Grants to preserve local history across the state including Lawrence County

INDIANA – The DNR Division of Historic Preservation & Archaeology (DHPA) plans to award 15 federal Historic Preservation Fund grants totaling more than $575,000 for historic preservation and archaeology projects in Indiana communities including Lawrence County.

In Lawrence County, Ball State University will receive a $49,977 grant to conduct archaeological surveys at Spring Mill State Park. 

In most cases, these grants require at least a dollar-for-dollar match of local or private funds, though many exceed that threshold. In total, these grants will spur a total projected investment of $1.8 million in these important cultural resource projects.

Funding comes from the National Park Service, a unit of the U.S. Department of the Interior, which distributes federal funds to the states through its Historic Preservation Fund (HPF) Program. These are federal projects, so consulting parties have an opportunity to comment on the project under Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act (54 U.S.C. § 306108) and 36 C.F.R. Part 800. The proposed scope of work has been reviewed by DNR’s historic preservation staff and determined the projects will have no adverse effect on historic properties. To become a consulting party or provide public comments for any of the projects listed below, contact associate grants manager Malia Vanaman by June 6 at and specify the projects you want to consult on. Further information will be provided.

Fort Wayne: The City of Fort Wayne will receive $6,631 in grant funds to prepare a nomination to the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) for the Shawnee Historic District, which includes approximately 135 contributing properties. The neighborhood was mainly built by Wildwood Builders and the design team of Joel Ninde and Grace Crosby, two of the earliest women architects and developers in Indiana. The project will also create a walking tour brochure for the Kensington Boulevard Historic District. For information on this project, contact Don Orban at 260-427-2160.

Huntington: The City of Huntington will receive a $50,000 grant to assist with the rehabilitation of the WPA Water Race in Memorial Park. The stone race channel walls run about 490 linear feet, are approximately 16 inches thick, and range from 3 to 5 feet high, while the channel ranges from 8 to 12 feet wide. The race is in poor condition, with several places that have collapsed due to hydraulic forces, freeze-thaw cycles, undercutting, and vegetation growth. Engineering plans and specifications will guide cleaning, repointing walls that retain integrity, constructing curbs below undermined walls, reconstructing failed sections of wall with salvaged stone, and removing the concrete lining at the downstream end to replace it with native glacial stone. For more information on this project, contact Bryn Keplinger at 260-356-5146.

Indianapolis: The Indiana Medical History Museum will receive a $38,850 grant for masonry rehabilitation on the Old Pathology Building, which is part of the former Central State Hospital campus. The 1896 Old Pathology Building now houses the Indiana Medical History Museum, which maintains a unique collection of Central State and medical history, including the building itself. The worst areas of mortar loss are evident in the lower wall zone between the limestone foundation and the limestone water table and the two entry locations on the east façade. In addition, the limestone steps at the entrances need to be repaired and stabilized. For more information on this project, contact Sarah Halter at 317-635-7329.

Indianapolis: The McGowan Hall Foundation will receive a $50,000 grant for urgent masonry rehabilitation and repointing at the McGowan Hall building. The Knights of Columbus established McGowan Hall as a fraternal lodge in 1922 and it has since been a center of community events, meetings, theater, concerts, and other programs, including weddings and private parties. It is located in the Old Northside Neighborhood of Indianapolis. For more information on this project, contact Robert Newport at 317-476-5793.

Harrison-Crawford counties: Ball State University will receive $49,995 to conduct archaeological surveys at Harrison-Crawford State Forest. For more information on this project, contact Chris Thompson at 765-285-5328.

Lafayette: The Trinity United Methodist Church will receive $30,000 to rehabilitate the stained glass windows on the south elevation of the church. This work will cover 13 of the 36 stained glass windows that exhibit cracks in glass pieces, deflection of metal cames and supports, and deterioration of cement. The exterior protective glazing that was installed in the 1960s has created multiple issues and will be removed and replaced with new glazing that is more sympathetic and will provide better protection. Some windows can be repaired in place, while others must be removed and disassembled to create a new framework. The windows at Trinity include designs by Ms. Edna Browning Ruby who, at the time, was the only woman in the country to design, build, and install stained glass. For more information on this project contact Stephen Ash at765-427-7007.

Madison: The City of Madison and the Friends of the Ohio Theater will receive a $40,000 grant to create construction plans and specifications for the rehabilitation of the Ohio Theater. The scope of work includes field investigations of the theater building, preparation of architectural designs for the interior, and preparation of specifications and construction documents. The interior rehabilitation project is part of an estimated budget of about $4.4 million for the building. For more information on this project, contact Elizabeth Auxier at 812-701-5596.

