Nearly 300 buildings in neighborhoods north of downtown Greenwood soon will be part of the National Register of Historic Places.
One state board already has approved the nomination, a second state board will consider it later this month. Final federal approval is expected about July.
Last year, Greenwood received two grants to fund a study of the neighborhoods north of downtown to get these properties on a national list that would allow owners to receive tax credits when making repairs. Consultants spent time studying the neighborhoods and submitted a nomination for the historic designation last fall.
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Here’s what the designation means for residents and property owners: Properties in the historic district will be eligible for tax break for repairs. However, those tax breaks will come with strings attached as owners receiving the tax breaks will have limitations on the types of changes they can make to the property, Greenwood Senior Planner Ed Ferguson said.
If property owners choose not to use the tax credits, they still will be free to modify their property however they choose to do so, he said. The historic district would include homes north of Main Street, such as on Euclid Avenue, Broadway, Pearl, Wiley and Brewer streets.
Other Johnson County places on the National Register of Historic Places includes Hopewell Presbyterian Church, the Franklin Commercial Historic District, the Johnson County Courthouse Square and Greenlawn Cemetery. Shops and restaurants along Main Street and Madison Avenue in downtown Greenwood received the same designation three decades ago.
Of the 356 properties studied in the Greenwood project, which were mostly homes and churches, 289 were determined to be contributing to the historic status of the area, said Kurt Garner from K.W. Garner Consulting & Design. The project was funded with $6,500 from two state grants.
The consultants learned about the types of home built in the area, and who lived in them. The most common types of homes in this area were the American Foursquare, gable front and gabled ell, pyramid roof cottages, and the I-House, named for being common in the Midwest states of Indiana, Illinois and Iowa, he said. The types of homes developed, specifically the pyramid roof cottages, showed that it was primarily an area for working class families, Garner said.
The homes that qualified as historic were built between 1870 and 1953, he said.
The main factors for determining if a building is contributing to the historic status of an area is when it was built, and if it has been modified to the point where its original features are no longer prominent, Garner said.
The State Historical Preservation Office has already given its approval to the nomination. A final state board will consider the application later this month. Should it approve the application, which Garner said is expected, the National Park Service will need to approve it as well, which should done by July.