Ripley County, In. — The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) helps strengthen Indiana’s historical and cultural heritage through annual federal grants it administers to local communities and not-for-profit groups that these organizations put toward preservation projects.
This year, the DNR Division of Historic Preservation & Archaeology (DHPA) has awarded 11 federal grants for historic preservation and archaeology in Indiana communities (see list below). The grants, totaling $476,696, provide a match of $512,545 in local and private funds, for a total projected investment of $989,241.
The funds come from the National Park Service, a part of the U.S. Department of the Interior, which distributes federal funds to the states through the Historic Preservation Fund Program. Since 1974, the state has awarded more than $18 million to Indiana communities through this program.
Ripley County: Ball State University will receive a grant of $51,871 to conduct a Phase Ia survey of approximately 80 acres around historic homestead sites identified within Versailles State Park. Along with their associated historical records, these sites tell the story of the early planned settlement as well as early statehood. While some of those stories are incorporated in guided tours, there is much that is unknown, and a targeted archaeological survey will help uncover the remains of daily home life at these sites. The park staff and cultural resource manager would like to use the information to develop more engaging interpretation around these resources. In addition to recording the new archaeological sites, a series of significance statements and primary interpretive themes will be developed. [Contact: Chris Thompson, 765-285-5396].
Fort Wayne: The City of Fort Wayne will receive a $5,538 matching grant to assist with a nomination to the National Register of Historic Places of the Kensington Park Historic District. Homes in the district represent a variety of early to mid-20th century styles, including Colonial Revival, Tudor Revival, Craftsman, and American Foursquare. The project will also create and publish a brochure on the Brookview-Irvington Park Historic District as part of the city’s ongoing series, and include a history of the district focusing on landscape architect Arthur Shurcliff’s use of natural features in the neighborhood design. [Contact: Don Orban, 260-427-2160].
Henry County: Ball State University will receive a $52,497 grant to conduct an archaeological survey of the Wilbur Wright Fish & Wildlife Area (WWFWA), which consists of 1,070 acres of Blue River Valley floodplains and associated uplands and is currently used as a fishing and hunting area. It is also the former site of the New Castle State Hospital, and encompasses several major prehistoric sites that have been investigated extensively in the past; however, portions of the WWFWA remain unsurveyed. This project will conduct a Phase Ia investigation of approximately 120 unsurveyed acres, and is anticipated to document about 60 newly identified archaeological sites. [Contact: Chris Thompson, 765-285-5396].
Indianapolis: The Benjamin Harrison Presidential Site will receive $21,500 for the preparation of a Historic Structure Report for the Indianapolis home and property of former president Benjamin Harrison, a National Historic Landmark. A historic structure report will provide a history of the property and changes over time, a conditions assessment, a prioritization of repair and preservation items, and a guide for short- and long-term plans for maintenance and management of the property. [Contact: Charles Hyde, 317-631-1888].
Indianapolis: The Indiana Medical History Museum will receive a $44,450 grant to assist in the upgrading the electrical, fire safety and security systems of the Old Pathology Building at the Central State Hospital complex, which now houses the Indiana Medical History Museum. Built in 1896, it was a state of the art medical research and teaching facility, and was in use until 1968. The museum uses the building’s features, furnishings, and collections, many of which are original, to interpret the history of medicine and medical research to visitors, including doctors and medical students, each year. The electrical system was last updated in the 1930s and is inadequate and potentially hazardous. The electrical and fire detection system needs to be addressed to bring the building to code and safeguard the building and collections. Finally, additional security measures will be installed to discourage vandals and thieves, which have been a problem in recent years. [Contact: Sarah Halter, Indiana Medical History Museum, 317-635-7329].
Indianapolis: The Athenaeum Foundation will receive a $50,000 grant to assist with masonry rehabilitation on the ornate primary façade of the distinctive Massachusetts Avenue building. Designed by Bernard Vonnegut, Sr. and Arthur Bohn, the massive corner building is home to more than a dozen tenants; however, mortar joints have eroded over time, creating opportunities for water infiltration and the need to be repointed. In addition, the masonry and limestone accents will be cleaned, as there is no record of the 120-year-old building ever having been cleaned, and there is significant staining across much of the facade. The project will address issues on approximately 8,700 square feet of masonry. [Contact: Cassie Stockamp, 317-655-2755 ext. 155].
Indianapolis: The Indiana Humanities Council will receive $50,000 for window rehabilitation that is necessary to secure the 1903 Meredith Nicholson House from water infiltration and improve energy efficiency. This scope of work is based on the 17 windows that have already been rehabilitated on the main facade. The project will complete window rehabilitation of the remaining approximately 32 windows, which are located on the sides and rear of the house. [Contact: George Hanlin, 317-638-1500 ext. 128].
Lafayette: Trinity United Methodist Church will receive a $50,000 grant to stabilize and rehabilitate the exterior masonry of the 1872 church. Mortar joint erosion has threatened the stability of brick units. In addition to repointing the masonry, some brick units that are missing or damaged will need to be replaced. The church has undertaken masonry rehabilitation on the east and south elevations. The HPF grant will assist specifically with the west elevation, where water infiltration is creating some damage to the interior of the building. [Contact: Stephen Ash, 765-427-7007].
Montgomery County: Ball State University will receive a $50,840 grant to conduct an archaeology survey of the Calvert and Porter Woods Nature Preserve (CPWNP) in Crawfordsville. The reserve consists of 118 acres owned by the DNR and is a designated National Natural Landmark. The project consists of Phase Ia survey of the entire property, all of which is previously unsurveyed. It is estimated that this survey may document about 30 newly identified archaeological sites. The primary research objective is to document the prehistoric and historic cultural resources in the CPWNP for both the SHAARD database and to assist the Preserve with future resource-management planning. [Contact: Chris Thompson, 765-285-5396].
Pendleton: The Town of Pendleton will receive a $50,000 grant to rehabilitate the façade of the 19th Century commercial building that is currently used as the Pendleton Town Hall. The façade of this two-story building has been significantly altered by bricking in the second-story window openings, installing one inappropriate fixed window, and replacing the storefront. The scope of work includes removing the brick infill and installing new, historically appropriate one-over-one windows to replicate the appearance of the original windows; repointing and cleaning the masonry; and returning the storefront to its historically documented design and appearance. [Contact: Rachel Christenson, 765-778-8370].
Vincennes: The City of Vincennes will receive a $50,000 grant to assist with the rehabilitation of the Gregg Park Shelter. The project proposes to undertake a variety of rehabilitation activities to stabilize and repair the WPA-built shelter, which was built in 1938 and is a large gabled structure faced with random ashlar limestone and smooth-finished quoins and window and door surrounds. [Contact: Michelle Carrico (Southern Indiana Development Commission), 812-295-3707].