Historic and Cultural
- Ann Linley, President
- Bill Zimmerman, Vice President
- JA Whitmer, Treasurer
- Bobby Glassburn
- Luke Lefever
- Gerry Roberts
The Historic and Cultural Preservation Commission is responsible for overseeing development in the City’s Local Historic Districts and assist property owners in applying for inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places. Properties located in the historic district must conform to Rehabilitation Guidelines contained in the Historic and Cultural Preservation ordinance. All exterior changes to properties in historic districts must be approved by the Historic and Cultural Preservation Commission prior to the start of construction. The HCPC meets the 3rd Thursday of each month at 7p.m. in the Council Chambers of the Municipal Building.
Meeting number (access code): 180 332 5663 Meeting password: Historic1
|Thursday, January 21, 2021||Thursday, January 21, 2021||Thursday, January 21, 2021|
|Thursday, February 18, 2021||Thursday, February 18, 2021||Thursday, February 18, 2021|
|Thursday, March 18, 2021||Thursday, March 18, 2021||Thursday, March 18, 2021|
|Thursday, April 15, 2021||Thursday, April 15, 2021||Thursday, April 15, 2021|
|Thursday, May 20, 2021||Thursday, May 20, 2021||Thursday, May 20, 2021|
|Thursday, June 17, 2021||Thursday, June 17, 2021||Thursday, June 17, 2021|
|Thursday, July 15, 2021||Thursday, July 15, 2021||Thursday, July 15, 2021|
|Thursday, August 19, 2021||Thursday, August 19, 2021||Thursday, August 19, 2021|
|Thursday, September 16, 2021||Thursday, September 16, 2021||Thursday, September 16, 2021|
|Thursday, October 21, 2021||Thursday, October 21, 2021||Thursday, October 21, 2021, 2021|
|Thursday, November 18, 2021||Thursday, November 18, 2021||Thursday, November 18, 2021, 2021|
|Thursday, December 16, 2021||Thursday, December 16, 2021||Thursday, December 16, 2021|
Note: All meetings are held in the Council Chamber's, 2nd floor, City Municipal Building at 7:00 p.m., the 3rd Thursday of each month unless indicated. Reviewed and adopted by the City of Elkhart Historic and Cultural Preservation Commission at its regular meeting on November 19, 2020.
The Morehous Residential Historic District is a pre-World War II urban neighborhood located in the Morehous Addition on the south side of Elkhart, Indiana, the largest city in Elkhart County. This addition adhered to the established grid system to the west. Development to the east and north of the district did not strictly follow the street grid; plats were aligned diagonally to the perpendicular grid, following the angle of the railroad, streetcar, and interurban electric light rail lines. Blocks were subdivided into 16 lots with uniform setbacks and north-south alleys. The period of significance has been set at c.1910 to c.1950, the period during which 99% of the 148 structures identified within the district boundaries were built. Of these, 110 resources (74 percent) are contributing and 38 resources (26 percent) are non-contributing. All residences within the district were constructed as single-family detached residences, some of which have been subdivided into apartments and duplexes. The district contains one church and one former elementary school building. Garages and outbuildings have not been included in the district nomination as many were built or significantly altered after the period of significance. The Craftsman bungalow, American Foursquare, and Dutch Colonial Revival styles dominate the housing stock. Additionally, there are definable examples of the Prairie Style, American Foursquare, and various Period Revival styles. This district contains one of Elkhart's most notable concentrations of pre-World War II bungalows.
Elkhart Downtown Commercial District
Surrounded by the rivers and railroads that shaped it, downtown Elkhart lies on a grid skewed toward the northwest. The Elkhart Downtown Commercial District contains a fine collection of late nineteenth and early twentieth-century commercial buildings strung along approximately eight blocks of Main Street, which roughly parallels the general direction of the meandering Elkhart River to the east as it flows into the St. Joseph. The south side of the 100 block of East Franklin Street is also part of the district. Near its north end, the district also includes two blocks of Lexington Street flanking Main, and the east side of Second Street between Lexington and Jackson.
The Elkhart Downtown Commercial District offers a hefty sampling of late nineteenth and early twentieth-century architectural styles, while representing the full length of downtown Elkhart's heyday. The proliferation of ornate and fashionable commercial blocks represent several decades of the prosperity of a city well supported by not only the railroads but a healthy variety of manufacturing concerns.
Comprised mainly of the four blocks of State Street and of Division Street extending east of Main, Elkhart's State-Division Historic District is wedged in at the south end of the downtown commercial district north of the railroad and west and south of the Elkhart River. The neighborhood is almost entirely residential with a few commercial and industrial buildings mostly at the west end and along East Street. The district was conveniently adjacent not only to the businesses of downtown, but also to what had been the railroad district offices and repair shops to the west, as well as the factories that once thrived just across the Elkhart River, all of which shaped the character of the neighborhood.
Housing styles range from Italianate and Italianate-influenced vernacular dwellings, through a variety of Queen Anne-derived houses, to several Craftsman-influenced Foursquares and bungalows. The majority are of frame construction, but there are numerous brick dwellings, several from the nineteenth century.
With a few exceptions, the architectural styles seen in the State-Division Historic District represent relatively modest interpretations of prevalent trends over some sixty years. But indeed, it is just that rich chronological variety blended so thoroughly and consistently throughout the neighborhood that conveys the story of the district throughout its period of significance, a period of continuing growth and development in the neighborhood and in the city as a whole. Certainly nowhere else in Elkhart is there such a high concentration of dwellings built in the 1870s. Similar ones to those from later periods may be found, to be sure, especially west of downtown, but they are located in neighborhoods that formed later. The State-Division Historic District is virtually a microcosm of the development of the city and the forces that spurred its growth in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries; people who worked in commerce, industry, and transportation all lived in this neighborhood.
Beardsley Avenue District
The Beardsley Avenue Historic District lies north of downtown Elkhart and includes a historic vehicular bridge, an island park, and a wonderfully intact early twentieth century residential neighborhood stretched along the north side of the St. Joseph River. To the west of the district, the houses are generally more modest and soon give way to industrial development, as is true to the north, along with Christiana Creek flowing eastward only two blocks north of the district. Immediately east of the district—and forming a natural boundary—is Pulaski Park, a small park established on the St. Joseph River in more recent years. At the time most of the present houses were new, two railroads and a number of industrial buildings marked the east end of the district.
Most of the extant houses in the district were built in the period between 1900 and 1920. The Beardsley mills, remodeled and enlarged over the years, had stood at the west end of the district along the river until about the turn of the century. The paper mill was destroyed by fire; the flour mill went out of business and was finally dismantled in 1904. The mill race, largely filled in over a century's time, is still visible just east of Edwardsburg Avenue. Not far to the east of the race is the Havilah Beardsley Memorial, located on a small triangular plot formed where Riverside Drive terminates at Beardsley Avenue, just west of Main Street. The little garden sets off a fountain dominated by a large bronze statue of Elkhart's founder. The site was once called Beardsley Park, but that name now denotes the riverbank south of East Beardsley Avenue, running for about two-and-a-half blocks eastward from the Main Street bridge. A large boulder with a bronze plaque stands at the top of the bank just east of the bridge, where a drive allows vehicular access to the river's edge. Some riprap is visible along the steep banks.
More info coming soon.