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Balancing History and Development

Balancing historic preservation with development is an on going issue at the local level, especially in Indiana towns undergoing downtown revitalizations. Although there’s federal legislation in place that allows communities to pass local laws that protect historic buildings, Terre Haute City Councilman Todd Nation said his city is one of only a handful in Indiana that hasn’t taken advantage of the legislation.

“We advanced an ordinance that is modeled after the relevant part of the Indiana code,” Nation said.  “In fact it’s basically exactly what’s on the books in Bloomington and 50 other communities around the state of Indiana.”

Although invested homeowners have preserved some neighborhoods, Nation said there is a small group of people trying to raise awareness for historic preservation.

“We have some people who are trying to cultivate and educate this community about all the great assets that we do still have,” Nation said.

Speaking on WFIU’s Noon Edition, Nation said historic preservation efforts in Terre Haute’s down town is often vying for public attention with Indiana State University’s campus expansion needs.

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