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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

HPS working on National Registry for neighborhoods

Monday, December 28, 2009

The Towers is one of many houses in the historic Eastern Enlargement Area in Greencastle. Many historic buildings and homes can be found there. Frank P. Nelson built the Towers in 1875. It is one of the best examples of Italianate architecture in Indiana. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
GREENCASTLE -- The city of Greencastle has architecture that reflects over 150 years of lifestyle and American Midwestern designs, including log cabins and ornate homes.

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.

Frank Donner built this home using high quality materials and excellent craftsmanship. It is a Tudor Gothic Revival style built in 1908. Located at 623 E. Seminary Street, the dining room was paneled with mahogany from South America.
"Listing in the National Register gives the property prestige and publicity, provides some protection for the property from adverse effects of federally assisted projects, enables owners who rehabilitate certified historic structures to take advantage of federal tax credits and allows property owners to apply for federal grants-in-aid if funds are made available for preservation projects," explained Gick.

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.

The James B. Nelson House at 640 E. Seminary Street was built in 1900 and is considered a neo-classical style home. Note the large Corinthian columns supporting the portico and the cut glass windows surrounding the entrance.
In September, HPS received a $1,000 grant from the Putnam County Community Foundation to assist in paying for the hiring of a firm to help with the project.

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.

The O'Dell House located at 702 E. Seminary Street was built in 1890 and features gingerbread trim, which was the result of new machines being used for woodworking and home construction during the period.
The decision on the grant award is due in the spring of 2010.

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