What is a Conservation District?
A conservation district is a special category of historic district established by action of the Indianapolis Historic Preservation Commission (IHPC) and the Metropolitan Development Commission (MDC). Like a traditional historic district, a conservation district has its own plan that specifically addresses the area's unique conservation needs. The purpose of a conservation district is to conserve the distinctive character of an area – character significant to the culture, heritage, history and development of the community. The IHPC and the neighborhood work together to accomplish conservation goals by utilizing a unique blend of guidelines. With cooperation among property owners and residents as well as technical assistance from IHPC staff, limited regulation can protect and enhance identifiable characteristics that make the area significant.
What is the difference between a historic district and a conservation district?
A conservation district differs from a traditional historic district in purpose and administration. The strategies for protecting the significant resources in a historic district focus on preserving historic architecture while a conservation district's focus is on conserving historic community. A conservation district's regulatory protection differs from a traditional historic district's regulation. Its primary focus is on overall character rather than architectural components. Consequently architectural elements are generally not protected from change to the same degree as in a traditional historic district.
Conservation Districts in Indianapolis
For a brief description of Indianapolis' conservation districts, along with district maps and copies of the conservation district plans, please visit the pages for each of the conservation districts.