A regular meeting of the Mishawaka Historic Preservation Commission was held Tuesday, April 7, 2015 in Room 205, City Hall, 600 East Third Street, Mishawaka IN.

Meeting was called to order at 4:00pm.

Commission members in attendance: Terry DeMaegd, David Eisen, Judy Gray, Doug Merritt, Nancy Seidler, Faye Sullivan, Kate Voelker. Advisory members present: Shirley McAlister, Bryan Tanner, and Cliff Zenor. Staff: Christa Hill.


Dave Eisen noticed under Committee Reports, the first time Kate Voelker’s name is mentioned, it was misspelled. With a motion by Dave Eisen, seconded by Kate Voelker, the March 3, 2015 minutes were approved as corrected.

Special Presentation:

Q & A with the Mayor has been moved to May. In addition to answering your questions the Mayor and Ken Prince would like to discuss Battell Park.

Order of Business:

Terry DeMaegd made a motion to start with old business, so items needing a vote could be decided before members had to leave. The motion was seconded by Doug Merritt.



Doug Merritt had previously offered his talents in creating a logo. He and Mike Bultinck met and looked at several historic buildings in Mishawaka and also references online. They have decided to focus on the tower at Mishawaka High School. They will create a mock up at least one week prior to the next meeting so it can be voted on next month.

Preservation Conference

Christa Hill asked if anyone else is interested in going? The dates are April 22-24. Cliff Zenor asked about scholarships. Christa said there has been no further communication about scholarships since Terry DeMaegd got his confirmation. Doug Merritt is interested in going, but only for one day. He will review the schedule for which day would be most beneficial. If anyone else is interested in going on another day, we will contact the conference organizers to share one registration.

Preservation Award Categories

Prior to the meeting, new wording was emailed to members for the new category. This wording was also passed around. Christa Hill clarified this is replacing the Cornerstone award. Cliff Zenor was concerned the awards was what a historical society would do as opposed to historic preservation. Cliff and Terry DeMaegd talked about it and visited the buildings. The proposed name is “Cultural Heritage” award. They took some language directly out of the 1995 survey, which includes both Belgian and Italian heritage districts. Terry has two nominees for this year and Cliff offered some future nominees. Terry suggested changing the first “and” to “or” so even if the architecture wasn’t significant, but the cultural aspect was, it could still be considered.

A motion was made by Doug Merritt and seconded by Kate Voelker to change the wording as presented.

A motion was made by Kate Voelker and seconded by Terry DeMaegd to initiate the Cultural Heritage award with the wording that was just voted on.

Preservation Award Nominees

Cliff Zenor passed around a list of potential winners for this year, complete with pictures. We consider if they are appropriate for these awards. Then we approach the owner and if they accept we have them fill out a questionnaire. Terry DeMaegd pointed out that all of the nominees are in the 1995 Survey. The name of the owner for the Heritage Home Award is Lynn Boss, according to tax records. Faye Sullivan asked that the awards for her house include her husband Bob’s name as well. There are two nominees for the Cultural Heritage Award; the Broederenkring (BK) Building and the D’Amici Building.

A motion was made by Kate Voelker and seconded by Faye Sullivan to accept the slate of nominees as award winners.

Christa Hill asked how to contact the award winners. Cliff asked for names and phone numbers. Terry asked the procedure for getting on a Council meeting. Christa will contact the Mayor’s office and City Clerk, trying to get on the second meeting in May or the first meeting in June. Christa asked how we make the certificates. Cliff has the template for the awards in Publisher on his computer, but will be turning all that information over to Staff. Frames will need to be purchased.

Story Map

Story Map discussion was postponed until Bryan Tanner was present to speak on this topic. Bryan is still waiting for all the descriptions to be completed. If those are done by the end of this week, he will have them proofread. Cliff Zenor offered to take pictures by the end of April. Once it is all together, Bryan will talk to IT/GIS departments about putting the pictures on their server before they can be made part of the spreadsheet. Interior pictures can be added if they are available or at a later date. The hope is it will be ready to go live by the end of May.

Committee Reports:

Historic Districts/Plaques: Kate Voelker has picked 2 dates in May, Saturday May 16 and Saturday May 23, to deliver/install plaques. Christa Hill had previously provided a list of contact information. Kate will schedule the date and time, but cannot do the installation. Cliff Zenor will contact Paul Hayden from Indiana Landmarks regarding the types of installations. Doug Merritt will create a letter to send out to the property owner include the available dates and times, it would protect us and asking for their willingness to be filmed/on camera.

