"It has been said that at its best, preservation engages the past in a conversation with the present over a mutual concern for the future.”

William Murtagh, First Steward of the National Register of Historic Places

Gen. Lew Wallace Study & Museum [Natl Landmark & NRHP 1976]


Preservation ensures that our shared heritage is maintained for future generations and future uses. Historic buildings give character to a place, increase property values, spur economic development, strengthen community pride, and ultimately make Crawfordsville a better place to live.

Keep reading about local preservation and click on the "More Resources" button below!


Historic Downtown Crawfordsville

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What is a...?


Historic Preservation Commissions are local government agencies who identify the properties that are architecturally or historically significant. They work to protect these properties through designation, design review, and education. Historic Preservation Commissions advise property owners and advocate for the character and economic development of the communities they serve.

The Crawfordsville Historic Preservation Commission (HPC) was created by the City Council in 2002 to preserve and protect structures and areas of historic and cultural interest within the City of Crawfordsville, and to award loans and grants to downtown property owners for appropriate building rehabilitation. The Mayor appoints seven members to the Commission with the approval of the City Council. Members serve three year staggered terms. Meetings are held once a month in the Council Chambers. The Director of Planning and Community Development serves as staff to the commission.

Learn more about the Crawfordsville HPC by going here.

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What is a...?


Historic preservation ordinances allow local municipalities to protect culturally or historically significant properties by designating them as Local Historic Districts [Local HD]. Design guidelines and a public review process ensure that any exterior changes are sympathetic to the historic character of the property. Local Historic Districts can be made up of single or multiple sites and structures. Districts are designated by recommendation of the Crawfordsville Historic Preservation Commission and vote by the City Council. 


What is the...?


The National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) officially recognizes districts (NR HDs), sites, structures, objects, and places that are architecturally, culturally, or historically significant. Listing does not place any type of restriction on your property. It simply recognizes its significance, and can qualify your property for certain financial incentives. Talk to the HPC to learn more.

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What about my Building?

The City of Crawfordsville has five Locally Designated Historic Districts [Local HD], twelve National Register of Historic Places [NRHP] districts/properties and one National Historic Landmark [NHL]. All five of the Local HD spaces, eleven of the NRHP districts/properties and the National Landmark – the Gen. Lew Wallace Study and Museum - are downtown or near downtown. See above map for locations.

If your property is in a Local HD, it is subject to special design guidelines for exterior changes. NRHP properties have no restrictions/protections, but are honored as significant spaces and may qualify for grants and/or historic tax credits.


If your building is not currently recognized as a Local HD or listed on the NRHP, it doesn’t mean your property isn’t important. Talk to the Crawfordsville Historic Preservation Commission [HPC] to discuss the benefits of Local Designation or NRHP nomination.


The City of Crawfordsville has a limited facade grant and rehabilitation loan program available for downtown historic property owners. If your building is listed on or eligible for the National Register of Historic Places, you may qualify for state and/or federal financial incentives for rehabilitation work.