Indiana Preservationist Worries about Windstorm Repairs

September 26, 2008

A preservationist in the historic Ohio River town of Madison, Ind. is worried that homeowners repairing damage from a recent windstorm might alter their homes’ character.

Madison Historic Board member Rich Murray asked a board to consider weekly meetings for the next six weeks to handle what he predicted would be a wave of applications from people seeking to repair homes damaged in the Sept. 14 windstorm.

Wind damage was reported throughout Madison’s National Historic Landmark district, which encompasses the downtown area of the city about 40 miles northeast of Louisville, Ky.

Historic Board chairman Tony Hertz told Murray that a property owner does not have to get the board’s approval if repairs are made using the same materials and the appearance is not changed.

Murray, who’s president of the Cornerstone Society — an affiliate of the Historic Landmarks Foundation of Indiana — said property owners might want to change historic features in making repairs.

“There are going to be cases where a metal roof came off and they aren’t going to want to replace it with metal,” he said. “People may not want to incur the expense of replacing or repairing their box gutters.”

Murray said the Historic Landmarks Foundation of Indiana is seeking photos of the damage that the windstorm inflicted on homes and buildings in the city’s historic district.

He said the group needs the photos for an application it may file for a preservation grant from the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

Source: The Madison Courier.

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