Crawfordsville accepted into program to preserve past

By: Brandy Allen
Department of Planning & Community Development

Historic buildings help define a community and preserve the past and the foundation the community was built on, and therefore are an integral part of a downtown area. Many modern buildings aren’t built to last a long period of time, however historic structures were expected to last indefinitely in a community and the craftsmanship that goes in to those structures is something to be preserved. For these reasons, the Crawfordsville Historic Preservation Commission was formed and the commission works to ensure that our shared heritage is maintained for future generations and future uses.

Recently, the City of Crawfordsville was accepted into the Certified Local Government (CLG) Program under the National Historic Preservation Act. Crawfordsville is just one of 24 cities in Indiana to be certified.

A Certified Local Government designation indicates that a municipality meets the qualifications necessary to carry out specific regulatory and administrative preservation activities to help preserve and restore historical structures at a local level. In order to be considered for this federal designation, a city or town must have a local preservation ordinance in place for the designation and protection of local properties, an active and qualified historic preservation commission, qualified staff members to help support the preservation commission’s efforts and an up-to-date inventory of historic properties within its jurisdiction, Crawfordsville’s preservation commission actively nominates our local properties to the National Register of Historic Places and encourages our community and property owners to participate in our efforts to preserve our local historical structures.

As a CLG, Crawfordsville will have a more competitive advantage for consideration to the Historic Preservation Fund (HPF) Grant Program. The HPF assists local preservation effort costs for the rehabilitation of historic government, college and university, and non-profit structures. The fund is setup as a matching fund, where the grant recipient proposes to contribute a specific amount of funding for a rehabilitation project and the grant will match that funding contribution for the project.  Typically, the grant is a 50/50 matching funds program. However, CLG communities are eligible for matching funds as high as 60/40.

The Crawfordsville Historic Preservation Commission has done a fantastic job of continuously identifying properties within our community that hold architectural or historical significance and advising property owners on best practices and opportunities to preserve them for years to come. Through their efforts, Crawfordsville already has 17 national and local historic districts, national register listings and national historic landmarks. As a CLG, the Crawfordsville Preservation Commission will have access to additional technical assistance and training so that they can continue to protect our historical properties through designation, design review and education. This will help them continue to add important landmarks to this growing list.

Preserving and learning from the past helps us create a better future. Important milestones like the CLG program are great steps for our community to achieve those goals. If you are interested in learning more about Crawfordsville’s CLG certification please visit the National Park Service’s listing page. Additionally, if you are interested in becoming a Crawfordsville Historic Preservation Commission member, please contact Mayor Barton’s office at

About the City of Crawfordsville: Crawfordsville is home to more than 16,000 residents and is the county seat in Montgomery County, Indiana. About an hour west of Indianapolis, the growing city is known for its state and nationally recognized paramedicine program, extensive outdoor recreational opportunities at Shades State Park and Sugar Creek River, and is home to the Ironman Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championships and Wabash College.