The HPC is involved with three possible types of districts in Fort Wayne: local historic districts, local conservation districts, and districts listed on the National Register of Historic Places. These three types of district designation are separate and independent. One property may have more than one type of designation. Local districts and National Register listings may also contain a single building or historic resource.
As a Certified Local Government, Fort Wayne's Historic Preservation Commission will review the nomination of properties within the city's corporate limits to the National Register of Historic Places. Property owners, neighborhood associations, non-profit organizations, and local governments can nominate eligible buildings, structures, districts, sites, and objects which meet the National Register Criteria for Evaluation. Applications for the review of National Register nominations should be submitted directly to the HPC located in the Community Development Division. Technical assistance for completing National Register forms is available through the Community Development Division. There is no fee for filing a National Register application for HPC review.
The HPC, as a Certified Local Government, has been given the authority to accept, review, comment, make recommendations, and revise nominations as required. Acceptable nominations must include a thorough description and statement of significance of the nominated resource developed in compliance with federal guidelines for completing National Register forms. Nominations must also be accompanied by supporting documentation including site maps, USGS Quadrangle maps, and appropriately prepared photographs as required by the National Park Service. Nominations determined to be technically incomplete shall be returned to the nominating party. The returned nomination shall be accompanied by a written notice listing the nomination's discrepancies. Nominations must be determined technically complete prior to review by the HPC.
The HPC staff shall log complete nominations upon receipt. Staff shall have 60 days after receipt of an application to substantively review and revise the nomination of an individual property and 120 days for nominated districts. If staff fails to revise, complete, and schedule for Commission review, a submitted or forwarded National Register Application within the above deadlines, the applicant, property owner, or any other interested party may appeal to the Indiana Department of Natural Resources - Division of Historic Preservation and Archeology for review of the application.
National Register applications will be scheduled for public comment and review by the Historic Preservation Commission. Community Development staff shall notify owners, city and county officials, and the public of pending applications. The Commission, after reasonable opportunity for public comment, shall prepare a report as to whether or not such property, in its opinion, meets the criteria of the National Register. The Mayor, as chief local elected official, shall transmit the Commission's report and his recommendation to the State Historic Preservation Officer.
Local Historic Districts
Local Historic District designation is a tool, provided by the Fort Wayne Historic Preservation and Protection Ordinance, for residents to monitor changes which occur in historic areas. Local Historic District designation may be applied to a single property or a group of properties. Upon designation, a design review process, prescribed by the ordinance, regulates proposed exterior changes by requiring property owners to apply for and obtain a Certificate of Appropriateness before a building permit can be issued or exterior work begun.
A recommendation for establishing an historic district may be initiated by either the Historic Preservation Commission or the specific owner(s), for properties that meet at least one of the criteria listed in section 151.030 (D) of the ordinance. A completed nomination form should be submitted directly to the City's Historic Preservation Planners, located in the offices of the Fort Wayne City Community Development Division. Technical assistance for completing Local Historic District nomination forms is available. There is no fee for filing an application for Commission review.
Local Historic District applications will be scheduled for public comment and review by the Historic Preservation Commission. Planners shall notify owners and the public of pending applications. The Commission, after reasonable opportunity for public comment, shall prepare a report as to whether or not such property, in its opinion, meets the criteria for local designation and draw a map establishing the boundaries of the proposed district. This information will be submitted to Common Council for final approval. For additional information call 311.
The Commission may recommend conservation district designation for a neighborhood or area which has a distinct historic character but does not qualify for local historic district status due to loss of integrity or incompatible new development. To conserve remaining character and ensure compatibility of new construction in a conservation district, a Certificate of Appropriateness will be required for the following activities: the demolition, construction, or moving of a building, accessory building, or structure, or any addition to an existing building, accessory building, or structure subject to view from a public way.
A recommendation for establishing a conservation district may be initiated from either the Commission or owners of property in fee simple wishing to establish a conservation district. The Commission may establish in its rules criteria to be met before it considers a petition.
Designation as a Conservation District does not preclude future designation as a local historic district provided sufficient integrity is restored to meet the criteria for local historic designation.
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Once a property has received Local Historic District designation, elements of the property that are subject to public view become protected from inappropriate changes by a design review process. Property owners are required to apply for, and obtain, a Certificate of Appropriateness before a building permit can be issued, or exterior work begun, on any exterior changes. This review process adds protection and stability to both individual properties and historic districts. Property owners in historic districts are assured that their investment in their property will be not be harmed by inappropriate alterations or construction on adjacent properties. The process and its benefits are similar to deed restrictions that are placed on lots in modern housing developments. In both cases, the goal is to guide development in order to protect individual investment and the common good.
