Historic Preservation & Archaeology gets national award

The National Park Service has presented its first ever “National Cultural Resources Stewardship and Partnership Award” to the DNR Division of Historic Preservation & Archaeology.

The award recognizes the Division’s 35-year effort to systematically survey and document historic buildings and structures in all 92 Indiana counties. Cultural resource surveys are required by the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, and Indiana is the first state to complete such a survey of its historic resources.

National Park Service assistant director Jon Smith presented the award at the state preservation conference in New Albany earlier this month.

Two organizations that partnered with the Division on the survey shared in the award – Indiana Landmarks and ARCH, Inc., of Fort Wayne.

The Indiana Historic Sites and Structures Inventory began in the mid-1970s. Using federal funds administered by the Division, Indiana Landmarks provided matching funds and sent surveyors into about three counties each year. ARCH also provided matching funds and undertook the survey of several counties in the northeastern part of the state. The Indiana Department of Transportation provided additional funds.

Historic resources documented in the surveys include houses, commercial buildings, schools, churches, libraries, farmsteads, government buildings, bridges, and cemeteries. Each documented resource is at least 50 years old.

The Division uses information gathered from surveys to help determine which properties may be eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places and the Indiana Register. The survey also provides information on historic buildings that may be affected by state and federal projects.