The intent of the Rushville Historic District is to preserve, protect and encourage rehabilitation and preservation of sites, structures, and districts of historic interest within the City of Rushville in order to promote the cultural, economic and general welfare of Rushville’s citizens.
The purpose of the Rushville Historic Board is to provide for the implementation of a plan to preserve, protect and encourage rehabilitation and preservation of sites, structures and districts of historic interest within the City of Rushville and to thereby promote the cultural, economic and general welfare of the public.
It is widely acknowledged that a visually attractive environment benefits a community. For that reason, among others, on Feb. 22, 2006 the Rushville City Council passed the first zoning ordinance in Rushville’s history. In recognition of the value of our ancestors’ contributions to the architectural landscape of the city, the zoning ordinance created a historic district within Rushville.
The ordinance also established a Board of Review consisting of five voting members drawn from city residents, to include at least three property owners within the District, appointed by the mayor and approved by the city council. This board was formed March 29, 2007. According to the ordinance, the concern of the Historic Board is “…with those elements of development, redevelopment, rehabilitation, and preservation that affect visual quality in an historic district, and with controlling signage.” The responsibility of the Historic Board is to review any projects which will affect the view of a property from the public ways and to issue a Certificate of Appropriateness for those projects which are approved. The nature of projects other than signage which will require review by the Historic Board is defined in section 7 of the ordinance as follows:
“A Certificate of Appropriateness must be issued by the Historic Board of Review before a permit is issued for, or work is begun on, any of the following:
Within all areas of the Historic District:
The demolition of any building;
The moving of any building;
A conspicuous change in the exterior appearance of existing buildings by additions, reconstruction, alteration, or maintenance involving exterior color changes;
Any new construction of a principal building or accessory building or structure subject to view from a public way.
Within a primary area of the Historic District:
A change in walls and fences or construction of walls and fences, if along public ways;
A conspicuous change in the appearance of non-historic buildings subject to view from a public way by additions, reconstruction, alteration, or maintenance involving exterior color changes.”
At present, all areas of the Historic District are deemed to be primary. In addition, all proposed new signage or alterations to signage are required to receive a Certificate of Appropriateness; in general, landscaping, interior changes, and routine maintenance do not require a Certificate of Appropriateness. For details, see the full text of the ordinance which, along with the application for a Certificate of Appropriateness, is available at City Hall and at the Area Planning Commission office in the Rush County Courthouse. Both the Historic District section of the zoning ordinance and the application are available in downloadable form below.
Applications for a Certificate of Appropriateness should be submitted at the Area Planning Commission office, and must be accompanied by a processing fee of $25. Applications are due back to the City one week before the next scheduled Historic Board meeting. The Historic Board must review the application within 30 days after it is filed, and may approve the application, deny it, or grant an extension if necessary. The City of Rushville encourages all property owners within the Historic District to familiarize themselves with the provisions of the ordinance before commencing any work. Questions regarding the ordinance, application or procedure should be addressed to the Mayor’s Office at 133 West First Street or to the Area Planning Commission office in the Rush County Courthouse.
It is the desire of the Historic Board to work with property owners to achieve a project which meets both the requirements of the ordinance and the property owners’ needs, whenever possible; the Board encourages owners to discuss projects with the Board prior to filing an application. An accelerated approval process is available for simple paint projects.
Historic District Board meetings are held at 7 p.m. the second Tuesday of each month at the Gowdy House, 619 N. Perkins St., Rushville, IN 46173.
Historic District Board
Preservation/Restoration Web sites:
Do it Yourself.com
Extreme How-To Online
Old-House Journal Online
Old House Web
Preservation Trades Network
Historic Landmarks Foundation of Indiana
Example of a “painted lady” color scheme
The Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties
Department of the Interior Technical Preservation Services Publications
Copyright © 2013, City of Rushville, Indiana