Evansville, Newburgh get grants for historic preservation

Evansville, Newburgh get grants for historic preservation
Newburgh's Preservation Hall (Source: WFIE Archives)

EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) - DNR’s Division of Historic Preservation and Archaeology has awarded 15 federal grants to Indiana communities.

Officials say the town of Newburgh will receive a $34,025 grant to rehabilitate Preservation Hall, formerly known as Old Newburgh Presbyterian Church, which was built in 1851.

The hall currently houses the Newburgh Museum and is used by Historic Newburgh, Inc., the Newburgh Community Theater, and is available for event rental.

Officials say the town has a conditions assessment and rehabilitation plan for the building. Work will include foundation, masonry, woodwork, and HVAC rehabilitation and repair.

Evansville is getting two of the grants.

The first is a $9,097 matching grant to reassess the known historic resources in the Evansville Downtown Historic District and Multiple Resource Area (MRA).

DNR officials say some properties were not considered historic at the time the historic district and MRA were created, so identifying and assessing resources from 1944-1968 is also necessary.

They say the goal is to update the 25-year-old data on historic and cultural resources in Evansville’s downtown.

The result would be to convert Downtown Evansville’s MRA into a Multiple Property Documentation Form (MPDF) in order to meet current National Register documentation standards.

Evansville will also receive a $5,213 matching grant to assist with a nomination to the National Register of Historic Places of the Hebron Meadows Historic District.

DNR officials say the development represents a mid-century neighborhood and will be listed under the new MPDF on Post-War Housing.

The subdivision was the product of Wilbur Harrell and realtor-builder Isabella Sullivan.

Officials say the neighborhood became home to many upper-middle class Jewish residents in the 1950s and 1960s, and many of them coordinated with leading architects in Evansville.

They say the nomination, in addition to being Evansville’s first mid-century district, will also explore the role Sullivan played as one of the most active women in real estate at the time, as well as the socioeconomic context of the neighborhood as it relates to the Jewish community.

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