The Indiana Historic Preservation Commission is a government agency that functions in cooperation with the City of Indianapolis to preserve both the character and fabric of historically significant areas and structures in Marion County. The commission identifies and protects historic properties through the creation of historic area preservation plans and issues certificates of appropriateness for land use changes, building alterations, new construction, and demolition of buildings in those areas. 

Lockerbie Square Historic Marker, ca. 2000
Credit: Banayote Photo Inc., Indiana Historical Society

The commission was formed in 1967 by state legislation, with its seven commissioners appointed by the mayor. It gained its first task of architectural review in 1968 when a historic district zoning ordinance was adopted for Lockerbie square.

New legislation in 1975 strengthened the legal and financial base of the commission. Funding from the city’s 1975 Community Development Block Grant and from the Comprehensive Employment Training Act provided for the hiring of staff and the establishment of an office in the City-County Building. Since 1975, the commission has adopted historic area preservation plans for additional historic and conservation districts. 

Union Station in the Wholesale District before renovation, 1983
Credit: Indiana Historical Society

Historic Districts: Lockerbie Square (plans revised 1976, 1987); Old Northside (revised 1979); Fletcher Place (revised 1980); chatham arch (revised 1982); Fountain Square (revised 1984); Lockefield Gardens (revised 1984); Herron-Morton Place (revised 1986); Wholesale District (revised 1990); St. Joseph (revised 1991); Woodruff Place (revised 2001); Chatham Arch and Massachusetts Avenue (revised 2006); Irvington (revised 2006); Monument Circle (revised 2013); WORLD WAR MEMORIAL PLAZA (revised 2019).

Conservation Districts: Fayette Street (revised 1995); Ransom Place (revised 1998); New Augusta (revised 1999); Cumberland (revised 2005); Cottage Home (revised 2008).

Heritage Learning Center in Ransom Place, 1999
Credit: Indiana Landmarks via Indiana State Library

In 1982 the commission’s state legislation was again amended. The number of commissioners was increased from seven to nine, and one commissioner was required to be a resident of a historic district. The commission has since developed policies and procedures to ensure a timely and fair review. Published guidelines in adopted preservation plans encourage compliance with nationally and locally accepted standards.

The commission and its staff, now part of the Department Of Metropolitan Development, work in cooperation with neighborhood associations, preservation groups, and the general public in pursuing the community’s preservation goals.

Revised July 2021

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