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.
- 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:
- See if your property is already listed by checking the Indiana Historic Sites and Structures inventory, The National Park Service or The Indiana Division of Preservation and Archaeology
- Check if your house’s information has already been compiled by asking your local library or your district’s preservation commission
- Learn more about your home’s architectural style and construction date by using the Bureau of Land Management‘s online database
Once you’ve gathered all of your information, you can start the registration process.