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Indiana Department of Natural Resources

Historic Preservation & Archaeology > About Us > Publications > Eavesdropping newsletter Eavesdropping newsletter

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June 2014 Eavesdropping

Retirement of Longtime DHPA StafferFrank Hurdis
Some of you may be aware of this already, but Frank Hurdis, assistant director of preservation services at the DHPA, retired at the end of May. He was with the Division since 1985. Before his move to state government, he was the director of Historic Madison, Inc. for four years. In addition to his duties at the DHPA, he taught at Ball State University for 17 years. Many preservationists first met him in that capacity.

Frank has reviewed hundreds of National Register nominations, dozens of county surveys, and offered many National Register presentations during his time with the DHPA. He was responsible for the researching and writing of the National Register district nomination for New Harmony, assisted in the effort to designate Madison, IN as a National Historic Landmark district, and has played (or been the recipient of) numerous practical jokes.

Originally from Rhode Island, Frank made his way to Indiana in 1981. Many thanks to Frank for the years he has devoted to saving Indiana’s architectural heritage. Best wishes in your retirement!

Indiana Receives National Award
The DNR Division of Historic Preservation & Archaeology received the inaugural “National Cultural Resources Stewardship and Partnership Award” from the National Park Service. This award was presented by Jon Smith, assistant director of the National Park Service, at the statewide preservation conference in New Albany on April 9. Two other entities shared in this award: Indiana Landmarks – Indiana’s statewide non-profit preservation organization, and ARCH, Inc. – a regional non-profit preservation organization in Fort Wayne that works throughout northeastern Indiana. These two organizations have partnered with the Division to complete the 92 county surveys.

Preservation and Archaeology Grants for 2014 Announced
The DNR helps strengthen Indiana’s historical and cultural heritage through annual federal grants it administers to local communities and not-for-profit groups. These organizations use the grant money for preservation projects. This year, the DHPA has awarded 11 federal grants for historic preservation and archaeology in Indiana communities (see list below). The grants, totaling $459,894, provide a match of $429,795 in local and private funds, for a total projected investment of $889,689. The funds come from the National Park Service, a part of the U.S. Department of the Interior, which distributes federal funds to the states through the Historic Preservation Fund Program. Since 1974, the state has awarded more than $18 million to Indiana communities through this program.

Annual Historic Preservation Awards
Standouts in preserving cultural resources were presented with 2014 Indiana Historic Preservation Awards at Preserving Historic Places: Indiana’s Statewide Preservation Conference in New Albany this past April.

  • The Indiana Historic Preservation Award for Outstanding HPF Grant Rehabilitation project was presented to the Hamilton County Convention and Visitors Bureau for the rehabilitation of the Judge Stone House in Noblesville (Hamilton County).
  • The Indiana Historic Preservation Award for Outstanding Rehabilitation Investment Tax Credit project was presented to Amistad Realty for two related projects in Irvington (Indianapolis, Marion County), the Muriel Apartments and Victoria Apartments.
  • The Indiana Historic Preservation Award for Outstanding Residential Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credit project was presented to William Bianco for activity on the James Farris House (Monroe County).
  • Recognition for Outstanding Research and Preservation of Indiana Underground Railroad Heritage went to Dona Stokes-Lucas.
  • See photos of the buildings and learn more about the awards.


My Favorite Historic Place in Indiana” 4th grade essay contest
The DHPA is pleased to announce the winner of the annual “My Favorite Historic Place in Indiana” 4th grade essay contest. This year, we received more than 200 essays representing all parts of the state. The essays were scored by volunteer judges, who evaluated the submissions based on quality of writing, content and theme, and originality of thought. The Committee awarded first place to Ellen Osterman of Indianapolis for her essay on Gene Stratton-Porter’s cabin in the Limberlost Swamp.


Photo ContestHistoric Preservation Photo Contest Winners
The DHPA’s Historic Preservation Month photo contest has been going on since 2005. Thanks to all participants. Chris Flook, for his photo of Downtown Hartford City, won Best Overall Photo; Larry Prosser, for his photo of 1848 Adams Mill (Cutler, IN), won Best Overall Resource; and Laura Niemiec, for her photo of the 1904 lighthouse in Michigan City, won Most Artistic. Many thanks to the Governor’s Office, the Statehouse Tour Office and the State Fair Commission for the prizes and thanks also to our judges.



