landmarks to help
Madison preserve district
(March 2007) Historic Landmarks Foundation
of Indiana President Marsh Davis said his organization will provide
funding for Madison, Ind., to hire a professional to write appropriate
design guidelines for Madisons National Historic Landmark District.
His remarks came during a Feb. 17 speech at the Madison-Jefferson County
Public Library in which he stressed the need for continued preservation
efforts so that Madison does not lose its prestigious designation.
The guidelines would help the citys Historic District Board of
Review and homeowners know how to make changes but keep historical accuracy
for preservation purposes.
Madison Mayor Al Huntington said he was pleased with the offer. Its
great, but now we need to all work together and make sure we get the
right input from our community.
Huntington acknowledged that city officials had previously discussed
the need for guidelines, but there was simply a lack of money to create
Davis said his organization will provide $10,000 to $20,000 for a professional
to write a specific set of guidelines that address Madisons unique
needs. Cornerstone Society President Rich Murray, whose organization
is a local affiliate of HLFI and the sponsor for Davis visit,
said the task could be monumental because Madisons historic district
is so large and diverse. He said HLFI could end up providing more money,
It was also suggested that Madison hire a part-time professional trained
and on-staff with the city to assist homeowners and board members in
how to follow the guidelines.
Davis said he was shocked to find that Madison had no design
guidelines in place considering how well-preserved many of the historic
buildings are. Murray said; We have been fortunate that people
care enough to do the right thing up to this point, but the fabric of
our district is eroding, and we need to stop this.
Murray said he thought some of the problems Davis spoke about were simply
because some people werent aware of how to make the appropriate
changes. He said some of the examples included homeowners using plastic
windows instead of wooden, or vinyl siding instead of the more historically
accurate wooden siding.
The design guidelines would help the Historic District Board of
Review know how to assist property owners on historical accuracy, and
they would suggest the proper way to change things and encourage the
use of historically accurate materials and colors.
Huntington said he wanted to make sure the Historic District Board of
Review members were given credit for the work they already do. These
are all volunteers who give up their time in an effort to help,
The Historic Review Board consists of seven members appointed by the
Murray said enforcement of the guidelines would be up to the board and
the city through the Historic District ordinance. He also said any design
guidelines would have to be adopted by the Historic Board of Review
and City Council.
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