A regular meeting of the Mishawaka Historic Preservation Commission was held Wednesday, November 4,2015 in Room 205, City Hall, 600 E. Third, Mishawaka , IN.

Meeting was called to order at 4:03 pm.

Commission members in attendance: Mike Bultinck, Terry DeMaegd, Dave Eisen, Judy Gray, Doug Merritt, Nancy Siedler, Faye Sullivan (at 4:25), and Kate Voekler (at 4:10). Advisory members present: Bryan Tanner and Alan Grzeskowiak. Staff: Christa Hill.

As a new member, Alan Grzeskowiak gave a history of himself and why he wants to get involved. Born and raised in Mishawaka his whole life. Dave Eisen asked for clarification if Alan was a voting member or an advisory member. He is advisory. Terry DeMaegd asked what interested Alan in the position. He saw it on the website and just submitted his resume. He owns a house that was built in the 1940’s. Christa Hill pointed out that technically that counts as historic. Other members introduced themselves.


A motion by Mike Bultinck and seconded by Nancy Siedler approved the minutes of the September 1, 2015 meeting minutes as presented.

Conflict of Interest:

Due to the public hearing before the Commission, we want to go on record that Doug Merritt, as owner of 2319 Lincolnway East, will not participate in the vote for HPC #15-3. This should be on the agenda every time we have a public hearing.


HPC #15-3: National Register Application for 2319 Lincolnway East, Old No. 4 Fire House

The application was prepared by Kurt Garner. He will be handling the entire process. Christa Hill prepared the staff report from this application, with guidelines from Indiana Landmarks and previous national nominations. The last time we had a national nomination was almost 20 years ago for the Carnegie Library in 1998.

Mike Bultinck asked what the National Register means? Doug Merritt answered mainly prominence and recognition. The property has been restored to a specific degree. One of the perks is the owner is able to apply for a tax credit. Doug is able to have a historical marker placed. He is working with the Lincoln Highway Association to put their information on the other side. The National and State processes are running concurrently. Bryan Tanner asked what sort of protection the National Register provides. Doug concurred that protection comes from the local jurisdiction. Mike asked if the designation applies to the garage, since it is not yet built. The National Recognition still defers to the local level for changes, like the garage and walkway, which will need to come back before this Commission for a vote.

Kate Voelker arrived at this time.

When will we know if it was accepted? Doug’s consultant predicts January. Christa has a letter for Terry DeMaegd, as chairman, to sign, and also a letter for the mayor. She will then send those letters, the staff report, and copies of legal ads and notification letters to the State. Terry confirmed there was no public comment received.

Dave Eisen made a motion, seconded by Mike Bultinck, that the Mishawaka Historic Preservation Commission concurs that Mishawaka Fire Station No. 4 meets the criteria for placement in the National Register of Historic Places.

Doug also wanted to let us know the fire pole has been installed, but only for looks, it is not functional; you cannot slide down.

Committee Reports:

Historic Districts/Plaques: Kate Voelker still needs to contact Central Services if they would be willing to install them. Kate will contact them before the next meeting. We should ask Cliff Zenor if he has contacted the mason regarding the Eberhart Major house. Christa Hill asked Doug Merritt if he wanted a local plaque to match the other local landmarks? Doug indicated the large national plaque would suffice and that wouldn’t need to be attached to the building.

Public Relations and Community Education: There was no report.

Administration/Incentives: Bryan Tanner has completed the Handbook. It is 53 pages and includes mission statement and structure, FAQs (from the website), rules of procedure for meetings and COA, list of local and national landmarks, process for historic designation, filing requirements for COA, copies of City ordinances and State guidelines. Appendixes include list of landmarks, list of members, application for COA, and meeting procedure. He wants to update Appendix A to reflect the new pictures and information used in the Story Map. It would be in a format so each landmark would have its own page. Another appendix idea would be a reference to the 1979 and 1995 surveys are available online.

Kate Voelker asked what the intent was. They would issue them to each member and when we get new members. Who would update? Whomever is on the Administration/Incentive committee in the future. Christa Hill offered to purchase binders out of the Planning Department’s supplies budget, but a couple Commissioner’s indicated they already have a binder for HPC work.

A copy will be sent to all members following the meeting. Bryan asked all Commissioners review the Handbook and either send back comments or bring them to the next meeting. Terry DeMaegd asked to put it on the agenda for a vote to accept it at the December meeting.


Faye Sullivan arrived at this time.

Mishawaka Heritage Festival Recap

Terry DeMaegd thinks we had a poor location. We were set up in one of the pavilions, but not facing where people were walking. We handed out brochures. Bryan Tanner said it was a very hot day, that may have kept people away in general. There was water running causing mud in front of some booths. Kate Voelker thinks for a first time event it was good, but there are things that can be tweaked. She learned that Mishawaka Main Jr High has artwork created by one of the residents. Kate suggested next year open up some of the landmarks and give tours. Mike Bultinck says there is a gallery/museum inside the apartments that preserves items from the school. Terry said they presented the award, however the award recipient was not able to make it to the festival. Terry delivered it to him about a week later. We then learned that Clem Verstrate has since passed away. Christa Hill asked how many people came by the booth. Terry thinks about 50, but only about 10 people walked into the pavilion to look at the Story Map. Faye Sullivan asked if the location would keep us from doing it again. Mike says now we know what to expect and can plan for it. We have several months to prepare this time.

