In 1978 the Hammond City Council established by ordinance the Hammond Historic District which includes most of the downtown business district. Historic District designation is a way to officially recognize historic or architecturally significant areas. Moreover, it provides a means to protect and preserve unique buildings and features from the city's past for the enjoyment of future generations. Owning property within the historic district is both a privelege and a responsibility. Similar to zoning ordinances, a historic district ordinance provides guidelines that insure property owners that their investment will be protected. Historic district designation also stimulates economic investment by improving property values in the downtown area. Changes are permitted, but they must respect the special character of the district and contribute positively to the appearance of the downtown area. It should also be noted the properties facing the historic district , but not in the historic district are subject to the same guidelines as the district.
National Register Historic District
In 1980 the National Park Services of th U.S. Department of the Interior also designated parts of downtown Hammond as an historic district listed in the National Register of Historic Places. The National Register is the official list of the nation's cultural resources deemed worthy of preservation. The boundaries of the National Register historic district differ from those of the municipal historic district. Those buildings included in the National Register historic district may qualify for Investment Tax Credits, based on the costs incurred in rehabilitating the building. Special guidelines from the Secretary of the Interior must be followed (as well as those of the Hammond Historic Commission) in order to qualify for the tax credits. Listing in the National register of Historic Places also affords protection to those buildings affected by any federally funded or licensed projects, such as a highway or airport.
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