National Register to consider Bremen landmarks

BREMEN — Within the next year, two local landmarks could be listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Working with Bremen historian RT Henke, Plymouth architect and preservationist Kurt Garner hopes to secure the designation for the Bremen Depot and the town's water storage standpipe.

The honor comes with potential financial benefits.

"Being on the registry helps you in getting grants and so forth for future projects," Henke said. "In a lot of cases it gives you points, because it is an important consideration. This really is a good thing to do."

Garner said being on the register makes it easier to secure tax credits for rehabilitations for around 25 percent of the cost of a historic restoration project.

While the Bremen Depot dates back to 1929, the standpipe was built in 1892 and served Bremen until 1955. In 1975, it was designated an American Water Landmark by the American Water Works Association.

Over the next three months or so, Garner will put together a 20 to 25-page nomination, which has to include in-depth history and photos. Once completed, it will be submitted to Indiana's Division of Historic Preservation and Archeology, which is under the Department of Natural Resources umbrella. After passing a technical review which takes around six weeks, it goes to Washington D.C., where the confirmation process usually takes around nine months.

The funding for Garner's work is coming from Partners in Preservation, Inc., a not-for-profit based in Hammond which has successfully nominated over 450 structures for the register. The organization is primarily funded by one benefactor, James Morrow.

"James has been doing this for probably a decade now and a lot of the work that he's done has made it possible to get federal funds that are pretty hard to get these days," Garner said.

Henke called Garner a "friend of Bremen." Garner was employed by the firm which worked on the Bremen Depot project. He currently works on his own, focusing on consulting work regarding preservation projects.
Born in Bremen, Garner has a passion for preserving its history.

"I'm a big history fan, particularly local history," Garner said. "I enjoy the research and the architectural side of it. This is a great project we're working on and something the town of Bremen can be proud of. That's what its about."