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Resources > Architectural Surveys > Questions About Surveys

Questions About Surveys

 

For more information contact Indiana Landmarks' survey coordinator, 800-450-4534, 317-639-4534 or sstanis@indianalandmarks.org.

 

Why is the survey important?

What qualifies as significant?

Will the survey affect my property taxes?

Will the survey restrict my property rights?

Does the inventory make my property a landmark or list it in the National Register of Historic Places?

What kind of information does the surveyor collect?

Where is the inventory data stored?

How is the survey funded?

What are the surveyors' qualifications?

 

Why is the survey important?
The survey becomes a first line of defense for historic properties. The state’s Division of Historic Preservation and Archaeology (DHPA) uses the survey results in conducting Section 106 reviews, a federal process required whenever federally funded or licensed projects could have an impact on historic places. A similar process applies in cases where state funds are involved in a project. Such projects can be re-evaluated if DHPA finds in its Section 106 review that the project would have an adverse impact on a historic site.

Counties, towns and local preservation groups also find the survey useful for planning purposes and in identifying sites and districts that should be nominated to the National Register of Historic Places.

 

 

What qualifies as significant?
To be included in the survey, a property must be at least 40 years old. The survey does not include all properties over 40 years old, but only those properties that retain their historic integrity. Severe alterations to the fabric of a building, including the addition of siding, removal of decorative features, and replacement/resizing of windows affect the integrity of a structure and often disqualify it from inclusion in the survey.

The survey ranks a structure as “notable” or “outstanding” if it is an excellent, relatively unaltered example of a particular architectural style, and/or has a strong association with local history, settlement patterns, or important figures. Buildings that are rated notable or outstanding may be eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places.

 

 

Will the survey affect my property taxes?

No. The inventory neither appraises nor affects property values.

 

 

Will the survey restrict my property rights?

No. Your rights as a property owner will not be affected. The survey applies no regulations or legal restrictions to any property. The survey is used to document the impacts of state- and federally-funded projects upon historic sites and structures. Survey findings do not restrict individuals or other privately- or county-funded projects.

 

 

Does the inventory make my property a landmark or list it in the National Register of Historic Places?

No. The survey helps to identify properties that may be eligible for the National Register of Historic Places, but inclusion in the inventory does not constitute National Register designation.  It is up to the property owner to initiate a National Register nomination.

 

 

What kind of information does the surveyor collect?

Surveyors look at all properties at least 40 years old. In addition to age, a structure must show integrity of location, setting, design, materials, and workman-ship. The surveyors also take into account a property’s association with important historical figures and events. They document structures that are architecturally outstanding as well as those that, while perhaps ordinary, are particularly representative of the county. In addition to buildings of all types, surveyors also document historic cemeteries, designed landscapes, bridges, and monuments.

 

For each site included in the survey, the surveyor completes a form noting the approximate date of construction, architectural style, and significant features. The surveyor takes photographs to document the property and records its location on a U.S. Geological Survey map.

 

 

Where is the inventory data stored?

All survey data—forms, photographs and maps—are retained by the Division of Historic Preservation and Archaeology.  Historic Landmarks Foundation compiles the final results in a publication that is available for purchase. The survey process from fieldwork to publication takes approximately two years.

 

 

How is the survey funded?

The survey is partially funded by a Historic Preservation Fund grant from the  U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service, administered by the DNR-DHPA. Additional funding is provided by local and county governments, foundations, businesses, and private donors.

 

 

What are the surveyors’ qualifications?

Surveyors are professionally trained by Indiana Landmarks, a nonprofit organization founded in 1960 and headquartered in Indianapolis.  Surveyors are selected for their knowledge of architectural styles and history. Their identification information is on file with local sheriff and police departments. For the duration of the project, surveyors typically reside in or near the county being surveyed.

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