Historic Preservation Commission

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About The Historic Preservation Commission

The Historic Preservation Commission was formed to protect and to promote the educational, cultural and general welfare of the citizens of the City of Carmel and to ensure the harmonious and orderly growth and development of the City.

The Commission shall maintain established residential neighborhoods to ensure their distinctiveness; to enhance property values and attract new residents; to ensure the viability of the downtown area and to enhance tourism within the City of Carmel.

The Commission shall preserve those qualities of the City of Carmel, relating to its history and harmonious outward appearance of its structures be preserved. This purpose is advanced through the restoration and preservation of historic areas and buildings, the construction of compatible new buildings where appropriate, and the maintenance and assurance of compatibility in regards to style, form, proportion, texture, and material between historic buildings and those of contemporary design.

It is the intention of the City through this Commission to preserve and protect historic and architecturally worthy buildings, structures, sites, monuments, streetscapes, and neighborhoods which impart a distinct aesthetic quality to the City and serve as visible reminders of its historic heritage.

This Commission consists of seven members appointed by the Mayor.

The Carmel Historic Preservation Commission meets the second Thursday of each month at 6 p.m. in City Hall at One Civic Square, on the second floor in the Caucus Room.

  • For further details about this Commission (and its adopted Historic Architecture Survey) please refer to Ordinance No. D-2064-11 (12/19/2011), and Ordinance Nos. D-2198-10 (6/1/2015), and D-2463-19 (4/15/2019).

2020 CHP Commission Meetings

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Follow us on Instagram: @CarmelHistoricPreservation

Façade Grant Program

In summer 2020, the Carmel Historic Preservation Commission is offering another round of awards through its Historic Façade Incentive Grant program. The program has been in place since 2016. Owners of historic properties identified in the 2014 City of Carmel/Clay Township Historic Architecture Survey are eligible to complete projects that will improve and restore the historic character of their property. Applications are due by Monday, August 31, 2020 at 4:00 PM.

  • For more information, download the façade grant application or contact the Historic Preservation Commission Staff Mark Dollase at 317-639-4534. Instructions for submission are included on Page 1 of the application.


Carmel and Clay Township Historic Architecture Survey

In order to implement a comprehensive program of historic preservation, and identify worthy structures, sites, monuments, streetscapes, and neighborhoods, the Carmel Historic Preservation Commission commissioned an update to the 1992 Hamilton County interim report for Clay Township, known as the 2014 City of Carmel and Clay Township Historic Architecture Survey. The Carmel City Council adopted these survey findings on November 3, 2014. Please refer to Resolution CC-11-03-14-04.

As outlined in the Commission’s Ordinance D-2064-11, properties in the survey have been classified utilizing the following terms:

(1) Outstanding: “O” classification means that the property has sufficient historic or architectural significance that is listed, or is eligible for individual listing, in the National Register of Historic Places. Outstanding resources can be of local, state, or national importance.

(2) Notable: “N” classification means that the property does not merit the outstanding rating, but it is still above average in its importance. A notable structure may be eligible for the National Register.

(3) Contributing: “C” classification means the property is at least 40 years old, but does not meet the criteria for an “O” or “N” classification. Such resources are important to the density or continuity of the area’s historic fabric. Contributing structures can be listed in the National Register only as part of a historic district.

(4) Non-Contributing: Property classified as “NC” is not included in an inventory unless it is located within the boundaries of a historic district. Such properties may be less than 50 years old, or they may be older structures that have been altered in such a way that they have lost their historic character, or they may be otherwise incompatible with their historic surroundings. These properties are not eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places.

The Carmel Historic Preservation Commission has made the survey findings available online through an interactive platform called RuskinARC.
Access the completed survey here:


Building Available for Relocation Sign

“Building Available for Relocation” Signs and Demolition Delay Ordinance

Citizens of Carmel may notice signs stating “Building Available for Relocation” in front of historic buildings around the city. These signs indicate that a demolition permit application has been filed for the marked structure. In 2017, the City of Carmel officially adopted OrdinanceD-2338-16, a demolition delay ordinance that requires owners of buildings identified as Outstanding, Notable, and Contributing in the 2014 Carmel and Clay Township Historic Architecture Survey to wait 60 days between applying for a permit to demolish the structure and receiving an improvement relocation permit for demolition. The period may be extended to 90 days at the discretion of the director of the Department of Community Services. The ordinance is designed to allow the Historic Preservation Commission time to market endangered structures for relocation and to coordinate the moving of those structures if there is interest in doing so on the part of current or prospective owners. For more information about specific properties marked with “Building Available for Relocation” signs, contact Historic Preservation Commission Staff Mark Dollase or Joshua Biggs at 317-639-4534.


