EVANSVILLE, IN (WFIE) - The Historic Preservation Services Office, part of the City of Evansville Department of Metropolitan Development, is preparing a grant proposal for the Indiana Division of Historic Preservation and Archaeology (DHPA) to partly finance the nomination of the Hebron Meadows Development to the National Register of Historic Places.
The city is gathering signatures to apply for a grant to fund researching the history of each home’s origin.
Ninety homes nestled in Evansville’s south side have a history that is often over looked. The only female architect working in Evansville in the early 1900′s, Isabella Sullivan, built one of the homes.
“In those days it was pretty rare for a woman to be in the real estate game in those days so she was really a pioneer,” says Department of Metropolitan Development Executive Director Kelley Coures.
All of the homes in Hebron Meadows are mid-century modern style. They have one story, open floor plans, and large windows, designed with the 1950′s housewife in mind.
“I think the neighborhood has a lot of architectual qualities that are very unusual for Evansville. A lot of the owners are original owners,” says homeowner Kathryn Kiely.
Kiely is not the original owner of her historic home, but the second. After living there for eight years, she loves it too much to leave.
She is all for joining the National Register of Historic Places.
“I think it would really help to increase our property values as well as the interest in the area. Just a beautiful area, beautiful homes, we’re very excited about it,” says Kiely.
“It encourages people to continue to maintain their property. It’s sort of a nice selling tool,” says Coures.
History is preserved like homes frozen in time. Sullivan’s house was named the 1957 Better Homes and Gardens ideal home of the year.
“It’s essentially unchanged since 1957. The neighborhood really has not changed in all those years, which makes it an ideal contribution to the National Register of Historic Places,” says Coures.
The accolade is different from a Historic Preservation district in that homes are not bound by certain guidelines to maintain their historic appearance. The city plans to send in signatures for the grant in October.