An area of the city called the Eastern Enlargement District provides a vast panorama of many of these styles. This district, along with two other areas of the city, also contains interesting and historical structures, which the Heritage Preservation Society is hoping to have declared as National Register Historic Districts.
In an effort to achieve that, they have applied for grant money from the Division of Historic Preservation and Archeology (DHPA) for a Historic Preservation Grant.
"If successful, the award would initiate efforts to meet with the residents of the proposed districts and others, as well as cataloging the historic assets in each district and packaging applications for National Register listing. While the listing is primarily honorary, it does make those structures identified as contributing eligible for certain tax credits," explained Phil Gick, president of HPS.
DHPA lists Putnam County as one of approximately 20 counties that are underrepresented in the National Registry and identifies three potential historic districts as targets for listing.
The Historic Landmarks Foundation of Indiana believes a historic preservation designation may not only revitalize a once depressed neighborhood, but may help to increase property values throughout the district.
The last official government assessment in Putnam County was in April 1982, and 10 potential Historic Districts were noted. In March 1984, one of those districts, the Courthouse Square Historic District, was listed on the National Registry.
"While a few individual properties have been listed on the National Registry since that time, little else has been done to officially recognize the historic fabric that remains in the county. In the past year, HPS has undertaken an effort to explore the possibility of achieving National Registry listing for some distinct areas or districts within the county," said Gick.
There are currently 76 structures in the Eastern Enlargement Area that extends from College to Wood Street and Anderson to Franklin Streets and includes areas of DePauw University.
On the campus are the East College, built in 1869 through 1882 and restored in 1981; the Clem Studebaker memorial Administration Building, built in 1918; and Gobin Memorial Methodist Church, built in 1928.
Other structures include the Old Bethel Log Church said to the oldest Methodist Church in the state, The Robert O'Hare House, the McGaughey House, The Towers, O'Dell House and numerous other homes of great historic value to the city of Greencastle.
The other areas under consideration for the historic district designation are located on the east and north sides of Greencastle.
Gick hopes to expand the historic districts to other areas of the county, possibly including areas in and around Roachdale, Reelsville and Russellville.