Updated Historic Structures Survey Data Now Searchable On City Website

(BLOOMINGTON) – The results of the Bloomington Historic Sites and Structures Survey of more than 6,000 city addresses may now be searched at the City of Bloomington website via myBloomington and at the B-Clear open data portal.

The 2018 survey, which was reviewed by the Bloomington Common Council on May 20, updates and replaces data from the 2015 Indiana State Historic Architectural and Archaeological Research Database (SHAARD). 

The survey is used to identify historic resources within the city that retain a certain degree of historic integrity that may be subject to the City’s demolition delay review ordinance.  

A structure’s classification as “contributing,” “notable,” or “outstanding” could affect the process of getting a permit for a significant exterior remodel, or for complete or partial demolition.

The process of demolition delay review only applies to properties that are outside of local historic districts but listed on the Bloomington Historic Sites and Structures List.  The process allows for public notice and discussion of the proposed changes to a property in the survey to ensure that the historic value it contributes is not lost.  By contrast, properties in local historic districts are required to go through design review for any exterior changes as per the City’s Certificate of Appropriateness process.  

Residents may quickly determine the historical status of a property using the City’s myBloomington location information web service.  Entering a street address into the search field will yield numerous data points about the property, including its historic district and survey rating, among other fields including township, City Council District, neighborhood association, voting precinct, nearby amenities, schools, and sanitation schedule.   Survey data may also be accessed through the City’s B-Clear open data portal in a number of formats as well as a variety of GIS/geographic data types.

The 2018 survey, conducted by Bloomington Restorations, Inc. (BRI), reviewed 352 more structures than the SHAARD survey, and contested the status of 334 property ratings in the SHAARD. In an extensive review of the survey data, City staff found numerous duplications and errors in the SHAARD that were passed to the BRI resurvey data. These entries were removed from the final survey list.  The recently adopted version of the Bloomington Historic Sites and Structures Survey contains 6064 properties, a net increase of 6 properties from the previous version that used the SHAARD survey data.  Owners of properties that were added to the list, or whose status had been changed, were notified by mail of the change.   

“Data from these surveys is essential for the identification and protection of the community’s historic resources and is the bedrock of our preservation program,” said Conor Herterich, Housing and Neighborhood Development Department (HAND), Historic Preservation Program Manager.  “The built environment is dynamic and in a constant state of flux, therefore, updating these surveys every few years is crucial to maintaining their accuracy and for guiding future preservation plans.”

Full URLs:

myBloomington:  https://bloomington.in.gov/mybloomington/ 

B-Clear:  https://data.bloomington.in.gov/