Corydon Embraces Growth by Design

With Stellar Communities designation, energetic leadership and a revitalized Main Street program, downtown Corydon is focusing on its future.

Corydon Historic District
Corydon Historic District (Photo: State Historic Architectural and Archaeological Research Database)

Guiding Principles

For much of the past 200 years, Corydon’s attention has been focused on its history as the state’s first capital. More recently, the small southern Indiana town has shifted attention to its future, aiming for growth and development while protecting the town’s historic character.

In 2016, Corydon won designation as a Stellar Community, a strategic community investment program led by the state’s Office of Community and Rural Affairs. To make sure investment and growth respect the town’s significant history, officials established a Historic Preservation Commission in 2017. For the past several months, Indiana Landmarks has been helping the commission update the town’s design guidelines.

Design guidelines typically have a twofold purpose: educating property owners on best practices in caring for their historic buildings, and providing a guide for decisions made by the Preservation Commission. Corydon’s existing design guidelines were created in 1986 by Corydon Main Street, one of the state’s first local Main Street programs. The updates address new preservation technologies and materials, and add recommendations for residential structures, including guidelines for porches and garages.

Corydon Mitchell-Atwood House

Corydon’s design guidelines include recommendations for residential properties within the town’s historic district, including the 1902 Mitchell-Atwood House.

Indiana Landmarks’ Southern Regional Office has worked in recent years with several area Historic Preservation Commissions, including Scottsburg, Jeffersonville and New Albany, to help refresh outdated design guidelines. If your community is interested in establishing a Historic Preservation Commission, or creating or updating design guidelines, contact the Southern Regional Office at 812/284-4534 or Learn more about the Corydon Historic Preservation Commission at

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