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Council To Vote On Historic District Wednesday

The Bloomington City Council will take a vote Wednesday on a proposed ordinance that would create a historic district downtown.

The proposed district would designate the Bloomington courthouse square and some surrounding properties — 57 in total — as historic.

If the ordinance passes, the Bloomington Historic Preservation Commission would be responsible for approving construction, demolition and any additions or movements of monuments in the district.

The measure unanimously passed an unofficial vote at the Nov. 18 council meeting.

Bethany Emenhiser, historic preservation program manager for the City of Bloomington, says it’s been a long time coming, especially given the growth of the city’s downtown area.

“You really have seen the square transform. If you look at before and after pictures, it’s amazing. I think now is the time. People have been saying it. There’s lots of support from property owners, adjacent neighborhood groups, city councilmen,” she says.

Emenhiser says the city and the county are working together on the district, since it involves the Monroe County Courthouse.

She says if the measure passes Wednesday, her team will work on finalizing the district’s design guidelines, which she hopes to complete by early next year.

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