A regular meeting of the Mishawaka Historic Preservation Commission was held Tuesday, December 2, 2014 in Room 205, City Hall, 600 East Third Street, Mishawaka IN.

Meeting was called to order at 4:00pm.

Commission members in attendance: Dick Barnette, Mike Bultinck, David Eisen, John Gleissner, Judy Gray, Tony Obringer, Kate Voelker, David Vollrath and Cliff Zenor. Advisory members present: Jennifer Johns, Terry DeMaegd, Nancy Seidler, Bryan Tanner, and Shirley McAlister. Staff: Ken Prince and Christa Hill. Visitor: Dave Straughn.


Status of Commissioners’ and Advisory members’ new appointments.

Cliff Zenor sent a letter to the Mayor asking to accept the resignations of John Gleissner and Dick Barnette and create emeritus appointments for both John Gleissner and Dick Barnette, who are still welcome to attend meetings when possible to be good resources to the commission and honor their many years of service. Dave Vollrath wishes to resign his Commissioner post and requests an appointment as an Advisory member. To fill these three Commissioner openings, Mr. Zenor requested to appoint three Advisory members to those posts. These current Advisors are Jennifer Johns, Terry DeMaegd and Bryan Tanner. They all have been active members and have voiced a desire to become Commissioners. Mr. Zenor has not heard back from the Mayor but the email was sent less than a week ago and we don’t foresee any problems.

Update on Daniel Ward Farmhouse.

Todd Zieger, Indiana Landmarks, passed along to Mr. Zenor one of the items they are still working out is the police permit, specifically which jurisdiction has to issue; Mishawaka, County or State (or maybe all three)? The timing is important. They would prefer it not be moved in the middle of a Saturday during the busy holiday shopping season.

Ken Prince says its complicated working with the State. By crossing State Road 23, they want it moved during daylight hours, but with the shopping season, do it off peak, so the interruption is only for a short time. Plat approval to move it next to Soccer Zone has gone through, not sure if the sale has gone though. The Director of Engineering, Gary West, wants to make sure all the details are worked out before it is moved so it doesn’t end up on jacks, like the house down south, and not be able to go anywhere. Mr. West wants the foundation to be put in and the property be divided so there is a place to put the house. No permit has been pulled. They also need Board of Public Works approval to move it on City streets and that request has not been received yet either.

It was asked about the foundation would be new or historic. The consensus was it would be a modern foundation, but that isn’t something that is seen. If the foundation isn’t done soon, it probably won’t be moved until the spring.

Mr. Prince is not aware of any development happening on the corner that would force the move before things are ready.


Introduction of and welcome to Christa Hill, new Planning Dept staff member.

Christa started two weeks ago, and this is her first meeting. Previously she worked with the County’s Area Plan Commission. The County has its own Historic Preservation Commission so while she was aware of them, she was not as immersed in it as will be here. Looking for the members for guidance and offered to help Commission members however possible.

Introductions of HPC members.

Each member introduced themselves by name, profession, how long they had lived in Mishawaka, if they had lived somewhere else, some mentioned if they were married or had children, and why they had joined the Historic Preservation Commission.

Preview of January 6, 2015 planning meeting.

Cliff Zenor: As we look ahead to the next year, its nice to look back at the goals we had for this year and consider which we would like to continue for next year and what new things for next year. Review, label what is most important, then less important and so on.

  • Designate two local landmarks.
    We’ve done Old #4 firehouse. The other idea was the junior high apartments. We have not approached them. We would have to include the maintenance people in the conversation if it ever became a designated landmark. This is where the landmark committee could make the contact and help them understand what the process would entail. Look for older buildings and ask people if they would consider. One example is Cynthia Harrington’s Rose Quest business. She might be easier to approach.
  • Improve the working relationship between our Commission and the Redevelopment Commission.
    People interested in attending the meetings. What can we help them do. They are the deep pockets. Some houses are demolished, some of renovated using their money. We want to have some input in those decisions.
  • Plaques for existing landmarks.
    We got those done. Next year, in April, we will start scheduling the installation. Hope to have some commission member there. We have some ordered and stored. Christa will check to see which ones those are. (see attached picture sheet)
  • Proposing a budget to the Common Council.
    We did that and have been annually. Good thing to keep on the list.
  • Distribute Historic Preservation Month yard signs in May.
    We have had a good response from those. Mr. Zenor thinks it’s a good thing to keep.
  • Preservation Awards for May.
    This is the year we said we would do the full blown awards again. Mr. Zenor will be here through May and offers to do the presentation portion. Anyone who wants to join him is welcome. We’ll send out the list of what kinds of awards there are. Between now and April, be on the lookout for places that qualifies for these categories. As an example for the Adaptive Reuse award, again Cynthia Harrington and the Rose Quest building. Judy Gray suggested the Tea House. Kate Volker asked if we had ever considered asking the public to submit nominations. Mr. Zenor thinks you have to have guidelines and examples for people to see. And enough time for the HPC to sort through. Look for other HPCs that have a similar process to borrow their guidelines. We already have the previous winners to use as examples. Award for service can go to a business; last time it went to Kil Architecture, before that it was Becky Emmons from the paper, before that it was Paul Hayden from Landmarks. So it doesn’t have to be someone who owns a building. Ms. Voelker concedes the public doesn’t have to do them all, just pick a couple categories.
  • Website: updating and adding info to the HPC portion of the City’s site.
    Good energy. Bryan Tanner has taken on most of that. Mr. Zenor asked Mr. Tanner to highlight some of the changes next month and we would be adding people to this committee.
  • New HPC logo.
    We got some traction but don’t have a finalized one. Carry on through next year. Maybe we could have a new logo by May for preservation month. Tony Obringer pointed out we never got a submission from Marian High School, only Mishawaka High School. Kate Volker asked how much it would take to get it professionally done. The quote last year was $300. We were hoping to have Jennifer John’s friend do some gratis work, but that is a lot to ask of someone. We hope to have a new logo for the website and to order new signs for preservation month.
  • Downtown preservation plan with Notre Dame Univ.
    That’s gone as far as its going. They were putting together a project to put a building next to the Ironworks Building. There will be an unveiling of the project they came up with on the 10th. Mr. Zenor might attend. Its all virtual.
  • Co-sponsor history talks at Downtown Mishawaka Public Library.
    We had two last year. Dick Eisen said the committee was going to meet for next year. Mr. Zenor wanted some input. Mr. Eisen said Ed Chamberlin will be coming back. Mr. Zenor asked if the context of his presentation would be showing film with a discussion afterwards? He suggested a larger auditorium, perhaps at the Battell Center or even Mishawaka High School. These are venues we could take advantage of when having a larger gathering.
  • Continue to pursue an intern from local colleges to update data and other tasks.
    If that is something we want to continue with we will have to contact those intern programs again. We may have been too late to get the full visibility last year. Bryan Tanner was not in favor of going forwards. The response we got from the universities was not promising and we don’t have anything to show them since we’ve never had an intern before. Christa Hill asked if anyone had contacted Ball State. Their planning students are required to do an internship. Some logistics might need to be worked out since Ball State is in Muncie. Dave Eisen has an office space still available.

