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Preservation at the Crossroads Newsletter

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Preservation Month Photo Contest Winners

This year, the Indiana Department of Natural Resources Division of Historic Preservation & Archaeology (DHPA) received 67 entries for its annual photo contest. After voting by DHPA and DNR staff, the winners in each category are listed below:

Altered: Frog Baby Fountain on campus of Ball State University by Tim Underhill of Muncie


Black & White: Cannonball Bridge over Wabash River in Knox County by Jennifer Minnis of Paris, IL

Black and white

Color: Barn at Prophetstown State Park by David Wright


Kids: Indiana State Capitol and the Soldiers and Sailors Monument in downtown Indianapolis by August Rumschlag


Preservation Month Theme (Indiana's Scholastic Gymnasiums): Salm Gymnasium in Madison by Andrew Forrester of Madison

Salm Gym

HPF Projects to be Awarded for Fiscal Year 2024

This year, the Historic Preservation Fund (HPF) grant awards total more than $635,000, which will be matched by the applicants with over $604,000 for a total investment of over $1.2 million for Indiana’s historic and cultural resources. Although official grant awards haven’t been made yet, read more about the following projects that are expected to receive federal financial assistance through the U.S. Department of Interior’s National Park Service HPF program, administered by the DHPA.

Preservation Month: Historic Scholastic GymnasiumsPoster

Indiana’s fascination with basketball goes back almost to its invention in 1892. The sport especially grew in popularity between 1911 and 1937, when the number of teams in the Indiana High School Athletic Association’s state tournament expanded from 12 to more than 800, rising to what is known as “Hoosier Hysteria.”.

Gymnasiums over time grew to accommodate large crowds for tournament games. Early gymnasiums were often connected to the original school building and featured little to no space for spectator seating. Eventually, gymnasiums were constructed as stand-alone buildings, providing ample room for spectators. Some of the largest basketball gyms in the country are located in Indiana and across the state, many remain standing as a physical representation of Indiana’s beloved sport. For more information about Indiana’s historic gymnasiums, follow the DHPA Facebook page as we celebrate Indiana Historic Preservation Month. To request a copy of this year’s poster (while supplies last), contact

March Bracket Posts on FacebookSouthside

Each March, DHPA creates a bracket-style friendly competition pitting different types of historic resources found throughout Indiana. This year, we highlighted Coca-Cola plants, high schools, residential I-houses, and resources that relate to air and space. The winner of our month-long voting challenge was Fort Wayne’s South Side High School. It was an Allen County final round against the Fort Wayne Coca-Cola Bottling Plant, but school spirit emerged victorious, garnering over 1,000 votes throughout the month! If you have suggestions on resource types we should feature in future Facebook posts, please let us know!

“It’s Cheaper to Dig than to Build”: Ralph Legeman’s Sunken GymsGymnasium Montgomery Township

Evansville-based architect Ralph Legeman pioneered gym construction with his patented design of a ‘sunken gym’ that allowed ample space with unobstructed views, an efficient usage of materials, at a cost savings for construction. There are more than 27 Legeman-style gyms found in Illinois, Indiana, and Michigan. Read more about his unique design and how it revolutionized basketball spectating in Indiana.

Preserving Historic Places Conference 2024Downtown Madison

Save the date for the Preserving Historic Places Conference 2024, in Madison, IN. Explore a town rich in nineteenth-century architecture and heritage that provided a hub for industry, commerce, the Underground Railroad, and transportation. Early Bird Registration opens in June. For information and updates, see

Recent Listings on the National RegisterMessick Mason Temple

In March 2024, Indiana added five listings to the National Register of Historic Places. These listings – commercial and residential districts; industrial buildings; and fraternal lodge buildings – have added approximately 176 historic resources to the National and State Registers.

For information on Indiana properties listed in the National Register of Historic Places and the Indiana Register of Historic Sites and Structures, visit our website at

Read more about the latest listings.

It’s Preservation Month. Do you know where your State Preservation Plan is?

Did you know that Indiana has a state preservation plan for the management of historic resources? Indiana’s Cultural Resources Management Plan for 2020 to 2026 can be found on the DHPA’s website. In honor of Preservation Month, please take a few minutes to look at chapters 4 and 5 of the plan, read the goals, and consider what YOU can do to advance preservation in Indiana!

Chapter 4 of the state plan lays out three broad goal statements:
EDUCATE and ENGAGE Hoosiers to build awareness, understanding, and support for heritage preservation;
ADVOCATE for preservation of community heritage and cultural resources;
ADVANCE heritage preservation as an essential component of all communities.

Each goal is supported by objectives to make incremental progress, and each objective is supported by strategies for specific types of actions. Questions following each goal ask you to reflect on what is important to you and your community, what your community needs, and what opportunities exist to EDUCATE people around you, ENGAGE decision-makers in your community, ADVOCATE for preservation of locally important historic resources, and ADVANCE heritage preservation as a mainstream idea. Finally, Chapter 5 identifies ways that you can get involved in your own community. Take a look at this list—you’re probably doing some of these things already!

Effective preservation outcomes often require the efforts and coordination of partners at different levels. The federal preservation agency is the National Park Service within the Department of Interior, and Indiana’s state preservation agency is the DNR Division of Historic Preservation & Archaeology (DHPA). Many Indiana communities and counties have their own local preservation offices. While many of the duties the DHPA performs and the services it provides rely on a federal-state-local partnership, the state plan is intended to guide preservation partners and advocates at all levels.

A state plan must be revised periodically so that it remains relevant and responsive to on-going and emerging issues, including public input. The DHPA will begin the process of revising the state preservation plan next year. More than 4,200 people participated in the DHPA’s online public input survey in 2019. We hope you will participate in 2025.

Listening to and Reading about History, Archaeology, and Historic Preservation

The DHPA staff loves podcasts, social media, and resources related to history, archaeology, and historic preservation. So, we thought we’d share with you our favorite finds. In each newsletter issue, we’ll highlight something we’ve found or use.

Women in Archaeology (  – celebrating women’s contributions to archaeology!

Dr. Charles Beeker (Indiana University), Timothy Brown (US Embassy), and Pedro Morales (Dominican Republic Minister of Culture) discuss underwater heritage of a ship carrying slaves and the delicate nature when learning about our history. This article and newscast are in originally in Spanish, but you should be able to switch the article and closed captions to English.

Unbound: A Collection of Indiana Stories is a podcast by the Indiana Historic Society. They pull stories from their magazine, blog, and exhibits to share a more complete and connected Indiana history.

What archaeology, architecture, or preservation pages do you follow? We want to know at

Follow DHPA on Facebook

The Division of Historic Preservation & Archaeology is on Facebook. Follow us at to find out about upcoming events, participate in trivia, find out about things to see and do throughout the state, and learn interesting facts about preservation and archaeology in Indiana. If you have suggestions for topics or questions for future discussions let us know at

Tell us what you think

We are always interested in your ideas. If there is a topic you would like to see in an upcoming issue of Preservation at the Crossroads, email us at

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