Black Heritage Preservation Program

Bringing Attention to African American Heritage in Indiana

Preserving and sustaining places that embody Indiana’s Black history

  • Geter Means House cleanup crew
    Indiana Landmarks staff joined neighborhood residents to tackle cleanup of Gary's Geter Means House. Built by Black real estate developer Geter Means, the 1954 ranch home's condition in 2022 merited inclusion among Indiana Landmarks 10 Most Endangered.
  • For 30 years, Indiana Landmarks' African American Landmarks Committee has helped identify and save places important to the state's Black heritage, including Indianapolis's Phillips Temple (above), a former 10 Most Endangered entry repurposed as apartments.
  • Flanner House Homes neighborhood
    In Indianapolis, we advocated for new signage in the Flanner House Homes neighborhood, recognizing its historic district status.
  • Roosevelt High School, Gary
    Roosevelt High School, Gary's first and only high school built exclusively for African Americans, is vacant and deteriorating, its condition earning it a place on Indiana Landmarks' 10 Most Endangered List.

Pride of Place

Indiana Landmarks’ Black Heritage Preservation Program aims to expand the work of the organization’s African American Landmarks Committee, established in 1992 to help identify, save, and celebrate historic African American sites.

For decades, Indiana Landmarks has partnered with local community leaders to identify African American places around the state. Early in its history, the committee led a survey of Black heritage sites, documenting churches, settlements, lodges, schools, neighborhoods, and more. Among other goals, the Black Heritage Preservation Program will bolster efforts to recognize Black heritage by identifying places that should be listed in the National Register of Historic Places and seeking to expand the definition of those eligible for designation to include places where little or no physical evidence remains.

Along with raising the profile of such places, National Register, state, and local designations can qualify them for preservation funding. Through the Black Heritage Preservation Program, Indiana Landmarks also seeks to increase capital for preservation of historic African American landmarks around the state, and partner with community leaders in finding sustainable uses for them.

Indiana Landmarks also aids endangered places through our Black Heritage Preservation Program Grants fund, by partnering with community leaders on fundraising and advocacy efforts, and by providing technical preservation advice. Since 2020, our African American Landmarks Committee has served as advisor to the Standiford H. Cox Fund of the Central Indiana Community Foundation, supporting the preservation, operation, and maintenance of historic Black sites across the state.

Indiana Landmarks’ Black Heritage Preservation Program is funded by a $5 million grant from Lilly Endowment Inc., and generous commitments from private donors and the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund.

Meet the program’s director Eunice Trotter. Have a Black heritage site you’re concerned about? Email Trotter at etrotter@indianalandmarks.org or call 317-639-4534.

Black Heritage Preservation Program Grants

Indiana Landmarks’ Black Heritage Preservation Program is committed to uncovering and preserving the historic sites and heritage of Black Hoosiers by offering grants to support preservation of extant historic buildings and sites as well as heritage connected to places that no longer exist.

The Black Heritage Preservation Program offers grants ranging from $500 to $40,000 for restoration and preservation of sites important to Black heritage in Indiana. The program also offers grants ranging from $250 to $10,000 for interpretive projects that document and bring public attention to heritage and history that is no longer evidenced by physical sites.

Learn more about applying for Black Heritage Preservation Program Grants by downloading our applications guidelines and grant FAQs.

Ready to apply? Download the Black Heritage Preservation Program grant application form.

West Baden First Baptist Church by Lee Lewellen
West Baden First Baptist Church by Lee Lewellen

LEARN MORE

Read about the people that created Indiana’s significant Black landmarks, sites undergoing restoration, and endangered places. Discover the stories.

Past Events

November 29, 2022
The Forward-Thinking Legacy of St. Rita Catholic Church

Caleb Legg, parishioner and historian of Saint Rita Catholic Church in Indianapolis, shares the church’s cultural heritage and breath-taking Mid-Century Modern architecture in an illustrated talk at Indiana Landmarks Center. Since it was established in 1919 as the first parish in Indianapolis to welcome Black Catholics, Saint Rita Catholic Church in the city’s Martindale area has maintained a forward-thinking reputation. Today, the congregation continues to emphasize community service; at the same time its members are working to make sure the house of worship remains a vital gathering place.