A regular meeting of the Mishawaka Historic Preservation Commission was held Tuesday, June 2, 2015 in Room 205, City Hall, 600 East Third Street, Mishawaka IN.

Meeting was called to order at 4:00pm.

Commission members in attendance: Mike Bultinck, Terry DeMaegd, David Eisen, Jennifer Johns, Nancy Seidler, and Faye Sullivan. Advisory members present: Shirley McAlister, Bryan Tanner, and Cliff Zenor. Staff: Christa Hill, Ken Prince. Visitor: Lucille Gering, Dave Straughn, Tim Wall and Chris Wiedner from Troyer


A motion by Terry DeMaegd and seconded by Faye Sullivan approved the minutes of the April 7, 2015 meeting minutes.

A motion by Bryan Tanner and seconded by Mike Bultinck approved the minutes of the May 6, 2015 meeting minutes.

Public Hearing

A. COA #15-01

Lucille Gering spoke on behalf of her COA. Someone stole the downspouts on the west side of the house, closest to the road. It must have happened sometime over the winter but she didn’t notice until the thaw. She also replaced a third that was coming apart at the seam. The repairs have already been made.

Terry DeMaegd confirmed they were aluminum and painted brown. He then read design guidelines from originating ordinance referring to gutters and downspouts.

Ken Prince verified that Mrs. Gering had contacted the Planning office once she discovered they were missing. He advised her to have them installed immediately, rather than allowing damages.

Cliff Zenor asked about the gutters. Mrs. Gering thinks they are lined with copper. Cliff asked about the connection between the metals because certain metals could cause a reaction. Mrs. Gering didn’t know, the installer didn’t mention anything, but she would check into it.

Faye Sullivan hopes the existing copper gutter is in a place that can’t be stolen. The Dodge House had their downspouts stolen last year.

There was no one to speak in favor or in opposition.

Dave Eisen made the finding of facts motion, seconded by Faye Sullivan:

I move that this Historic Preservation Commission find as fact that the proposed project 15-01, if constructed according to the plans submitted on April 30, 2015, is compatible with the character of the house for the reason that the replacement of the missing and deteriorating copper downspouts with brown aluminum downspouts to be placed in the same locations as the originals are in harmony with the approved preservation guidelines and the character of the subject property.

Dave Eisen made the motion for approval, seconded by Nancy Siedler:

Based on the preceding finding of fact, I move that the Historic Preservation Commission grant a certificate of appropriateness to Lucille Gering, owner of the Webster-Gering house, for application 15-01.

B. COA #15-02

Ken Prince, City Planner, spoke on behalf of the Battell Park COA. Last month, the Mayor and Ken outlined the Battell Park Master Plan. The sewer project is already in progress, so what they are asking for today is the sidewalk along Mishawaka Avenue to be moved to the south, connection to the bandshell, Riverwalk/bicycle safety, removal of trees and addition of a new sign. The plan included in the staff report highlights only the changes being made at this time.

Terry DeMaegd confirmed the material for the sidewalks would be concrete. If the trees are diseased we should just take them out. No new buildings?

Bryan Tanner pointed out the sign. The sign is considered a structure. Mr. Prince explained the sign will me designed in the style of the WPA work to mirror the look, but the whole structure wouldn’t be constructed of stone, just the outside appearance.

Bryan Tanner asked if the flagpole was part of this approval? No.

Bryan Tanner, Cliff Zenor, Mike Bultinck and Faye Sullivan all voiced they were in favor. Mike asked when this phase of the project would be completed this summer.

There was no one to speak in favor or in opposition.

Ken Prince mentioned one more item was the tree that has fallen in the river will also be removed. Dave Eisen asked if working that close to the river required a permit from the DNR. Ken said since the willow trees has fallen down, it is considered maintenance. In fact, they don’t know how they are going to get the willow tree out. The equipment might be too big to maneuver the rock garden. Coming from the river may be the best way to reach the willow tree.

Terry DeMaegd made the findings of fact motion, seconded by Mike Bultinck.

