Historic home guidelines in Indianapolis, IN

Learn what makes a home historic and which neighborhoods have been around the longest.

A Historic Fletcher Place sign with apartment building in background

Fletcher Place gets its name from one of its first residents, Calvin Fletcher.

Photo by INDYtoday team

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With more than 250 registered historic buildings and nine National Historic Landmarks — most of which were built during the 19th century — there’s no shortage of sites for the history buffs out there.

But what about when it comes to residential houses? Whether you’re looking to buy in a historic neighborhood or you’re curious if your old bungalow qualifies, keep reading.

What makes a home historic?

Despite the number of centuries-old buildings in Indy, a home only needs to be more than 50 years old to be considered “historic,” so anything built before 1973 could qualify. However, there are a few catches if you want your home to be on the National Register.

Houses must:

  • Be associated with a person or event of historical significance
  • Have architectural or engineering integrity or have high artistic value
  • Be built 50 or more years ago with no major renovations

What makes a district historic?

Historic districts should have high marks in the following areas:

  • Consist of structures in the same locations they were originally built
  • Maintain the proper aesthetic based on style and details
  • Have defined boundaries
  • Contain original physical elements and materials
  • Show effort in structural quality
  • Be associated with people, groups, or events of historic impact

There are 12 historic districts in Indianapolis: Wholesale District, Fountain Square, Woodruff Place, Lockefield Gardens, The Old Northside, St. Joseph, Lockerbie Square, Chatham Arch and Massachusetts Avenue, Monument Circle, Herron-Morton Place, Fletcher Place, and Irvington.

How can my home get historic recognition?

We have a few tips for finding out if your home is historic, including:

Once you’ve gathered all of your information, you can start the registration process.

Have more questions? We recommend checking out Indiana Landmarks and Indiana DNR for more info.

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