District Designation Procedures

Owners of property in fee simple, wishing to establish a historic and/or conservation district which includes their property, may petition the Commission to consider drawing and submitting a map or maps of said property to the City Council for its approval. As part of the application process, the Commission will appoint an Ad Hoc Historic/Conservation District Committee. The Committee will be comprised of members of the proposed district and the Commission and will organize public meetings and develop the design standards to guide the district.

If you are interested in applying as historic and/or conservation district for a single site or district, download the following application instructions and application form.


Historic Districts

Both individual properties and groups of properties in an area can become historic districts. Individual properties and districts identified in the commission’s 2014 Carmel and Clay Township Historic Architecture Survey are potential candidates for local designation. The intent of local historic designation is to protect historic and architecturally worthy buildings which impart a distinct aesthetic quality to the City and serve as visible reminders of its historic built environment.

After a property is designated a historic district, the Historic Preservation Commission reviews all exterior changes to buildings within the district, alongside new construction, demolition, and relocation of buildings. Each designated district will have design standards developed to inform property owners of the appropriate methods to complete work on the exterior of their building, including new construction design standards. The Commission will approve the proposed work based on the design standards. These standards are unique to each district to account for the architectural and cultural significance specific to that district.


Conservation Districts

Conservation districts offer a less restrictive alternative to full local historic districts. A conservation district is intended to slow radical change in a neighborhood by reviewing major events: demolition, relocation, and new construction. A conservation district is appropriate when the inventory of buildings to be protected is historic but not individually of high or unique architectural value. A conservation district may be an appropriate choice if property owners are concerned about development pressure, but do not want the constraints of a full historic district.

Unlike a historic district, conservation district owners participate in a referendum before the third anniversary of the district's adoption. Each owner will be asked whether they object to elevation to a full historic district. If a majority object in writing, then the district continues as a conservation district. If a majority does not object, then the district becomes a full historic district.


Designated Local Historic and Conservation Districts

Larsen-Dunwoody House Local Historic District
On May 9, 2018, the City designated the Larsen-Dunwoody House as Carmel’s first single-site local historic district under ordinance D-2417-18. The preservation plan for the historic district is accessible here.
   Larsen Dunwoody House

Morrison-Cartmel House Local Historic District
On February 19, 2019, the City designated the Morrison-Cartmel House as a single-site historic district under ordinance D-2453-19. The preservation plan for the historic district is accessible here.
  Morrison Cartmel House

Plum Creek Corn Crib Conservation District
On May 21, 2019, the City designated the Plum Creek Corn Crib as a single-site conservation district under ordinance D-2465-19. The conservation plan for the district is accessible here.
  Plum Creek Corn Crib


Certificate of Appropriateness

Upon designation as a historic or conservation district, the Commission will issue a Certificate of Appropriateness prior to demolition, new construction, or relocation of a building. In the case of a historic district, the Commission will regulate any exterior changes visible from a right of way. The Commission will determine if the proposed work falls within the design standards for the property’s respective district. The Certificate of Appropriateness application is only required in designated Historic and/or Conservation Districts.


Rules of Procedure


Commission Members

Nick Davis
  Appointed by the Mayor to a 3-year term, ending 12/31/2020

Rosemary Dunkle
  Appointed by the Mayor to a 3-year term, ending 12/31/2020

Bruce Kimball
  Appointed by the Mayor to a 3-year term, ending 12/31/2022

Sue Maki
  Appointed by the Mayor to a 3-year term, ending 12/31/2021

William Sanders, Jr.
  Appointed by the Mayor to a 3-year term, ending 12/31/2021

Fred Swift
  Appointed by the Mayor to a 3-year term, ending 12/31/2022

Meetings for Historic Preservation Commission

6:00 pm - Caucus Room - Second Thursday of Each Month

Citizens may contact Commission members by sending a letter addressed to the board at
One Civic Square, Carmel, Indiana, 46032.

To find out about all meeting Notices, Agendas, and Minutes from previous years,
please visit LaserFiche™.

If you have any questions on how to use LaserFiche™ or further questions about any meeting Notices, Agendas, and Minutes,
contact the Clerk of the City's Office. Phone: 317-571-4247 Fax: 317-571-2410

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