Public Relations and Community Education: Staff to send out press release to South Bend Tribune, Mishawaka Enterprise, and television stations to cover Historic Preservation Month activities including awards, plaques, yard signs and story map.

Administration/Incentives: We gathered some information largely from the internet or previous handouts from Staff. Create a 3-ring binder for each Commissioner which can be updated. Call it Commission Handbook.


National Historic Preservation Month Signs and Letters

Staff will send out letters or emails to everyone who participated last year. A total of 116 signs were placed in 2014. However, only 68 signs are in the basement. Cliff Zenor thinks he has a dozen in his garage. Perhaps Mike Bultinck has some too.

Terry asked about the cost of getting new signs. Bryan Tanner said we had previously got quote from Fast Signs for $500. Kate Voelker suggested we wait until we have a new logo. Kate has used Pack, on Home Street in Mishawaka, and their prices are cheaper than Fast Signs. Doug Merritt has will get three quotes. The stipulations are; one color, 18” by 24”, with stake, 100-150. Cliff suggested the new sign should include the logo, a website and QR code. Bryan Tanner suggested making the QR code part of the logo. Offer residents/business owners who participate in National Historic Preservation Month the opportunity to purchase their sign to defer the cost, which they could keep and the sign would be more permanent. Terry asked when the signs go up? Cliff says in the past we have picked them up at the May meeting. Bryan pointed out May’s meeting falls on Election Day. It will be moved to Wednesday May 6th.


Where does the money for the signs come from? The last time Christa Hill checked with the City Controller, we had approximately $500 in the gift budget. This money comes from donations or anything the HPC has sold (i.e. water, calendars, gym floor). The HPC does not have its own budget, but $500 for education and travel and $1000 for other. What can come out of each category. Terry DeMaegd asked for a running total of the budget at each meeting.

Ball Band Planting

Rick Springer, Landscape/Urban Forestry Manager with the Parks Department, contacted the HPC about planting flowers at the Ball Band monument on May 9th. Those interested were Nancy Siedler, Bryan Tanner, Shirley McAlister, and Doug Merritt. Planting will start at 10am. Rick will be there with a truck full of flowers.


Kate Voelker asked for an update on the gym floor. Cliff and Doug spoke to the Boy Scouts regarding the preparation of the gym floor sections. We received two letters of intent from Boy Scouts wishing to make this their Eagle Scout project. The HPC has all the materials. We need to purchase eye protection, ear protection and maybe another can of varnish. This would come out of our gift account. The deadline is November 1, 2015 so they would be ready to sell by Christmas. We would again put something in the newspaper and the Communicator, perhaps adding the Mishawaka Education Foundation and Christa wants to put the order form on the website. Kate thought the price was high, so perhaps lowering the price or calling it a minimum donation.

Doug Merritt gave an update on Old Firehouse #4. They are finishing touches and he would like to invite the HPC to have a meeting at the Firehouse. Since the Mayor is coming next month, we agreed it should be the June 2 meeting. There was a leftover piece of granite that will become a picnic table at new Firehouse #4.

Dave Eisen announced this Thursday, April 9, was an American Heritage Roundtable at the library. It will begin at 6:30pm and Dave himself will be presenting on the WPA.

Cliff Zenor reminded everyone about the Vintage Green series by Indiana Landmarks. On April 18, the topic is Great Unveiling and deals with the exterior. There is a cost for this all day program.

Christa Hill said the Historic Preservation Commission of South Bend and St. Joseph County is presenting a bus tour this Friday, April 10. Christa thought this might be a good example to see how they do a tour for us to use as a guide should we ever choose to do one. Shirley McCallister said there was an article about it in the paper. If anyone sees that, please pass it along.

Christa Hill read a letter regarding cemeteries. If we could find the answers, maybe we could add this to a story map in the future. Bryan Tanner said it was already one of the ideas he had for a story map, so it is a possibility. Dave Eisen remembers the Trust Department at First Source Bank was supposed to have the information regarding the cemeteries. Christa will contact them.

Since next month’s meeting falls on Election Day, it will be moved to Wednesday, May 6. Christa Hill will inform interested parties of the change.



Terry DeMaegd, Chairman

Christa Hill, Associate Planner

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