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Grants To Preserve Local History Across State
Updated November 27, 2017 7:53 AM
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(UNDATED) - The 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 and Archaeology has awarded 11 federal grants for historic preservation and archaeology in Indiana communities (see list below). The grants, totaling $441,357, provide a match of $438,524 in local and private funds, for a total projected investment of $879,881. 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.

Fulton County: Ball State University's Department of Anthropology received a $48,685 grant to conduct an archaeological survey in Fulton County. The focus of this investigation will be 900 acres in the southern and central portion of Fulton County, particularly Henry, Union, Liberty, Wayne townships, and General Land Office (GLO) sites in Rochester township. Very little systematic research has been carried out in Fulton County, and all archaeological investigations in SHAARD have been Phase Ia surveys, with no testing or excavations documented.

Georgetown: The Town of Georgetown will receive a $27,500 grant to assist with exterior rehabilitation of the former Georgetown State Bank. Masonry repairs will include repointing the exterior brick walls and reconstructing three brick window headers on the interior. Other repairs include replacing three non-historic and improperly sized windows, repainting the wood and cast iron storefront, repairing or replacing three exterior wooden doors, and removing the contemporary drive-up bank teller window.

Huntington: The St. Peter's First Community Church will receive a $50,000 grant to assist with the exterior stabilization and restoration of the Drover Town German Reformed Church. The project will focus on repointing mortar joints and repairing or replacing failing bricks, but will also identify woodwork features that are in need of repair due to weathering, rot, or deterioration. Some masonry rehabilitation was undertaken in 2002, but it was very specific and limited. In the meantime, further deterioration of masonry units and mortar joints is evident. Interior plaster is also showing damage due to water infiltration. The project will rehabilitate approximately 15,400 square feet of masonry for the entire church building and the parsonage.

Indianapolis: The Indiana Medical History Museum received a $48,210 grant to assist in the rehabilitation of the doors and windows 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. It is owned by the City of Indianapolis, but the Indiana Medical History Museum occupies the building under a 99-year lease, and uses the building's features, furnishings, and collections to interpret the history of medicine and medical research to many visitors, including doctors and medical students, each year. The organization has been working from a comprehensive preservation plan for the building to undertake a consolidated effort for thorough, prioritized repairs.

Indianapolis: The Irvington United Methodist Church will receive a $50,000 grant to assist with exterior repairs that are necessary to halt and correct deterioration and water infiltration. The church originated as a Tudor Revival house built by Jacob and Cordelia Forrest in 1909. Thomas Carr Howe purchased the house in 1914, and sold it in 1924 to the Irvington Methodist Episcopal Church congregation which had outgrown their building. The church has several flat roofs that are leaking in places, which the project will address. Another crucial repair is faulty drainage that has caused damage to the foundation and interior walls and rooms throughout the building. Further investigation led to the discovery that original clay tile drain pipes are broken and need to be replaced. The foundation masonry work will be repaired and repointed, as well as masonry and cast stones around the windows, roof, and gutters. Finally, there are wood elements that need repair or outright replacement throughout the exterior of the building.

Indianapolis: The Irvington Historic Landmarks Foundation will receive $25,000 for exterior repairs that are necessary to secure the Benton House from water infiltration. The Benton House is a two-story Second Empire style house built in 1873. It is named for its most notable resident, Allen Benton who was a two-time president of Butler University when the college was located in Irvington. The project will address ongoing issues that remain after a 2007 grant to replace the slate roof. The wood cornice trim at the juncture of the mansard and flat roof has deteriorated due to how the membrane terminates onto the cornice. Several wood window sills and framing elements have rotted and need to be replaced. The original formed metal tower roof is rusting and needs repair. Water infiltration through the tower has resulted in damaged plaster ceilings as a result of improper flashing. The membrane roofing on the flat portion of the roof has developed several cracks and rips that need to be repaired. Several slate shingles are broken or missing. Finally, the asphalt roof over the south side bay window, which was not part of the 2007-08 project, has deteriorated to the point of needing replacement.

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 main façade (east elevation). The HPF grant will assist specifically with the south elevation, where water infiltration is creating some damage to the interior of the building.

Monroe County: Indiana University's Glenn A. Black Laboratory will receive $48,812 for an archaeological survey of the Bean Blossom Creek drainage basin in the northern half of Monroe County. IU will partner with the Sycamore Land Trust and with the IU Research and Teaching Preserve to conduct a Phase I survey of 509 acres of eight nature preserves in the Bean Blossom Creek watershed. The proposed research seeks to enhance the understanding of the history of settlement and occupation in Bloomington and wider Monroe County by identifying and documenting new archaeological sites in the region.

Terre Haute: The Friends of Allen Chapel will receive a $33,650 grant proposes to make repairs and reconstruct interior portions and features of the building that had been damaged by previous water infiltration. The church has been undergoing progressive phases of rehabilitation over the last two decades. The final phase of the overall building rehabilitation project is the scope of work proposed for the grant. The proposed work includes repair and repainting of plaster walls and wood trim of the sanctuary and two stair towers, as well as the repair and refinishing of historic wood features of the sanctuary and two stair towers. Water infiltration has caused most of the damage and deterioration in the plaster and wood floors and features. Many of the wood features are character-defining such as the altar rail, decorative paneled walls, and choir loft stair rails.

Valparaiso: The Porter County Commissioners will receive $35,000 for the preparation of plans and specifications for the future rehabilitation of the Memorial Opera House in Valparaiso. The Memorial Opera House is still a focal point in the community, still serves its original purpose, and remains one of the largest community theater venues in Porter County. However, age, lack of proper maintenance, and improper past repairs leave the building in need of comprehensive rehabilitation efforts in order to keep it safe, viable, and comfortable for year-round public use. The goal of the project is to hire an architectural or engineering consultant to prepare appropriate plans and specifications that can be used for bidding out future rehabilitation activities. Specific items to be addressed in this project manual include the building exterior, interior plaster walls, mechanical systems - including the plumbing, HVAC, and electrical systems, and the auditorium floor.

Vincennes: The City of Vincennes will receive a $24,500 grant assist with the preparation of a conditions assessment and rehabilitation plans for the Vincennes Police Department building. The department is housed in the former United States Post Office building, built in 1907 and expanded in 1936. It is an ornate neo-classical revival style building with an Indiana limestone façade. The City purchased the building in 2000 and the police department has occupied it since. A previous HPF grant assisted with rehabilitating the windows. The City realizes the need for a full assessment of the building to identify and plan for maintenance and rehabilitation.

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