Governor’s Award for the Preservation of Historic Places
The Governor’s Award for the Preservation of Historic Places recognizes outstanding grassroots efforts that have preserved Indiana’s cultural heritage.
Rush County Heritage, Inc., received the 2011 Governor’s Award for Preservation of Historic Places in recognition of the achievements of Rush County Heritage in acting as a persuasive advocate to Gov. Mitch Daniels, James Schellinger of CSO Architects, DNR Division of Forestry, and other civic leaders and volunteers around the state to provide major support for reconstruction of the Moscow Covered Bridge.
The bridge is an important landmark for the community of Moscow and Rush County that was destroyed by a tornado in 2008. Rush County Heritage advocated reconstruction of the bridge with as much original material as possible, retained the services of engineer Jim Barker to ensure an accurate result, and coordinated fundraising in the community as part of the Moscow Covered Bridge Restoration Committee.
The annual Governor’s Award for Preservation of Historic Places was presented to the City of Richmond’s Historic Preservation Commission’s innovative outreach program, “Historic Richmond Today.”
Established in 2000 by the Richmond Common Council, the Commission created a unique outreach program aimed at letting the general public know more about the history of its community and its buildings.
The outreach program is a partnership with Preserve Richmond and the local cable access channel. Seven episodes have aired so far, covering a wide range of topics, including important local architects, Richmond’s historic Pennsylvania Railroad Depot, and its historic homes. The cable show raises awareness of significant architecture, educates area residents about preservation topics, and emphasizes the grassroots effort that must be placed on historic preservation in order for it to be successful.
Laporte County's Central Station Plaza Historic Train Depot
The City of La Porte was awarded the honor for its restoration of the historic Central Station Plaza Train Depot. The restoration has been a goal of the community through four different mayoral administrations. The depot was the center of transportation for passengers and freight in La Porte for more than 50 years after it opened in 1910. When passenger service ended in 1968, the building began to deteriorate and was finally abandoned. Beginning in 1990, city residents expressed an interest in preserving the landmark. The City of La Porte faced many challenges as it negotiated a long-term lease of the depot and sought funding.
Using Transportation Enhancement Funds from the Indiana Department of Transportation, a Historic Preservation Fund grant through the Indiana Department of Natural Resources’ Division of Historic Preservation and Archaeology, Tax Increment Financing through the City’s Redevelopment Commission, and funds appropriated by the City, construction finally began in 2005.
The building now experiences new life as a visitors center for the community and houses the offices of the Greater La Porte Chamber of Commerce and the Greater La Porte Economic Development Corporation.
The careful rehabilitation of the Central Station Plaza Train Depot has preserved its original character while allowing for current uses. In addition to the renovation of the depot, the unusual canopy that once sheltered passengers on the platform has been restored. The depot is located within the Downtown La Porte Historic District and once again contributes a sense of place that attracts residents and visitors alike.