IUPUI University Library has partnered with the Indiana Landmarks to make out-of-print reports available to the public via the web.
About the Indiana Historic Sites and Structures Inventory*
Every year since 1978 Indiana Landmarks has surveyed from two to four counties, looking for architecturally and historically significant structures and districts. Indiana Landmarks undertakes this federally mandated program through matching grants from Indiana's Division of Historic Preservation and Archaeology (DHPA). To date, Indiana Landmarks has surveyed 85 of Indiana's 92 counties. Click here to find out if your county has been surveyed or to purchase a copy of a survey report.
The survey process
Field surveyors drive every road in the county, identifying, documenting, and photographing historic sites and structures. The fieldwork takes one year to complete, and the resulting illustrated publication, called an Interim Report, takes an additional year.
The term 'Interim Report' recognizes that the surveys become outdated almost overnight. There can never be a 'final' inventory because of the changing nature of our built environment. Properties can be demolished or altered, buildings are sometimes restored, and passing years add significance to buildings that were previously ineligible because they were less than 50 years old. Counties surveyed early in the program or those that have experienced rapid growth have been re-surveyed, including Hamilton and Wayne.
Indiana Landmarks works in partnership with local organizations, including preservation groups, community foundations, historical societies, city planning departments and other local governmental agencies to raise funds for matching grants provided by DHPA.
Why is the survey important?
The survey becomes a first line of defense for historic properties. The state's DHPA uses the survey results in conducting Section 106 reviews, a federal process required whenever federally funded or licensed projects could have an impact on historic places. A similar process applies in cases where state funds are involved in a project. Such projects can be re-evaluated if DHPA finds in its Section 106 review that the project would have an adverse impact on a historic site.
Counties, towns and local preservation groups also find the survey useful for planning purposes and in identifying sites and districts that should be nominated to the National Register of Historic Places.
What qualifies as significant?
To be included in the survey, a property must be at least 50 years old. The survey does not include all properties over 50 years old, but only those properties that retain their historic integrity. Severe alterations to the fabric of a building, including the addition of siding, removal of decorative features, and replacement/resizing of windows affect the integrity of a structure and often disqualify it from inclusion in the survey.
The survey ranks a structure as "notable" or "outstanding" if it is an excellent, relatively unaltered example of a particular architectural style, and/or has a strong association with local history, settlement patterns, or important figures. Buildings that are rated notable or outstanding may be eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places.
*Information courtesy of Indiana Landmarks - State survey of historic sites