CITY OF MISHAWAKA 

HISTORIC PRESERVATION COMMISSION – MARCH 3, 2015

 

A regular meeting of the Mishawaka Historic Preservation Commission was held Tuesday, March 3, 2015 in Room 205, City Hall, 600 East Third Street, Mishawaka IN.

Meeting was called to order at 4:00pm.

Commission members in attendance: Mike Bultinck, Terry DeMaegd, David Eisen, Judy Gray, Jennifer Johns, Doug Merritt, Nancy Seidler, Faye Sullivan, Kate Voelker. Advisory members present: Shirley McAlister, Bryan Tanner, and Cliff Zenor. Staff: Christa Hill. Presenter: Todd Zeiger. Visitor: Dave Straughn.

The two new members introduced themselves for the benefit of those not at the February meeting.

Special Presentation: Nine Nuggets for HPC Commissioners by Todd Zeiger, Indiana Landmarks

Cliff Zenor introduced Todd Zeiger from Indiana Landmarks. Mr. Zeiger gave a 45 minute presentation, including a PowerPoint, explaining what Indiana Landmarks does, and understanding the commission’s role as a whole and the individual commissioner’s role.

Indiana Landmarks not a state agency, it is a not-for-profit organization. Indiana Landmarks is currently sponsoring a Vintage Green series, including workshops on a historic home at 222 Chapin, South Bend to teach people techniques for things like windows, etc. Mr. Zeiger identified the process to of designating historic districts with step by step flow charts. He explained the difference between restoration and rehabilitation. Restoration is taking it back to a specific point in time. This may require the removal of electricity, bathrooms, or other modern conveniences. Rehabilitation is taking the best of the past. The public’s perspective is HPCs are the “paint police”. Don’t worry about things that are changeable, like paint colors. It is more important to focus on something like windows, where a change could be irreversible. As a commissioner role, you should be prepared, like the Boy Scouts, and protect and serve, like the police. If you have a conflict of interest, you should disclose it. As not to violate the open door meeting act, all discussions regarding a landmark status or COA should be on the public record. The Commission only has jurisdiction regarding the outside of the building. Don’t judge on pretty. It either fits the guidelines or doesn’t. Since there is a staff member, questions for a petitioner should be funneled through the staff to avoid ex parte communication. The National Park Service’s website has a lot of good information, including a listing of all National Landmark sites, and in some cases, paperwork relating to them. Indiana Landmarks has an email newsletter; they will add all members to their email list.

This presentation should count towards maintaining the Commission’s CLG.

Minutes:

With a motion by Mike Bultinck, seconded by Kate Voelker, the February 3, 2015 minutes were approved as circulated.

Committee Reports:

There were no official committee reports because committees are still being formed.

Kate Voelker, Terry DeMaegd, Mile Bultinck and Doug Merritt joined the Historic Districts/Plaques Committee. Mike Bultinck volunteered as chair.

Dave Eisen and Judy Gray joined the Community Education and Public Relations Committee. Kate Voelker volunteered as chair.

After a brief explanation of the Administrative/Incentives Committee by Christa, Cliff Zenor and Nancy Siedler joined. Since Bryan Tanner championed the idea at the last meeting, he was assumed chair.

After the last meeting, Kate asked Christa for contact information to set up the presentation/affixing of the plaques. Kate realized some of these houses have been landmarked for 15 years, and still don’t have plaques. We should get them up as soon as possible. Since May is Historic Preservation Month and the weather plays a role in installing the plaques, Kate picked two Saturdays in May, the 16th and the 23rd. Jennifer Johns, Doug Merritt, Bryan Tanner, and Mike Bultinck offered to help, as schedules permitted.

An updated list of committees will be emailed with all members emails.

OLD BUSINESS

Logo Quotes

The Planning office determined for a quote of $300, the RFP process would be too much to go through. If we got an updated quote, we could just go forward. Christa asked Cliff if he got an updated quote from Tim Stonecipher. The new quote is $350 and contains examples. Kate asked Jennifer if her friend was still interested. Jennifer’s friend is very busy and she didn’t think he would have time unless she really pressed him. Kate relayed from the State of the City address, Scott Franko is designing the “Welcome to Mishawaka” signs, so we could ask him as well. Cliff thinks we’ve wasting enough time on this. Doug offered to donate the design work if he was given some direction as to what has already been presented and what we would like. Mike offered his company would do some printing of letterhead and even large scale signs.

