High School Students Survey Pendleton Historic District

Ten Pendleton Heights High School seniors will update a decades-old survey the Pendleton Historic District as the town prepares to expand local designation to match the boundaries of the National Register district.

Downtown Pendleton
The National Register-listed Pendleton Historic District includes the town’s nineteenth-century business district. (Photo: Town of Pendleton)

Taking Stock

Pendleton, Madison County’s first settlement, originated in the early 1800s when homesteaders, attracted by the scenic beauty and nearby waterfalls, settled the area. Thomas M. Pendleton platted the town in 1821, lending his name to the community. Today, the plat is part the National Register-listed Pendleton Historic District, an area that includes the town’s lively nineteenth-century business district, Fall Creek Park, and the 1820 Grey Goose Inn.

Updating National Register nominations is an often-forgotten facet of preservation, but an essential piece in managing and maintaining historic places. Pendleton’s historic district hasn’t been surveyed since 1991, when it was listed in the National Register. A lot can change in 30 years, so 10 Pendleton Heights High School seniors decided to perform an updated survey of the district as a senior honors project.

The goal of the new survey is expanding the locally designated Pendleton Historic District to match the boundaries of the National Register district. By expanding the local historic district, the Pendleton Historic Preservation Commission will have increased influence over actions within the area. As the town focuses on economic development and improvements in its historic downtown, officials want to make sure that any new construction, renovation, or infrastructure work respects the town’s historic character.

Because the high school students come to the project with no experience in historic preservation, the Town and its historic preservation commission will be hosting workshops to teach students how to research and document historic structures as part of the survey. In total, they will update survey forms for approximately 584 properties around downtown Pendleton. After the survey is complete, the students will present their report to the historic preservation commission on May 12 at 7 p.m. in the Town Hall.

For more information, contact the Pendleton Historic Preservation Commission, 765-778-2173.

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