2015 Goals

  • Restore, prepare, frame and offer for sale 30 keepsake portions of the Main Junior High School gymnasium floor.
    Begin sales promotion in April for delivery in May. There are 30 frames similar to what we used to frame one for the Educational Foundation currently stored in Mr. Zenor’s garage. Through the winter clean them and frame them, so they will be ready to sell starting in April. Kate Volker asked how much we were selling them for? Mr. Zenor says in the past it was $75, but it could be lowered to what the market is, but no lower than $50 because we have $12-15 in them for the frame and materials. Someone will be a finished example to the next meeting.
  • Send a representative from HPC to the quarterly Affiliates Meetings for Indiana Landmarks as a guest of Todd Zeiger, Director of the Northern Region, Indiana Landmarks.
    Affiliates usually pay some support but Todd Zeiger has always been generous and Mr. Zenor has gone to some of these meetings. People in other preservations groups come together to share ideas and energies. Part of our awards process came out of these meetings. It only costs you a day of time because Todd Zeiger usually drives.
  • Send one or two members to the Indiana’s 2015 historic preservation conference.
    One of the attachments Preserving Historic Places: Indiana’s Statewide Preservation Conference, Kokomo, IN, April 22-24, 2015. There are speakers on topics from as wide as city planning, to specific as church steeple restoration. Sponsor one or two members. We have a $500 budget for supporting continuing education. Mr. Zenor got a scholarship from the state. It covered tuition, half of a single room or all of a double room, and the banquet. If you ride with Todd Zieger, you don’t have to count mileage. All it costs is two days of time. The conference likes to focus and highlight where the conference is being held. So far it includes tours of industrial and automotive heritage sites, dinner and glass making demonstrations at the Kokomo Opalescent Glass factory, and a number of speakers.
  • Organize and offer to the public two educational presentations on historic preservation, maintaining older homes, or Mishawaka’s historic architecture.
    We can talk more about that with the education committee. Encourage everyone to join one of the two committees; education/public relations and landmarks.
  • Arrange for HPC members two continuing education programs that qualify with the State’s Certified Local Government (CLG) requirements. (As a CLG, our HPC is a certified agency of the government that has certain legal powers pertaining to the designation and preservation of local and national historic landmarks in Mishawaka.)
    Last month Paul Hayden spoke to us about paint colors. Send a letter to local historic landmark owners to thank them and let them know we are here as a resource and we have rules so its not a shock when they want to do something.

Preview of 2015 Preserving Historic Places Conference, April 22-24 in Kokomo, IN

We discussed this during goals, but as they keep updating website, Mr. Zenor will keep sending it around.

Update on 901 Lincolnway West; preservation information request from new owner.

There was a handout passed around a description and picture of the house. There were several of us that were interested in what the future of the house might be. It was bought by a woman who is a former Mishawakan. She currently lives in Georgia but still have family here. She bought it sight unseen, but someone she trusted. The new owner asked if HPC has any suggestions for paint colors or if they needed to be approved? Mr. Zenor put her in touch with the neighbors, who were also concerned with the future. In the past, it has been an apartment building. Sherwin Williams has a visualizer on their website, with an example house that looks similar. Mr. Zenor will send the link.

Privilege of the Floor

Dave Straugh: The Studebaker building that houses the food bank has some plastic on the outside. They are going to keep it the same use, they are just fixing it up so it doesn’t fall down.

Cliff Zenor: John and Dick, thank you for your service. The door is always open.


Cliff Zenor, Chairman

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