Story Map

Christa Hill asked Bryan Tanner if there was any interest in getting the story map connected to the City’s website. He would like to make some tweaks, like the forms for the handbook before putting it on the website. It will be harder to update once it is posted.

Tivoli Theater Historic Pieces

Roger Shields, from the Mishawaka Redevelopment office, who was also involved in the demolition of the Tivoli, got all the stuff from the Battell Center, boxed it up, labeled it, and it is currently being stored at the Water Dept. We still need to decide what to do with it, but all we were asked to do was get it out of the Battell Center, which has been done.


Refund to Mary Watt for Plaque

When Mary Watt was at our last meeting, we discussed who paid for the plaques. She thinks she paid for hers. She also sent an official letter asking for a refund. We were able to find the deposits in the correct amounts around the time indicated. Since this was many years ago, and the City Controller has changed, she asked that the HPC make an official vote in order to return the money. Upon a motion by Mike Bultinck and seconded by Doug Merritt, the Mishawaka Historic Preservation Commission will issue a $100 refund to Mary Watt. After this refund, Christa Hill will get a balance of this gift fund before the next meeting.

Meeting at the Hannah Lindahl Children’s Museum – March

When Lexie Schroeder Kobb was at our meeting a couple of months ago, she invited us to hold a meeting at the museum. She emailed Christa Hill what work best for their schedule was November, which we couldn’t take advantage of because of the public hearing and March. The only reason we couldn’t do it in March is if another public hearing came up. Christa will set something up with Lexie for March. It will be the same date and time, first Tuesday, March 1 at 4pm. Dave Eisen says the Museum is closed by then, so we shouldn’t be interfering with any programs.

Roundtable Refreshments

Christa Hill recently became aware that Cliff Zenor had been purchasing refreshments for the American Heritage Roundtable at the library. Christa asked Dave Eisen if there was an official agreement. He said there was not. Since there is not, it will be much harder to get reimbursed. Christa asked if each member would be willing to take a turn purchasing the cookies and punch. Dave indicated he’d been doing it and will continue doing it. He is not concerned if he doesn’t get reimbursed. Christa is having the Roundtable events posted on the News and Events page and the City’s Facebook page. Dave also pointed out that the library was considering charging groups to use the meeting rooms. This may or may not affect the Roundtable events since they are also sponsored by the Friends of the Library.

Completed Gym Floor Pieces

Cliff Zenor has reported the gym floor pieces have been completed by the Eagle Scouts. He will deliver them to City Hall, where we will store them. Because the Boy Scouts are involved, we want to donate several of them as a goodwill offering. Previous suggestions were the Mayor, Ken Prince and Greg Kil for their involvement in the project, and returning one to the apartments, run by the Housing Authority. Public places were the Heritage Center at the library and the Hannah Lindahl Children’s Museum. Ken Prince has suggested returning one to the Boy Scouts and Zilkowski, the contractor on the project. Members suggested The Res and Mishawaka High School/School Board.

Bryan Tanner suggested lowering the price to $50 and calling it a suggested donation. Kate Voelker asked how many have already sold at $75? Christa Hill thinks about 8. We’ve already put about $20 into the frames and materials. We can advertise it in the South Bend Tribune and Mishawaka Enterprise, the Communicator and at the Mishawaka alumni association newsletter. Terry DeMaegd could attend the alumni meeting.

The City isn’t keen on the idea of the HPC fundraising without a specific goal in mind for the money. The Mayor mentioned this when he did questions and answers and Ken Prince brought it up again prior to today’s meeting. Judy Gray asked why some other places can fundraise. Christa thinks it might have something to do with our CLG status. What about when we need to buy new Historic Preservation Month signs. Doug Merritt might have connections to get signs donated or at least at cost. Kate suggests the education of preservation as our goal. Bus tour may be too specific.


Terry DeMaegd wanted to congratulate both Kate Voekler and Bryan Tanner on their campaign. Doug Merritt agrees.

Terry DeMaegd went to a meeting about the Indiana Bicentennial. There will be a Torch Relay Saturday October 8, 2016. Right now they are looking for nominees for torch bearers. We will discuss nominees at the December meeting.

The St. Joseph County/South Bend Historic Preservation Commission is giving a bus tour next Sunday, November 7. Tickets are available through their website.

Judy Gray mentioned a LaPorte Historic Christmas Walk. Details will be emailed.

We received a letter from the DNR approving our CLG for another year.

Heads up: There was a safety issue at the Battell Park stairs, so we may see a COA for repairs.

Christa Hill announced she was pregnant, and would not be available for the January or February meeting. She would like to come back for the March meeting at Hannah Lindahl. Ken Prince suggested not having a January meeting, and he would be staff support for the February meeting. Terry DeMaegd thought we needed to have a January meeting if only to elect officers. That way the agenda would be simple.

Kate Voelker and Mike Bultinck moved to ADJOURN the meeting at 5:20 pm.


Terry DeMaegd, Chairman

Christa Hill, Associate Planner

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