CITY OF MISHAWAKA 

HISTORIC PRESERVATION COMMISSION – AUGUST 4, 2015

 

A regular meeting of the Mishawaka Historic Preservation Commission was held Tuesday, August 4, 2015 in Room 205, City Hall, 600 E. Third, Mishawaka , IN.

Meeting was called to order at 4:00pm.

Commission members in attendance: Mike Bultinck, Terry DeMaegd, Dave Eisen, Judy Gray, Doug Merritt, and Faye Sullivan. Advisory members present: Shirley McAlister, Bryan Tanner, and Cliff Zenor. Presenter: Lexie Schroeder Kobb. Staff: Christa Hill. Visitor: Dave Straughn.

Minutes:

Jennifer Johns responded earlier that her name was misspelled as Jones in the Logo section.

A motion by Mike Bultinck and seconded by Doug Merritt approved the minutes of the July 7, 2015 meeting minutes with the changes as presented.

Q & A with Lexie Schroeder Kobb, Director of the Hannah Lindahl Children’s Museum

Lexie came to the meeting to answer questions specifically about the tours provided by the Museum. They give about 130 school tours a year. Forty percent of those are the Survive Alive tours, where children learn fire safety from the fire department and how to get out of a burning building. For first graders, they start with the history, how things were different in the past. It is not Mishawaka specific. For third graders (10-15 tours) the focus is local history. This starts in the museum and there is a 2 hour bus tour which hits 40-45 sites. The kids get off the bus at 3 different parks. For fifth graders (6-10 tours), they talk more about the businesses in Mishawaka. The museum will also do a specialized tour if the teacher requests it.

1. What landmarks are covered on the tours?

Battell Park, Beiger Mansion, Carnegie Library, Dodge Old People’s Home, Ellis-Schindler House, Kamm & Schellinger Brewery, Merrifield-Cass House, Rudolph-Kamm House and Will’s Clock. In addition they talk about the river and the Potawatomi , and specific sites like the bandshell and Civil War memorial.

2. Are you open to receiving information from HPC about those sites?

The Museum is always open to information. The HPC has provided information in the past. The Story Map would be a great feature to have the teachers look at with students before going on the tour.

3. How does the school tour and the adult tour differ?

The one time they give an adult tour is during Summerfest. Pete DeKever joins Lexie. He adds more information for the adult audience. They have also done private group fundraisers, like the Mishawaka High School Alumni, but they ask private groups to provide their own bus/driver, because the Museum doesn’t have access to a bus and there is a liability issue.

4. Could the HPC take a private tour?

Cliff Zenor has taken the Summerfest tour and Faye Sullivan took the tour through her Tri Kappa group. Lexie would be willing to give the HPC a tour. Maybe we could even get Pete DeKever to join as well.

5. Would you consider giving a fundraising tour during May for National Historic Preservation Month?

It is a fundraiser for the Museum, so they could add another group.

6. How can we partner with our new story map?

Lexie thinks this the Story Map is great. She had always hoped for an app of some sort. Another resourse would Mr. DeKever, who is working on a book of walking tours set to be published next summer.

Terry DeMaegd asked if all Mishawaka third grade classes took the tour. Lexie says it is mostly Mishawaka public schools, but they also provide tours to private schools, even home school groups use the Museum.

Terry asked about the availability of a bus. Lexie says the bus is from the schools. The Museum does not have access to a bus on a regular basis. School City would not let them use a bus for liability issues and the simple fact they don’t have a large number of buses. School buses are not the most comfortable. Lexie suggested talking with a church group or other group that owns a bus. Cliff asked about the school bus used for Summerfest. The Museum has made a special agreement with School City to hire the bus and the driver for that one day. They have to pay for the bus and the driver, so if they don’t get enough people on the tour, they lose money. They also make sure everyone signs a waiver.

Faye Sullivan thinks it’s a shame the Penn-Harris-Madison schools don’t take advantage of the services the Museum offers.

Cliff Zenor asked HPC did it as a fundraiser, what would Lexie charge? Summerfest they charge $10 and they’ve always been able to cover their costs, but it is not a big fundraiser.

Christa Hill asked how Faye Sullivan and her Tri-Kappa group took the tour. Lexie is a member of the Tri-Kappa group. They also had their meeting at the Museum. Their collection doesn’t have an age limit, but their programming does. Faye’s Tri-Kappa is a diverse group, but there was something for everyone.

Doug Merritt’s Cub Scout Troop has also visited the Museum and thinks they do a great job.

Cliff Zenor asked if the Summerfest tour has ever sold out? Lexie says they have filled the bus, but they have never technically sold out the tour. There was always room for more people. Cliff wants to figure out a way to collaborate on the tour without taking away from the fundraising.

