Hobart officials take steps to preserve historical downtown

2013-05-06T18:30:00Z 2013-07-23T15:23:07Z Hobart officials take steps to preserve historical downtownDeborah Laverty deborah.laverty@nwi.com, (219) 762-1397, ext. 2223 nwitimes.com

HOBART | City officials are taking steps to further preserve and play up the historical downtown.

They plan to apply for a nomination that would place most of the downtown commercial district on the National Register of Historic Places, Tiffany Tolbert said.

Tolbert is director of the Indiana Landmarks Northwest field office.

Property owners of businesses in the downtown district and the public are invited to attend an informational meeting on the proposed designation at 6 p.m. May 14 at the Community Center, 111 E. Old Ridge Road.

Participants can learn more about the proposed boundaries of the Indiana Landmark Preservation District and how the designation will be beneficial, Tolbert said.

Only two buildings in Hobart's downtown currently are listed on the national registry: the Unitarian Church and the Carnegie Library.

Part of the nomination process will include defining the boundaries of the historical landmark district.

Some 50 commercial buildings on Main, Center and Third streets most likely will make up the landmark district. The designation brings a number of benefits, including economic incentives such as the availability of grants through the state for preservation projects, Tolbert said.

"The designation also just gives notoriety to the downtown and that helps with tourism," Tolbert said.

Once the paperwork is completed, the request is submitted to the state board and then to a national board for a process that takes from six months to a year.

"We're hoping by early next year to have an indication," Tolbert said.

City officials are being helped with the cost of the $4,200 nomination fees.

The Redevelopment Commission will provide about $2,100 toward funding. Officials will apply for the balance through a funding program, Tolbert said.

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