Open Door

Open Door
Indianapolis, Indiana

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

National Register of Historic Places

It dawned on me, after posting the last blog, that not everyone may be familiar with the process to have a building added to a historic register. We were certainly clueless when we began this whole process. It turns out that this is actually a rather complex subject. While there are some locations or cities that have their own process, we’re just going to take a quick look at the Indiana and national registers.

About the Registers

The National Register of Historic Places (the National Register) was authorized by the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966. The National Park Service administers the National Register of Historic Places  for the nation. The National Register is considered the official list of the Nation’s historic places worthy of preservation. More information may be found at

The Indiana Register of Historic Sites and Structures (the State Register) was created by an act of the Indiana General Assembly in 1981. The Indiana Division of Historic Preservation and Archaeology (DHPA) manages the State Register for the State of Indiana. More information for the State Register may be found at


Just because a building is old does not mean it is eligible for one of the Registers. Generally, it needs to be more than 50 years old and needs to have a degree of architectural integrity. In addition, there needs to be something special about that particular property UNLESS it is in a recognized historic district like Irvington or Woodruff Place. So what would be considered significant at the local, state, or national level? (The following is from the Indiana State Site)

  • Events - Properties associated with events that were important to our history
  • Persons - Properties associated with the lives of persons significant in our history
  • Architecture/Design - Buildings, structures, or objects with architectural or engineering importance. They may be the work of a master, or possess high artistic value. Groupings of properties may share a common heritage, such as a historic district.
  • Information - Resources that have yielded, or may yield in the future, important information about our prehistory or history.


The process may be different depending upon the state. Generally in Indiana, the process takes approximately 6 months to a year once the application is submitted. An application is filled out containing the history, architecture and significance of the site. It must then be reviewed to see if it truly meets the criteria for significance and eligibility. Additional information may be requested at this point. Once this step has been passed, the review is scheduled and a letter sent to the owner. If the application is approved, the site is placed on the Indiana Register and the application is sent to the National Register. If the application is approved at the National level, the site is listed on the National Register.

Our Progress

It was 2 years ago this month that Amanda & Eric began looking into purchasing the Horner House. Indiana Landmarks had already started filling out the application and continued to work on it for quite a while. They submitted it to the State of Indiana last year. The application is very detailed and we’ll begin sharing some of the information it contains soon.

Amanda & Eric will be attending the review next month. It is open to the public and anyone may attend. So we’re hoping to have the Horner House on the State Register by next month!

Horner House March 2012 - Check out the flowers blooming already
Last March, we had record high temps, this year we're having below normal temps here in Indiana. It sure doesn’t feel like Spring yet. But hope you all have a happy first day of Spring!

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