HPC to seek resident input on historic district plan

Friday, March 8, 2013
From left, Eric Crump, Jim Steinmetz (unfolding map), Jessica Goodman, Julie Larabee, Amy Arndt (hidden) and Marvin Wilhite prepare to look at the different areas that could be designated in the National Register of Historic Place during the Saline County Historic Preservation Commission meeting Thursday, March 7. (Carlos Restrepo/Democrat-News)

The Saline County Historic Preservation Commission agreed to seek public input before moving forward with a project aimed at seeking a National Historic Registration of Historic Places District for one or more residential or business areas in Marshall.

Michelle Dietrich, survey coordinator for the State Historic Preservation Office, met with the preservation commission Thursday, March 7, during the commission's regular meeting.

Dietrich advised the commission on several options it has to seek historic designation for different areas in Marshall.

The two areas in question for a possible historic designation are:

--A residential area highlighted in a 1984 historic survey, which is surrounded by Odell Avenue to the west, Vest Street to the south, Park Avenue to the east, and Porter Street to the north.

--The business district of the town square surrounding the courthouse and its adjacent streets, which was also surveyed in 1984.

Dietrich said she was amazed with the amount of historic areas in Marshall with so many historic structures intact. She said it is hard to find communities that have not just one isolated historic building, but several in a neighborhood.

"That is very rare in Missouri," Dietrich said.

Before applying to seek historic designation, the commission must first submit surveys of the areas describing the architectural details of the structures, along with photos. Dietrich suggested the commission gathers volunteers, which can be trained by Dietrich at no cost, for the task.

But first, she said, the commission should figure out which area the community is most interested in designating as historic: the square's business area or the residential area. She said seeking designation for both areas at the same time could be costly, but should not be ruled out.

"Talk to your community," Dietrich said. "What do they want to do first?"

The commission agreed to schedule a meeting with the public at 6:30 p.m., Thursday, April 4, with a meeting place yet to be decided.

Dietrich said having to chose between too many historic areas was a good problem to have.

"I can't believe everything in this town isn't listed (as historic) already," Dietrich said.

In other Historic Preservation Commission news, Chairman Eric Crump announced the Missouri Advisory Council approved Arrow Rock Ferry Landing's nomination to the National Register of Historic Places.

The landing was a key port for cargo ships during the 19th century. The ships would unload their contents at the landing, which would later be taken across the Santa Fe Trail.

The Missouri Advisory Council is the second-to-last step before receiving the National Historic designation.

Crump also announced the state's Historic Preservation Office approved a grant for an archeology project at Van Meter State Park.

The dig, led by Missouri State University Archeologist Jack H. Ray, seeks to document Native American life along the base of the Missouri River bluffs within the boundaries of Van Meter State Park, according to the grant proposal.

In closing, the commission elected Julie Larabee as its new member following Crump's resignation, which he had announced at a previous meeting.

Julie Larabee will serve as secretary of the commission. Jessica Goodman, who was secretary, was elected as the commission's new chairman.

Contact Carlos Resstrepo at crestrepo@marshallnews.com

Related story:

HPC endorses Arrow Rock Ferry Landing nomination to National Register of Historic Places




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