People who are unfamiliar with local historic districts often express concern that historic designation would restrict their right to alter properties they own. In reality, Fort Wayne's Historic Preservation Guidelines allow a great amount of flexibility in planning common home improvement projects. Over 90 percent of the applications for Certificates of Appropriateness are approved by the Fort Wayne Historic Preservation Commission. The majority of those applications obtain quick approvals by HPC staff. While a property owner may be required to get approval of proposed changes by reviewing plans with the HPC and its staff, many owners find the process helpful because free advice is available from objective professionals.
Some property owners think that any restriction on a property can harm property values. An independent 1997 study of property values and historic districts in Indiana, which was commissioned by Historic Landmarks Foundation of Indiana, proved otherwise. Donovan Rypkema, a nationally known real estate development consultant, compared housing prices in historic districts and similar areas without historic designation. Using Multiple Listing Services (MLS) data, augmented by census data and other information, the study found that property values rose with local historic district designation, equaling if not outpacing similar, undesignated areas. Values in local historic districts often exceeded the rate of value increase for the city as a whole, thereby offering a secure location for investment.
In addition to the study's findings relating to property values, several other interesting observations about historic districts were drawn from the data:
- Historic districts often mirror the entire community in terms of their economic, educational, social, and racial diversity.
- The ratio of homeowners to renters tends to be higher than in similar undesignated areas.
- People who move into historic districts do not "just pass through," but tend to be residents for extended periods, adding stability to the neighborhood and a lively sense of community.
- Home buyers who choose historic districts often have broader housing choices, and get more house, dollar for dollar, for their money.
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Local Historic Districts
The Historic Preservation Commission, or any owner(s) in fee simple, may submit a property for Local Historic District designation. It may take up to three (3) months for the nomination process to be completed once an application is submitted. The steps necessary to initiate the nomination are:
The Historic Preservation Commission, or any owner(s) in fee simple, may submit a property for Conservation District designation. It may take up to three (3) months for the nomination process to be completed once an application is submitted. The steps necessary to initiate the nomination are:
National Register of Historic Places
Any individual or organization can nominate properties for inclusion in the National Register. It may take up to one (1) year for the nomination process to be completed. Factors that affect the length of the process include the quality and completeness of the written nomination, the timing of State Review Board deadlines, and the number of structures included in the nomination. The steps necessary to initiate the nomination are:
1. Determine if the property or district meets the National Register Criteria.
2. Contact the Fort Wayne Community Development Division for information on nomination forms and instructions. Throughout this process, professional assistance is available by HPC staff.
National Register nomination forms require a detailed architectural description of the property as it currently exists and was in the past; a boundary description; high quality photographs of the property which thoroughly illustrate and document the present appearance; and a documented statement of the property's historical and/or architectural significance.
3. Return the completed nomination form to Community Development.
4. The application, if complete and accurate, will be sent to the Historic Preservation Commission for review and approval.
Once the nomination has been reviewed by the HPC, as described in the adopted procedures, the nomination will be forwarded to the Indiana Division of Historic Preservation and Archaeology for presentation to the State Review Board.
The State Review Board meets four (4) times a year to rule on nominations to the National Register. Its meetings are open to the public.
Private property owners are given the opportunity to concur or object to National Register nominations. If the owner formally objects, the property will not be listed until the objection is withdrawn. A majority of property owners in a nominated historic district must object in order to prevent its listing.
5. Nominations approved by the State Review Board are signed by the State Historic Preservation Officer and forwarded to the National Register of Historic Places in Washington, D.C.
6. Final approval (or disapproval) for the National Register of Historic Places application is granted by the National Park Service.
Proposed National Register properties which meet the eligibility criteria and are placed into the nomination process can be either INDIVIDUAL buildings, structures, districts, sites or objects, or they can be included in a DISTRICT.
A DISTRICT is a geographically defined area wherein the properties are unified by past events, by physical development, or by plan. A district will often include properties that are not considered eligible for National Register listing and are noted in the nomination as "non-contributing" to the historic district. However, buildings which are not, by themselves, outstanding but add to the district's sense of time, place, and historical development are normally considered as contributing to the character of the district and are included. FORT WAYNE'S WEST END HISTORIC DISTRICT IS A DISTRICT.
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For a map of National Register and Local Historic Places, Buildings, and Districts, click MAP
National Register of Historic Places
[National Register listings include Districts, Sites and Buildings.]
|South Wayne Historic District|
|West Central Historic District|
|Williams Woodland Park Historic District|
|Indian Village Historic District|
|Southwood Park Historic District|
|Illsley Place-West Rudisill Historic District|
|Johnny Appleseed Memorial Park|
|Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception|
|William S. Edsall House|
|Wells Street Bridge|
Local Historic Districts
[Local Historic Districts include Districts, Sites and Buildings.]
|Shawnee Place Historic District|
|Engine House #10|
|International Harvestor Tower|
Macbeth House and Office
For a complete list of all properties in Fort Wayne and Allen County that have obtained any type of historical designation, please click ALL .
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200 East Berry Street,
Fort Wayne IN 46802