Christa Hill and Lexie had previously talked about putting a link from one website to another. If the Museum links to our Story Map, we could but a link to the bus tour on HPC’s website. Bryan Tanner says the QR code could be scanned while on the tour to provide more information. Lexie would be willing to put our newly created brochures in the Museum.

Lexie suggested if HPC wanted to do a tour, it should select a different time of year, perhaps fall or early spring. Cliff Zenor asked if this would be considered programming or if we would have to pay extra. Lexie would have to discuss that with the Board.

Mike Bultinck asked if high school students ever visit? Lexie says their displays are designed for grade school age. They hope to one day expand into their own building so they will have more to offer, but right now, they are running at capacity. Mike asked if there was stuff in collection for high school aged? Lexie thinks there is something in their collection for every age. They recently gave a tour to 3 people over the age of 90 and they loved it.

Christa Hill asked if everything they have is on display? Lexie says they have certain areas that do rotate collections, but other spaces, like the one room school house, are permanent.

What Terry DeMaegd took out of this discussion is we could partner on fundraising where Museum gets money but HPC gets exposure. We thanked Lexie for taking her time to talk with us.

Committee Reports:

Historic Districts/Plaques: Cliff Zenor scheduled the plaque installation at the Carlton Tavern House, 911 Lincolnway West for this Thursday at 12pm.

Public Relations and Community Education: There was no report.

Administration/Incentives: Bryan Tanner has a packet with a the table of contents, laws and ordinances. He would like to add appendices, like a timeline of all the COAs and processes. He would like to make a digital version where table of contents would be linked. Have it signed by chairman and a list of the members who worked on it.

OLD BUSINESS

Mishawaka Heritage Festival

Terry DeMaegd met with Anne Fuchs, the organizer of the Mishawaka Heritage Festival. She was excited to have our group represented. Faye Sullivan asked if there was a cost for us to participate. There is not this year. Terry says all the groups are local. Both the BK Club and the DiAmici’s Clubs will be there and Villa Macri will be providing food and drink. No elephant ears or typical fair food. There is now a link on the City’s website. Bryan Tanner made a motion we should participate. A vote was taken.

Doug Merritt had previously offered his tent, table and chairs to make up the booth. Terry has a 4 sided display. Cliff Zenor asked if there will be power? Mike Bultinck knows there is power out there. Bryan Tanner asked if there was Wi-Fi. Mike says there is Wi-Fi that controls the locks on the bathrooms. Cliff will put together a PowerPoint slide show. Bryan will bring his laptop for the Story Map. Doug Merritt has a large monitor to use for the PowerPoint. Another idea for an activity would be to have copies of the 1995 survey and have people look up their houses. Bryan Tanner asked if the gym floor was ready? Cliff Zenor says the one that has been completed, the Eagle Scouts are using for a template. There is another work day between now and the Festival, so they may have some if not all completed. Mike Bultinck said we could at least have the order form and one example. Christa Hill clarified we wouldn’t offer them for sale, just take the order form. Cliff said there are some pieces that have not been finished to compare how it used to look with the finished product. Terry asked Doug how big the tables were? There is a 12’ long and an 8’ round. The round table is from Beiger School. There will be another meeting before the festival to decide the specifics. Terry said the theme is industrial. Doug asked if we could have a list of historic properties for sale. Terry volunteered to set up and tear down, but hopes everyone attends. Doug and Mike might have kids sports conflicts that day. Christa offered preparing a schedule for people sign up for time slots.

Doug had previously gotten 2 quotes for banners in various sizes. There was a discussion as to where to hang the banner, on the back of the tent or in front on the table. Mike Bultinck brought a banner from his daughter’s softball team to give members and idea of size. Mike Bultinck made a motion, seconded by Faye Sullivan not to exceed $200 for a 30” tall by 5’ wide banner, white with our logo. Since Doug has previous contact with these vendors, he will handle ordering, etc.

Christa created a brochure using a Microsoft Word template. A lot of the information is from our website, but Cliff helped fill it in. Terry thinks the information on the back doesn’t pertain to a wide audience. Bryan thinks it needs more pictures and also direct people to the website/Story Map. Ken Prince allowed us to print up to 500 color copies on the office copier/printer. Bryan and Cliff will work on formatting the brochure.

Mike asked if the new logo has been put on the website yet? Christa Hill will send the logo to IT for them to update.

