The Indianapolis Historic Preservation Commission (IHPC) has been authorized by a state statute to designate historic areas since 1967. Since that time, the IHPC has designated 12 historic districts, 5 conservation districts, and 11 individual sites. In total, the IHPC provides protection to over 6,600 properties in Marion County, Indiana.
In Indianapolis, the concept of historic and conservation districts (and the process for designation) is similar to that found in most cities in the United States. Since 1931, when Charleston, South Carolina enacted the first comprehensive historic preservation law, cities have acknowledged the need for legislation that protects and preserves their historic resources and neighborhoods.
Why Local Protection?
Many people are surprised to learn that even though a property or district is considered "historic" and maybe even listed in the National Register of Historic Places, there is no protection from inappropriate alterations, insensitive land-use or even demolition, unless federal money is being used. Real protection for historic resources is administered by local governments because most land-use and design review decisions are authorized by state and local laws. In Indianapolis, protection for historic resources is provided by the Indianapolis Historic Preservation Commission (IHPC).
To learn more about district designation, historic districts and conservation districts, please visit the pages for each specific topic. For a map of Indianapolis showing the location of all of the IHPC districts, please click here.