Group wants city neighborhood added to national register


Efforts to secure a National Register of Historic Places designation for a second Seymour neighborhood has been launched.

A public information session to gauge public interest about the nomination of Seymour’s Boulevards/Westover Addition neighborhood to the register will be at 6 p.m. Oct. 19 at the Jackson County Public Library, 303 W. Second St.

Indiana Landmarks staff will host that meeting, which has a goal of providing information about the national register, including the nomination process, advantages of such a listing and the opportunity for questions to be answered, said Laura Renwick, community preservation specialist with Indiana Landmarks Southern Regional Office.

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She said Friday that the possibility of seeking the historic district designation for the area, roughly bounded by Fifth Street on the north, Elm Street on the east, Second Street on the south and Bryant Boulevard on the west, stems from the interests of some of the people living in the area and is separate from an ongoing effort to secure the nomination of the Walnut Street neighborhood to the register.

Indiana Landmarks and Seymour Main Street began working together to nominate the Walnut Street neighborhood to the register earlier this year. If approved, that district would include the area bounded by Eighth Street on the north, Pine Street on the west, Fourth Street on the south and the alley between Chestnut Street and Indianapolis Avenue on the east.

That nomination, however, is on hold so funding for the process can be obtained, Renwick said.

The Boulevards/Westover Addition neighborhood on the near west side is being considered primarily because it shows the city’s growth and evolution during the early 20th century, she said.

“There’s a good representation of different architectural styles,” she said. “It’s kind of an interesting snapshot of how the city grew.”

The national register is administered by the National Park Service and primarily is an honorary designation. It is made up of sites, buildings, structures, districts and even objects that have historical significance to a community.

It does not place any restrictions on property owners within a district, but only those who follow historic preservation guidelines will be eligible for tax credits.

To be considered for the registry, buildings must be at least 50 years or older, and for a district, there must be some sense of cohesiveness, Renwick said.

The designation will help make financial incentives available to property owners to help offset rehabilitation costs of homes within the district, she said.

Tax credits of 20 percent are available to homeowners who spend at least $10,000 in improvements, she said.

Several sites in Seymour are on the registry, including the Farmers Club building, which houses the Greater Seymour Chamber of Commerce; First Presbyterian Church; Seymour Commercial Historic District, which encompasses the downtown; Southern Indiana Railroad Freighthouse, which houses the Jackson County Visitor Center; George Vehslage house on North Chestnut Street; and Harlan T. and Helen Montgomery house on North Poplar Street.

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What: Public information session to gauge public interest about the nomination of Seymour’s Boulevards/Westover Addition neighborhood to the National Register of Historic Places

When: 6 p.m. Oct. 19

Where: Jackson County Public Library, 303 W. Second St., Seymour

Who: Property owners and residents within the potential district and others interested in the project are encouraged to attend the meeting to learn more about the national register and to have any questions answered.

Information: Those unable to attend or interested in additional information may contact the Indiana Landmarks Southern Regional Office at 812-284-4534 or [email protected] or visit


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