- Associated Press - Saturday, December 26, 2015

CHARLESTOWN, Ind. (AP) - A Charlestown neighborhood’s potential spot on the National Register of Historic Places is being opposed by the town’s mayor.

Mayor Bob Hall’s disapproval of an effort to give the neighborhood historic recognition stems from efforts by the city to demolish 354 former government housing structures built for ammunition plant workers during World War II, the Courier-Journal of Louisville, Kentucky, reported (https://cjky.it/1ImZeqv).

“It’s dilapidated housing and a high-crime area,” Hall said Thursday. “There’s no part of it that’s historic, other than that (the houses are) 50 years old. They need to be revitalized.”

A historic designation could offer protection from future projects, according to Indiana Landmarks regional director Greg Sekula. The nonprofit is providing $2,250 to help land Pleasant Ridge on the map.

Hall and supporters have pushed the development plan as a solution to some of Charlestown’s problems for the last year and a half. According to the city, about two-thirds of the homes in Pleasant Ridge are rental properties.

Hall has applied for state and federal funding to demolish the homes and so a private developer could build a subdivision, retirement community and some retail space.

Some homeowners in Pleasant Ridge have vehemently fought the mayor and city officials. Residents say they want the designation so they can invest in rehabilitating the area.

The neighborhood association is matching funds provided by Indiana Landmarks so they can start the application.

“I believe this is one of the biggest steps we could’ve taken to protect (Pleasant Ridge),” said Pleasant Ridge Neighborhood Association president Josh Craven. “It opens up a lot of avenues for us.”


Information from: The Courier-Journal, https://www.courier-journal.com

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