The Noblesville Preservation Alliance is working hard to save this essential part of our history!
Recently the NPA provided the following comments to the Surface Transportation Board as part of the petition made by the Owners to abandon the Nickel Plate and remove the tracks.
The Noblesville Preservation Alliance would like to provide the following comments relative to the recent petition submitted by the Owners for an exemption that would sever the Nickel Plate Rail and move the severed section into a rail banked arrangement with plans to replace the rail with a trail. Our comments can be summarized in two key areas:
- process undertaken by the Owners to avoid public input and
- critical value the full rail line brings to Noblesville, IN. and greater Hamilton County, IN.
We would emphasize the need for the Board to exercise its full authority and rights by law to require a full abandonment revocation by the Owners and not allow any partial or expedited revocation as requested by the Owners. We believe their petition intends to cherry pick regulations and stretch case law, favorable only to the Owners’ objectives, while continuing to keep the public out of the process. A full proceeding will, at a minimum, create a venue for the community to provide input in a neutral setting, allow all avenues to maintain the full line to be properly explored and have those elements entered into the record as part of the final decision by the Board.
“The Noblesville Preservation Alliance stands for the historic preservation of the community and carries out its mission through community engagement. As a function of our engagement we strive to work in partnership with local entities such as the City of Noblesville, Hamilton County and many other partner organizations. While we’ve experienced positive engagement working with the city and county on other initiatives we are saddened that the approach with the Nickel Plate Rail does not represent this same spirit of positive engagement. It is clear that the decision making process for the Nickel Plate has been heavily, and at times inappropriately, biased towards a trail only approach. In essence, the city is not listening to the many thousands of citizens, organizations and businesses that represent the great fabric of our city. We believe the most successful projects are those that strike a balance between community input, needs and common sense design. We would encourage and support the city to take an approach that aims to involve citizens and organizations such as the NPA early and throughout the decision making process.
The NPA deeply regrets the city’s decision to select a North-only option for the Nickel Plate Rail that destroys so much of this irreplaceable and historically significant treasure. Much of our history has already been lost in this way, and can never be recreated. Noblesville owes its unique character and charm to the preservation of its past successfully commingled with its present. Saving a fragment is certainly better than total loss, but such a decision should only be made when a fragment is all that can be salvaged. That was true of the Old Mill in Noblesville, but is not the case in this situation. Noblesville's historic courthouse is the jewel of Hamilton County. Would it be so majestic if all were destroyed with only the clock tower remaining?” The Nickel Plate Rail’s incredible value to the community will be forever lost if the line is permitted to be severed.
The Noblesville Preservation Alliance appreciates the Board’s consideration in this matter and looks forward to providing further input as the process moves forward.
Noblesville Preservation Alliance
NPA statement of support for the Nickel Plate Railroad
The Noblesville Preservation Alliance supports the preservation of the Nickel Plate railroad and train as integral to the history and heritage of Noblesville and the state of Indiana. It is our hope that a viable solution to present challenges will include the continuous operation of this unique historic treasure – from Noblesville to Indianapolis and to northern Hamilton County communities.
We encourage careful consideration of the increasing rarity and value of such trains, potential for economic benefit to our community and vital contribution to the enjoyment and education of current and future generations. Noblesville is distinguished and admired for its singular achievement of successfully managing growth while developing into a highly desirable modern community that has preserved its unique character and historic appeal.
Fortunately, Noblesville does not need to recreate the charm of the past – only to continue to value and preserve the meaningful things we have not lost. We are very proud of our beautiful city, and view the train as an essential component of its character and appeal. Please consider preserving this irreplaceable community asset.
NPA Annual Summer Picnic - June 25th
Noblesville Preservation Alliance friends and neighbors celebrated a beautiful Sunday afternoon at the Annual Summer Picnic at Seminary Park.
We had a wonderful turnout from the community and we appreciate all of the volunteers that made this event happen.
Historic Home Tour Volunteers Needed
The Historic Home Tour - A Journey To The Past
The 31st Annual Historic Home Tour will be held Saturday, September 16th, 2017 from 10am to 5pm.
Many volunteers are needed to plan this day to make it a success.