I move that the Historic Preservation Commission find as fact that the proposed project 15-02, if constructed according to the plans submitted on June 2, 2015, is compatible with the character of the historic park for the reasons that, subject to the specifics of the submitted plan, are generally in harmony with the approved preservation guidelines and the character of the subject property.

Terry DeMaegd made the motion for approval, seconded by Mike Bultinck.

Based on the preceding findings of fact, I move that the Historic Preservation Commission grant a certificate of appropriateness to Battell Park/City of Mishawaka/Parks Department for application 15-02.

Special Presentation: Battell Center, Tim Wall and Chris Wiedner, Troyer Group

The first slide showed an old picture of the canopy over the entrance on Main Street. They would like to remove the existing canopy to recreate this look. Nancy Siedler asked what they were made of? The old ones were wood with cladding. The new ones would be made of metal and supported by cables.

Cliff Zenor asked about the connection of the cables to the masonry. The Troyer Group said the condition is not known at this time.

The next change would be to replace all the windows. Ken Prince pointed out the existing windows are replacements. The new windows will be energy efficient. Since the old pictures are black and white it is hard to tell an exact color, but they can tell the trim was dark, so the new windows will be a sepia brown color. Also on windows, the gym’s windows that have been blocked over will be reopened.

At the main (north) entrance, the plan is to remove the mechanicals that currently hide the door . On the inside, a formal foyer would be created. The ramp would be eliminated and an elevator installed. The Main Street entrances will function only as emergency exits. The space between the two buildings will project. The roofline will match the parapet style of the existing buildings. The name “Battell Center” will be more visible. Troyer Group had three examples of what the new entrance would look like. One had a separate pillar with the name on it; one looked like a theater marquee; and the third had letters directly on the building.

Cliff Zenor asked if this is the entrance to the auditorium. Yes, this is the main entrance.

The Historic Preservation Commission does not have any jurisdiction over the Battell Center, but Ken Prince is asking for input from the HPC. Troyer Group noted the colors on the screen were not the final colors. They would try to match the existing brick, but there is a lot of different brick.

Cliff Zenor liked the pitched awning to match the ones on Main Street. He also asked about water on the canopy and lights.

The parking will be designed differently. There will be a turnaround/drop-off under the new projection. It will be more inviting and easier to understand where to park. Faye Sullivan appreciated the better parking design.

Bryan Tanner asked about the inside restoration of the auditorium. Troyer Group identified that accessibility issues would be addressed, bathrooms would be updated to meet code, the HVAC system would be made more efficient, sound and lighting systems would be upgraded, and the drop ceiling would be eliminated in areas where there wasn’t too much wiring in the way.

Nancy Siedler asked for a timeline. The job will be bid this summer and start in the fall. The building will need to be shut down during the winter in order to not work around people in the building. Parks Department, for example will be relocated to the Eberhart golf course. This is a $2.5 million project expected to last for the next 30 years.

Dave Straughn asked about the balcony. They will rip out seating, level the area, add new seats and a railing. In the end, there will be an increase in seating.

Cliff Zenor asked if there would be a projection screen in the theater. Does this project include window coverings to keep light out?

Dave Eisen asked if a new sign would go on Main Street, perhaps to look like the ones at the park. Ken Prince explained that since we just replaced sign at the corner with an electronic reader board there isn’t a need.

Bryan Tanner liked the column. Mike Bultinck also likes the column, but does not like the letters on the building. Faye Sullivan liked the marquee because it reminds her of other theaters. Dave Eisen asked if the column would be lit.

The column could be seen from both the north and the south. The marquee options can only seen by those traveling south.

Faye Sullivan asked if they could do both. Ken Prince thinks the column, the marquee and the existing sign might be too much, too close together.

Faye thinks they should keep the arch to match the front.

Committee Reports:

Historic Districts/Plaques: Cliff Zenor said they were not able to install the Burns plaque at 732 Lincolnway West because we did not want to damage the granite. The thought was maybe a separate monument, like a rock in the yard, to affix the plaque to. Cliff will ask Todd Zeiger at Indiana Landmarks for advice on who could do this work. No one answered the door at the Carlton Tavern House, so Kate Voelker was going to return the plaque to the office. Faye Sullivan talked to the owners of the Dodge Old People’s House, Dr. Metzler. He showed her where he wants the plaque (use existing holes) so he doesn’t need to be there if we want to install it.