Story Map Show and Tell

Bryan Tanner showed his story map. He also passed out what it would look like when using a smartphone using a QR code. Story Map is a term used by ESRI, the company that makes the software. We take the national register and local designated properties and include those on walking tour. We will start with these and in the future to include outstanding properties that aren’t designated. Christa was able to find all the scanned files and digitized the rest, and sent all this information to Byran. There is a website link that could be linked to the scanned documents, another website, or more pictures. Doug asked if we could like to his blog. Bryan confirmed we could. Other members agreed this would be great to showcase. Christa had a discussion with IT/GIS about connecting this map to the City’s website, some things will have to be worked out, sharing, rights, etc. It will take some coordination with IT/GIS to incorporation this spreadsheet into the City’s tools. On the first screen you see a picture and a short description. At this time, Dodge Old People’s Home is number 1, but it would be renumbered based on the layout for a walking tour. There could be two different tours, depending on what side of town you started on. Title, short description. It can be expanded to include more information. Since we are not hooked up to the City’s website yet, we are limited to the first 3 columns, website and picture. Terry asked if it would be on the City’s website. Bryan confirmed it would be. Bryan has created this with ArcGIS Online, which is the same software the City uses. Bryan has set up an Excel spreadsheet. The categories are title, short description address, architect, contractor, owner, owner bio, interior bio, exterior bio. Kate asked where he got this information from. Bryan and Christa confirmed it was from the digitized files. All that has been scanned is the 14 local or national register landmarks. There is probably information on other sites, like churches, in the files, but it has not been digitized that. Kate wants to set a deadline and actually have a tour. Bryan indicated the 1995 Survey report has identified Outstanding homes and contributing homes, so this is a good place to get information from. If we ever get an intern, they can help put those together. Mike asked if we would still separate it by homes and commercial. Bryan confirmed we could categorize them. The ArcGIS automatically puts a dot on the map according to the address. There are a lot of options regarding the size of the pop-up, the information contained within, and the picture. Because it is not currently connected to a website, the options we have are limited. There is a Story Map already called Historic Mishawaka on the City’s GIS website, but there is not much information and the photos are low resolution. This would have more detail and be more interactive. He will email each member, except Cliff, the spreadsheet and one property. Hopefully the information can be ready by the April meeting. Then it can be proofread. We could have it live by May for Historic Preservation Month. Mike volunteered Cliff to take pictures. Christa said for some sites we have updated pictures, some sites have detailed pictures, and if we have to, we can take new ones maybe in the spring when there is no snow. Bryan suggested they be high resolution photos.

Gym Floor

Cliff and Doug, along with help from Greg Kil the architect, were able to speak to the Boy Scouts regarding the preparation of the gym floor sections. Cliff brought in examples of the “before” and “after”. We received two letters of intent from Boy Scouts wishing to make this their Eagle Scout project. Joseph Baldaeras and Connor Loesch have expressed interest in working on this project together. Cliff will go through the process with them, help them with the first one. The take the pieces, trim them to size, put a coat of finish, fit them into the frame, label which section, package them in bubble wrap. The HPC is currently in possession of the sections of the floor, 30 frames, name plates, cleaning materials and varnish. Terry asked about insurance. Cliff thinks since they’re not doing it on City property, it would revert to the parent’s homeowner’s insurance. Doug explained that the LaSalle Council/BSA holds insurance so the City/HPC would not be liable. Doug will get a letter saying the City is not liable. Christa pointed out we will need someplace to house them once they are done. The only place available in City Hall is the basement, which is not climate controlled and they could get broken. The boys could start in April and the deadline would be November 1, 2015. Terry asked if there was any opposed. There were none.

Preservation Conference Schedule

Terry got a scholarship. Christa signed up. If anyone wants to go but can’t make it the whole time, Jeannie, who is in charge of the scholarships told us we could work something out. If you do plan on going, and want any mileage or meals reimbursed, per City’s guidelines, you must first fill out the “Request For Travel” form and have it approved by Ken Prince.

NEW BUSINESS

Preservation Award Categories and Past Winners

Cliff had previously emailed a list of potential winners for this year. He said there would be follow-up list with pictures. Some categories don’t have nominees. Heritage Home Award is the house on the northwest corner of Lincolnway West and River. Mike asked for other nominations. Cliff said we don’t need to give out all the awards. We have only given Restoration once, we have never given the Renovation Award. Terry asked what the target date was? Cliff says it’s easiest to get in the June City Council. Terry thinks we should vote next month. Mike said we need to allow enough time to make up the certificates and get them signed.

PRIVILEGE OF THE FLOOR

Christa asked if the Commission knew of any pictures of the Battell Center windows, perhaps in the library’s collection. Dave Eisen suggested contacting Lexie Schroeder at the Hannah Lindell Children’s Museum.

ADJOURNMENT: 5:40pm

Terry DeMaegd, Chairman

Christa Hill, Associate Planner
 

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