Volunteers are needed throughout the weeks leading up to and the weekend of the event. Please come to the Noblesville Historic Home Tour volunteer's meeting on Thursday, May 25th. The meeting will be held at City Hall conference room #213, from 6:30pm - 8:00pm.
Volunteer activities could include
Assisting in marketing the event
Distribution of event supplies and printed materials
Hanging signs and banners
Assisting participating homeowners as needed
Serving as House Hosts during the event
We love and value our volunteers! Please join us in planning this year's event. Be sure to invite your friends! We look forward to meeting you!
Forest Park Interurban Shelter Project
The Noblesville Parks and Recreation Department donated the building below to the Noblesville Preservation Alliance with the expectation that we would renovate it and put it to good use. This is an original shelter for Indiana’s Interurban transportation network, a privately owned system of electric streetcars that connected the state’s cities and towns in the early 1900’s. These shelters were located throughout the state 100 years ago but most have disappeared over the years. The system was dismantled by the late 30’s. This shelter was believed to have been moved to this location from elsewhere in the park and was used for many years by the Parks Department as a storage and rental facility.
NPA is in process of securing donations to rehab the building, which has structural issues and a shaky foundation. The effort was set in motion by an initial grant from Legacy Fund, and has since been moved forward by commitments from Myers Construction Management, Peterson Architecture, Sagamore Ready Mix and Lowes. The rehabilitation consists of pouring a concrete foundation around the perimeter, reinforcing and re-shingling the roof, replacing the soffit, scraping and painting the exterior and installing walls on the interior, which is currently just studs. We greatly appreciate the generosity of our donors, who have made this project possible for us, and Noblesville Parks for choosing renovation over demolition.
When completed by Spring, 2017, this shelter will serve as a reminder of a once-thriving public transit system. We intend to commission a plaque that will tell the story of the interurban and recognize the contributors to this project. The building itself will serve as a resource for local non-profits to use for their choice of activities. NPA will manage the building.
Click here to make a donation to the Noblesville Preservation Alliance!
Pictured Above - Travelers waiting to board the Interurban Train in front of an Interurban Shelter.
NPA Ice Sculpture on Display
The Noblesville Preservation Alliance was proud to participate in the City of Noblesville Christmas Tree Lighting event and the Noblesville Main Street Ice Sculpture display. This annual event was held on November 25th. The City of Noblesville Christmas tree and the ice sculptures are arranged on the Noblesville Courthouse Lawn. Our handcarved ice sculpture is pictured on your right. Noblesville Main Street had a record 27 ice sculptures on display this year.
30th Anniversary of the Historic Home Tour
2016 marks the 30th anniversary of the Historic Home Tour and it was the biggest and best ever. With gratitude to our community for supporting the Home Tour and our other projects, Nancy Hebel, President of NPA, presented this check for $1,000 to Tom Kenley, the Township Trustee. This money will be used to help with utilities, rent, or other emergency needs for our community members.
NMS and NPA to Promote Historic Buildings
A new feature can been seen on select downtown street banners thanks to a partnership between Noblesville Main Street and Noblesville Preservation Alliance. Just in time for the Bicentennial Celebration, the two nonprofit groups have commissioned 20 banners featuring images of historic commercial buildings.
“Noblesville Preservation Alliance is excited to financially support the development and installation of the new banners for the light poles in downtown Noblesville,” said Nancy Hebel, president of NPA. “As an organization, it is our mission to preserve and promote Noblesville’s historic architecture and this project certainly meets that criteria. We applaud the idea and look forward to seeing the banners soon.”
The concept originated from Esther Lakes of Smith’s Jewelers.
“The business district of downtown Noblesville has managed to be a healthy and vital area while incorporating and maintaining the charm of its historical buildings,” said Lakes. “The banners showing past businesses located in buildings that look the same today as they did one hundred years ago will add interest to our historic square and promote community pride. I am thrilled the city was receptive to the idea and thank Main Street for spearheading the project.”
Many of the images featured are from a collection maintained by local realtor and author Kurt Meyer as well as some local businesses. The banners will be featured periodically between events throughout the year.
Together We Moved the Kincaid House!
Nickel Plate Arts and the Noblesville Preservation Alliance teamed up to "Help Move the Kincaid House,” a grassroots campaign, which raised funds to relocate the historic Kincaid House in Fishers, Ind., so it could begin it's new life as a focal point along I-69.