Story Map

Bryan Tanner had a couple of different versions of the Story Map, he projected on the screen for everyone to see. The first option was the most complete. The mobile version looks different but was meant to fit on a phone or device. The downside to this version is it was not as easy to work with as he expected because of the programming language (Java). He expected to be able to have a larger picture and more details. All of our information is in there, but it can’t be seen. Terry DeMaegd thinks the public won’t know it can do more. Bryan pointed out the logo at the top of pages is a link to the HPC’s website. All the sites are in there, but can’t all be seen on the initial map. The two off the page are Normain Heights and the Ward House, at its new location. Cliff Zenor mentioned the Ward House would be moving tomorrow and he would be photographing and videotaping the move. Bryan says it is possible to include links to those in the Story Map, but again, he needs to learn how. He was able to add an additional tab of just the Outstanding sites, but has little more information. It’s not set up as a walking tour and there are no pictures. Or should they be on the main map as dots. Mike Bultinck likes the separate page. Doug Merritt suggested removing the tab with the Outstanding sites until it looks finished. Christa Hill mentioned there are pictures for those, but they are from 2004 and in a Word format. Option 2 is similar to what the City has already prepared. It has a larger picture and the info shows up. Option 3 has not been filled with our data, but it is a continuous scroll. The consensus is that option 2 was the best. We could use option 2 for the landmarks and option 1 for the Outstanding sites. Bryan considered adding the Notable sites as well. Doug and Mike agree the more we can add to it, the better. Cliff asked how we got the information for the Outstanding and Notable sites. Christa explained about 10 years ago we had an intern who used the survey as a guide and turned it into a GIS layer on the computer, so we still have that raw data.

Bryan Tanner left at this time.

Does the Beiger Mansion want to become a Local Landmark?

Faye Sullivan says not at this time. They are focusing on what to do with the roof.

NEW BUSINESS

Use of New Logo

Christa Hill created 2 letterhead options with the new logo. She presented them on the letterhead paper used so the Commission could see what it would look like when it is actually sent out. Doug Merritt likes left justified. Faye Sullivan asked about envelopes. Christa said HPC doesn’t have its own envelopes, we use Planning envelopes. Mike Bultinck asked what the writing was? Christa answered it was the names of the Commission members. Dave Eisen pointed out a comma was missing between two names. Mike doesn’t think we need the names.

New Award

Terry DeMaegd remembered at the National Historic Places conference. Emphasis on commercial/industrial properties. Also a theme of the festivals. He proposed a new award to honor a structure which has historic commercial, industrial, or architectural significance that contribute to the heritage and character of its community. This award would be presented, hopefully by the Mayor, during the Mishawaka Heritage Festival. Joe Dits will be out there, so maybe we can get some news coverage. His nominee is the Mishawaka Farmer Dairy at 724 S Main Street. People remember these, and if they worked there, it includes more people. Cliff Zenor had some concerns. First, it was different than the format from the other awards, it is too specific. A commercial building could fit into any of the existing categories except “Heritage Home”. Secondly, he doesn’t feel the Mishawaka Farmer Dairy is not an example of an outstanding example. Giving an award just because it exists, it weakens other awards in the past. Doug Merritt asked if there was some recognition we could give the Dairy. He has a soft spot for the building because he thinks it has potential. The building is industrial, from a certain time period, but understands the windows are not original. Mike Bultinck agrees this award would not be part of the ones we present at the council. Judy Gray asked if there was another nominee. This would be specific to the Heritage Festival. Doug agrees we should offer something to the dairy at the festival, perhaps the same award as the BK or DiAmici’s Club.

Faye Sullivan left at this time.

Christa Hill broke down the actions needed to be taken. First we have to agree on the new award. Second, we have to agree on the Dairy as the nominee. Doug suggested making it specific to the Heritage Festival. Judy Gray suggested the word “recognition” over award. Doug suggested the title as Mishawaka Heritage Festival Award of Recognition 2015. Mike and Judy don’t like the word award. Mike suggested “certificate” instead of award. Mishawaka Heritage Festival Certificate of Recognition 2015. Terry wanted to add commercial. Cliff says the current awards have a description. The description could change yearly.

Judy Gray left at this time.

At this point, there was no longer a quorum, so no vote could be taken.

The vote would be taken by proxy.

The Story of the Sister City Relationship

Due to the time, this was tabled to the next meeting.

Letter from Don Heirman

Due to time, this was tabled to the next meeting.

PRIVILEGE OF THE FLOOR

Christa Hill briefly outlined the new information regarding 128 Brook Avenue in the Riviera Place Historic District. We have been questioned if it was historic or not. It is not included in the 1995 Survey. The HRB recommended to take it out. The Council voted to put it back in. The ordinance includes the address and the legal description. We believe the ordinance is the final word. No one was on the Board when this went through.

Due to the lack of Quorum, the meeting was ADJOURNED at 5:50pm.

 

Terry DeMaegd, Chairman

Christa Hill, Associate Planner
 

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