Michigan City: The Tryon Farm Institute will receive a $50,000 grant to assist with the foundation, masonry, and roof rehabilitation of the Tryon Farm Barn. The Tryon farm and homestead is a good example of the early Indiana farms that were central to the state’s agricultural past. The large bank barn was built in 1892 for dairy operations and features a brick foundation and Dutch-lap wood siding with a side-gabled roof covered with corrugated metal. Areas around the foundation have deteriorated where there is frequent moisture accumulation, particularly the north and east basement walls and along the south basement wall. The project will identify and repair leaks and missing fasteners in the roof, and coat it with a sealant to prevent water infiltration. To stabilize the structure, a missing wooden column will be added on the first level, historic windows will be caulked and three modern windows will be replaced with appropriate historic replicas. Deteriorated pieces of siding and fascia will be replaced. Stabilization of the barn will allow the Tryon Farm Institute to have continued use of the resource for programming and educational events. For more information on this project, contact Dan Beck at 847-757-3779.

Muncie: The Cornerstone Center for the Arts will receive $50,000 for masonry rehabilitation on the Muncie Masonic Temple. The six-story Gothic building was completed in 1926 and was the largest Masonic lodge in the state. Brick and limestone masonry on the weather-exposed west side of the building shows brick deterioration, several vertical running cracks, and missing mortar that have contributed to water infiltration and damage to interior plaster finishes. A previous grant assisted with the masonry rehabilitation of the third-story section of the west elevation, roughly the upper third of this wall. This project will conduct masonry rehabilitation and repointing on the second floor and second mezzanine levels. For more information on this project contact Allison Bell at 765-744-4771.

Rushville: The Rush County Community Foundation will receive a $29,150 grant to rehabilitate the East Hill Cemetery Entry Arch. The historic cemetery was established in 1859 and contains over 14,000 burials. The limestone arch was designed in 1904 by Morrow and Morrow of Muncie. The arch has been affected by weather, with the limestone spalling and cracking in various places. Some repair of the mortar was attempted several years ago but was not done correctly. The project will repair and repoint the masonry and damaged limestone units at the base of the arch, patch spalled, and gently clean the limestone of pollution, organic growth, and a previously applied water repellent. For more information on this project, contact Delbert Frazier at 765-561-5533.

Saint Mary of the Woods: Sisters of Providence will receive a $13,337 grant to assist with the rehabilitation of the St. Anne Shell Chapel, which is located on the campus of the Saint Mary of the Woods College. The original chapel was built by Saint Mother Theodore Guerin and the Sisters of Providence in 1844 in gratitude for Mother Guerin’s safe return from France to Indiana in 1843. The original log structure was replaced with a stone building in 1876 and decorated with shells that were collected from the Wabash River and embedded into the interior walls to create the unique alter and décor. The full project will address various needs of the building, including the stained glass window frames, entrance door and wrought iron gate, interior and exterior lighting, the pyramidal slate roof, as well as the foundation stone deterioration. For more information on this project contact Jan Craven at 812-535-2925.

Steuben County: Purdue University will receive a $30,390 grant to conduct archaeological surveys at Pokagon State Park. For more information on this project, contact Jamie Cochran-Smith, at 260-481-6283.

Vincennes: The City of Vincennes will receive a $50,000 grant for the final phase of window rehabilitation of its police department, located in a former U.S. Post Office. Two previous grants in 2016 and 2020 assisted with the repair and repainting of the large multi-light windows on the first and second floors, including the installation of appropriate wood windows to replace a small number of failing vinyl replacement units. This project covers the repair and repainting of all basement windows, as well as scraping, sanding, and repainting the protective metal grates. For more information on this project, contact Michelle Carrico at 812-295-3707.

Wabash: Wabash Presbyterian Church will receive a $50,000 grant to replace the roof of the church, which is failing and missing shingles, and to repair or replace the gutters and downspouts. The project will also undertake rehabilitation of the steeple to repair wood trim and replace the deteriorated louvers, and repair and repaint wood trim on the eaves, soffits, and wood window frames and trim. The 1880 Gothic Revival Church is a contributing resource in the West Wabash Historic District. Wabash was named a Stellar Community in 2014 and ongoing investment in the downtown aims to leverage existing assets as part of the continued growth and sustainability of the area. For more information on this project, contact Cathy Wright at 260-403-0993.

More information: Malia Vanaman, associate grants manager,, 317-232-1648.