Public Relations and Community Education: Mike Bultinck’s daughter’s third grade teacher at Beiger School does a historic bus tour. What can we provide to this program? Dave Eisen thinks those are coordinated through Lexie at the Hannah Lindahl Children’s museum.

Administration/Incentives: Due to Bryan Tanner’s work on the Story Map, no progress has been made on the administration/incentives.



Since Doug Merritt is not present, discussion on the logo will be moved to next month.

Story Map

Bryan Tanner passed around an aerial with color-coded pushpins. The yellow represent local sites; the red represent national sites; blue represents both local and national; and white represents sites that no longer exist (razed). We could have tabs for each category, or put them all on the same map with color to differentiate. Based on the information we have, a walking tour may be premature. Hopefully when it is ready, we hope to get it in the newsletter that accompanies the utility bills and on the City’s Facebook page.

Terry DeMaegd ask where it would be located on the website? That will be up to IT. Neither Bryan or Christa Hill are sure how the website is set up and where there would be room for our Story Map.

Dave Eisen left at 5:05.

Bryan asked for guidance on how the sites would be numbered. Even if we aren’t doing a tour, they still need a number in the database.

Mike Bultinck suggested districts.

Cliff Zenor suggested letting people know where parking was available near each site.

We agreed on starting west to east on Lincolnway and then moving north, starting back at the west on Mishawaka Ave.

Mike Bultinck left at 5:10.

Nancy Siedler likes seeing all the pushpins on one map.

Cliff asked about the GIS logo on the home page. Bryan explained some of that is up to IT. We can ask that it be on the home page for a limited amount of time when it is new. The images will have to be hosted first, then linked. Cliff asked about the format and size of the photos.

Preservation Awards

Cliff Zenor would like to contact the people what were at the meeting Monday night, specifically from the BK and DeAmici’s club so we can send them the Q&A for the website.

Correspondence/Media Contact

Anything to the media or contact with City Departments should be filtered through Christa Hill, Associate Planner.

Summerfest Booth

Jennifer Johns thought we decided we weren’t doing it this year for lack of preparedness. Christa Hill said since we are a City entity, the Parks Department is giving us some leeway, but people started signing up in March. Terry DeMaegd and Dave Eisen had the idea that people could look through the 1995 survey and see if their house was in it. Keep on agenda for next year.

July Meeting Location Change

Next month’s meeting will be at Doug Merritt’s firehouse, 2319 Lincolnway East.


Christa Hill announced Planning is going to share a summer intern with Redevelopment. If we have a specific project, perhaps help getting the story map online, HPC could utilize them for some of the hours. Bryan Tanner thinks it will be helpful to have 1995 Survey categorized into outstanding, notable, and contributing. We have not been given a name, the date they start, or their availability yet.

Jennifer Johns invited everyone to Ruthmere and the Havilah Beardsley house on Sunday from 1-4pm, it is free.

Cliff Zenor will be meeting with the Boy Scouts this weekend to give them all the supplies and explain the process to them. Terry DeMaegd asked what we will do with them. Cliff wants them ready by November to sell for Christmas. Terry referred to the Mayor’s answers last month that we shouldn’t be doing fundraising. Christa pointed out that we have already put out money for all the materials, it would be a shame to waste them. Terry wants Christa to check with the Mayor’s office.

Christa Hill will prepare a thank you letter to the Council members for letting us come to the meeting and present our awards.

Please pick up the National Historic Preservation Month signs in the area you set them out in. Dave Eisen brought his back to the meeting. They can be returned to City Hall during regular business hours.

Upon a motion by Bryan Tanner and seconded by Nancy Siedler, the meeting was ADJOURNED at 5:30pm.


Terry DeMaegd, Chairman

Christa Hill, Associate Planner

hpcm20150602.pdf135.92 KB