustrated report.
The report will include lists with ratings of all structures surveyed, and photos of the homes, commercial and public buildings, barns, and bridges that received an "outstanding" rating. Brief histories of the county and its major towns, historic photographs, and maps also will be included in the publication.
The report will be available for purchase in the summer of 2010.
"The survey has no impact on property taxes and will not result in official landmark status, even for buildings that receive 'outstanding' ratings," Jones states.
"However, it may offer some protection to certain structures, since the survey data is used by the state's Division of Historic Preservation and Archaeology (DHPA) to evaluate the effect of state and federally funded projects on historic properties."
And, as Jones also notes, an up-to-date survey report allows development, including road and highway improvements, to occur with fewer regulatory delays.
Towns, planning agencies, and historical organizations can use the survey data to identify historic buildings and districts that should be nominated to the National Register of Historic Places. Teachers use survey information to instruct their students about local history and architecture.
Historic Landmarks Foundation, a private nonprofit organization, is carrying out the Parke County survey.
The survey is funded in part by a matching grant from the U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service Historic Preservation Fund and is administered by the Indiana Department of Natural Resources, Division of Historic Preservation and Archaeology (DHPA).
Upon publication of the survey report, all survey forms and photographs will be on file at the DHPA's office in Indianapolis.
Those who have questions about the survey and the informational meeting on June 23 may call Tommy Kleckner, 812-232-4534, or Amanda Jones, 800-450-4534.