Downtown considered for list of historic spots

Herald Staff Writer

JASPER — The City of Jasper is considering a move to nominate its downtown area for the National Register of Historic Places.

Officials want to hear what residents think about the idea.

An information session is set for 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at City Hall, 610 Main St. Laura Renwick, community preservation specialist with the southern regional office of Indiana Landmarks, will be the guest speaker. Indiana Landmarks is a statewide nonprofit organization helps individuals, organizations and communities preserve and restore historic places.

Those at the meeting will receive information about the National Register of Historic Places and what such a designation means. The audience will also have a chance to ask questions.

“We want people to understand what we’re doing in nominating the area and what that means to property owners,” said Darla Blazey, the city’s director of community development and planning

“If we have positive response, then we will proceed the application.”

The area being considered for nomination is encompassed roughly by Newton Street on the west, Ninth Street on the north, Jackson Street on the east and Fourth Street on the south. A map of the area will be displayed at the meeting, Blazey said. Those owning property in the designated area have received invitations to the meeting, she said.

The National Register of Historic Places, maintained by the National Park Service, is the country’s official list of sites, buildings, structures, districts and objects important to our history. Twelve Dubois County buildings and places are listed on the register. Getting Jasper’s downtown on the national register is one of the many suggested projects listed in the city’s master plan for its downtown and riverfront.

Blazey said there are benefits to having the area on the national register.

“For property owners in the district, they would be eligible for federal tax credits if they wanted to improve their building,” she said. “There is also a tourism benefit. The number cultural and heritage travelers is increasing, and they spend more than leisure travelers.”

The designation does not place any restrictions on property owners within the district, she said.

If the city submits an application, the Indiana Department of Natural Resources’ Historic Preservation & Archaeology division would review the application first. If the division agrees that the locale should be on the list, the application and the division’s recommendation would be sent to the National Parks Service for approval.

An application to designate the downtown as a historic place was submitted to the state’s Historic Preservation & Archaeology division 10 years ago. The state agency requested additional information for the application, but that was never submitted, Paul Diebold, national register reviewer for the division, said this morning. The last correspondence on that application was in February 2005.

“The amount of time that has passed has been long enough that a new application would have to be submitted,” he said.

Blazey said the process for getting the designation will take a least a year to complete.

“The application itself is a federal application, and it’s lengthy,” she said.

Indiana Landmarks is willing to give the city a $5,000 Partners in Preservation grant to help pay for a professional consultant to complete the nomination application and to supervise the nomination through the review process at the state and federal level.

Those who can’t attend Tuesday’s meeting and would like information may contact Blazey 812-482-4255 or They can also contact Renwick at Indiana Landmarks at 812-284-4534 or

Historic places
Twelve Dubois County buildings and places are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Here’s a rundown of their names and dates they were added to the list.

Huntingburg Commercial Historic District — in June 21, 2006
Monastery of Immaculate Conception in Ferdinand — July 13, 1983

Dubois County Courthouse in Jasper — Jan. 11, 1996
Evangelische Lutherische Emanuels Kirche (also known as Emmanuel Evangelical Lutheran Church) on County Road 445E northwest of Dubois — Feb. 23, 1990
Gramespacher-Gutzweiler House in Jasper — Feb. 26, 1983
Huntingburg Town Hall and Fire Engine House — May 12, 1975
Lemmon’s Church and Cemetery on Portersville Road west of Portersville — June 4, 1992
John Opel House in Jasper — Oct. 4, 1984
Shiloh Meeting House and Cemetery in Ireland — July 29, 1982
St. Joseph Catholic Church in Jasper — Sept. 30, 1980
Sturm Hardware Store in Jasper — Sept. 28, 2003
Dr. Alois Wollenmann House in Ferdinand — March 20, 2013

Contact Candy Neal at

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