Nominations Being Sought
The DHPA seeks nominations for the annual Governor’s Award for the Preservation of Historic Places. Started in 2010, the awardrecognizes outstanding grassroots efforts that have preserved Indiana’s cultural heritage. The effort or project recognized by the award should have been completed within two years prior to the application deadline, and, if applicable to the nature of the project, must meet professional preservation standards. Candidates may be individuals, local governments, or small not-for-profit organizations that have made an important contribution to Indiana preservation through volunteer work, innovative practices or leadership. Applications may be submitted either electronically or in hard copy but must be postmarked by the first Friday in September. The recipient will be announced at an event in the community recognized.


New Listings in the National Register of Historic Places
From February 2014 through April 2014, Indiana added 10 listings to the National Register of Historic Places. These listings—commercial and residential historic districts, mausoleums, and a shipwreck—have added approximately 131 historic resources to the National Register.



Planning for Archaeology in September
The DHPA coordinates Indiana Archaeology Month every September. Planning for the 19th annual statewide celebration of archaeology in our state is already underway. Partnerships are important to Archaeology Month, and we look to universities, historical societies, museums, avocational archaeology groups, etc. to help host archaeology-related events. 44 single-day events and 7 multi-day events were held during Archaeology Month 2013, and more than 10,000 people participated in the September events. Archaeology is for the young, and young at heart, and the science captures the imagination, so the DHPA encourages you to become involved.

Reminder for Grant Applicants Proposing National Register Nominations
Historic Preservation Fund (HPF) grant proposals in the Architectural & Historical (A&H) category that seek to prepare nominations for National Register Historic Districts may require pre-verification of eligibility.

New Educational Guide
New from the Smithsonian Institutions’ Center for Folk Life and Culture, this educational activity guide for young people explores the artistry and skill of master craft workers in the building trades and their important contributions to our architectural heritage. It features hands-on activities to do at school or at home.

National Gravestone Studies Conference Coming to Indianacemetery
The Association for Gravestone Studies (AGS), a non-profit organization with the mission of fostering appreciation of the cultural significance of gravestones and burial grounds through their study and preservation, will come to Indiana for the first time for its annual conference.

AGS holds an annual conference the third week in June, featuring lectures, demonstrations, exhibits, conservation and documentation workshops, classroom sessions, slide presentations, and guided cemetery tours. The 2014 AGS Conference will be held at Franklin College in Franklin, IN June 17 - 22.

Tours include Crown Hill Cemetery (Indianapolis), Rose Lawn (Bloomington), Greenlawn (Bedford), and various cemeteries in Johnson County. Educational sessions will include many Hoosiers: John Bry of DeKalb County (talking about Community Mausoleums), Dick Powell of Bloomington (discussing Hindostan Whetstone Markers), Jeannie Regan-Dinius from the DNR-DHPA (covering Indiana Cemetery laws), Casey Winningham of Monroe County (conducting a stone carving workshop), and Dr. Joy Giguere from Fort Wayne (the keynoter, covering Egyptian influence on cemeteries).

Sliding into home
On April 9 and 10, workers finished sliding the new Milton-Madison Bridge onto its permanent piers, capping off a remarkable engineering and construction feat. Through an innovative solution devised by Walsh Construction, the half-mile long bridge over the Ohio River became the longest span in North America to be slid laterally into place. The new bridge—designed to reflect the original 1929 structure but twice as wide—was constructed on temporary piers adjacent to the original span, which allowed the crossing to remain in use throughout almost the entire construction period.

Genealogy and Local History Fair
The Indiana State Library offers a free Genealogy Fair every year. This year it’s at the Indiana State Library on Saturday, Oct. 25, from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Admission is free, and the fair is open to the general public.

Hoosier Heritage DayHoosier Heritage Day at the Indiana State Fair
On Aug. 7, 13 state agencies and three not-for-profits will take over State Fair Boulevard at the Indiana State Fair. You can stroll along the boulevard to learn about Indiana’s past, present and future. Visit military re-enactors, watch the demonstration of costumed interpreters, play a game, take a history and architecture trolley tour of the fair grounds, learn some Hoosier facts, talk with a HAM radio operator, and discover what State agencies and not-for-profits have available to help you learn more about Indiana. But most of all have FUN!

Internships at DHPA
Throughout the year, the DHPA frequently hosts interns from universities across the state (sometimes even from outside of Indiana). These unpaid positions are an excellent opportunity for the students to learn about real world history, archaeology, and preservation jobs, acquire new skills, and deliver important products for the office. If you or someone you know is interested in interning at the DHPA, contact our office at (317) 234-1268 or

Tell us what you think
We are always interested in your ideas. If there is a topic you would like to see in an upcoming issue of Eavesdropping, email