Historic Districts
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Historic Districts

What is a Historic District? The Indianapolis Historic Preservation Commission (IHPC) has defined historic districts in the following way: A historic district may be a single property or a collection of structures and sites that possesses a high degree of integrity in all of the following areas:


  1. Location:  Structures and sites that still exist where they were first created.
  2. Design:  Aesthetic quality made up of style, scale, integrity, proportion, and details.
  3. Setting:  Definable natural or created boundaries or a major focal point.
  4. Materials:  Physical elements that are original to the construction of a structure.
  5. Workmanship:  Evidence of the effort to create structural and aesthetic quality.
  6. Feeling:  Areas that create or retain a sense of time and place.
  7. Association:  Areas that are related to individuals, groups, or events of historic interest.

An IHPC designated historic district is usually eligible for or listed in the National Register of Historic Places and qualifies as such because of architectural integrity.  Architectural integrity is very important in a historic district and warrants comprehensive protection.  Small architectural details are as important in defining historic district character as are zoning, new infill construction and demolition.


Within locally protected historic districts, the IHPC reviews a broad range of exterior work from painting to new construction.  Each historic district has a unique historic area preservation plan that features guidelines for renovation, new construction, and site work.  For a brief description of every historic district, along with district maps and copies of the preservation plans, please visit the pages for each of the historic districts.