Before the historic move Nickel Plate Arts' director Ailithir McGill said, "The Noblesville Preservation Alliance is making history by saving history.” She added, “After partnering with them to save the Judge Stone House in Noblesville, we’re excited to work together again to give this Hamilton County historical landmark a new home.”
The total cost of moving the house was estimated at $115,000, which included site preparation and transportation for the 0.4 mile journey across 106th Street to two acres of land on the west side of Navient’s Fishers campus. Navient donated the parcel of land August 15 as a permanent location for the house if funds could be raised to relocate it.
To kick off “Help Move the Kincaid House,” Thompson Thrift, the owner/developer of the house’s current home, provided a lead gift of $20,000. As additional incentive, Hamilton County Tourism announced it would match new public donations up to $45,000.
As the fundraising campaign was successful, the concrete footings for the historic home were poured and the Kincaid house was moved in the Fall of 2014. In addition to its role in saving the Kincaid House, Indiana Landmarks provided a $2,500 grant to determine landscaping and construction options for the property after relocation. Peterson Architecture of Noblesville donated additional in-kind hours for the architectural rendering.
Hamilton County Tourism partnered with Nickel Plate Arts and the Noblesville Preservation Alliance to lead a feasibility study to determine the best use of the house and land once the historic house was moved. During the fundraising campaign, the public also had the chance to provide ideas for the future use of the house at the “Help Move the Kincaid House” website.
Prior to the move Mike Corbett, Noblesville Preservation Alliance treasurer said, “We’re grateful for the community support that is rallying behind the house.” He added, “Without involvement from Nickel Plate Arts, Hamilton County Tourism, Navient, Indiana Landmarks and Thompson Thrift, Hamilton County would have lost a major piece of history.”
The final ownership, management and development of both the property and the house itself will be determined once the feasibility study is completed.
The NPA is proud to have played a part in the effort to save one our county's oldest homes
Navient to donate land for Kincaid House Relocation
Noblesville Preservation Alliance and local employer Navient announced today that the company plans to donate two acres of land on the west side of its Fishers campus for the relocation of the historic Kincaid House.
“Navient has been part of the fabric of the Fishers community for more than two decades,” said Jon Kroehler, senior vice president, Navient. “We are honored to help preserve a part of its history by providing the Kincaid House with the land for a permanent home.
Navient is the nation’s leading loan management, servicing and asset recovery company. In Indiana, Navient employs about 2,300 Hoosiers; more than 1,400 work in Fishers.
The Kincaid House, a 153-year-old farm house situated at the corner of 106th Street and Kincaid Drive, was scheduled for demolition June 9. With urging from Indiana Landmarks and the Noblesville Preservation Alliance, development and construction company Thompson Thrift quickly agreed to delay its plans to provide time for local organizations including the Noblesville Preservation Alliance, Indiana Landmarks and the Town of Fishers to consider options to relocate the house instead. Thompson Thrift then offered to contribute additional funds to the expense of moving the house, if a new site could be found.
With the land donation, Noblesville Preservation Alliance is now focused on raising the funds needed to move the Kincaid House from its current location to Navient’s campus on USA Parkway this fall.
“We are halfway to saving the Kincaid House, thanks to Navient’s generous land donation,” said Mike Corbett, Noblesville Preservation Alliance treasurer. “In the coming days and weeks, we will determine a budget and plan to move this historic farmhouse as soon as possible.”
Navient and the Kincaid house are nearly neighbors. The house will need to travel less than a mile to its future home between Interstate 69 and Navient’s 470,000-square foot facility.
The Kincaid House is an Italianate-style farmhouse built by the Peter Flanagan family in 1861 from clay bricks made on-site. The house was more recently owned by Dan Kincaid, a descendant of Loma E. Kincaid, the founder of L.E. Kincaid Meat Market in Indianapolis, before Thompson Thrift acquired the house and property in 2013. The property was once owned by General Thomas Armstrong Morris, a key force in the building of Indiana’s railroad system, canal system and state capital.
* * *
As the nation’s leading loan management, servicing and asset recovery company, Navient (Nasdaq: NAVI) helps customers navigate the path to financial success. Servicing more than $300 billion in student loans, the company supports the educational and economic achievements of more than 12 million Americans. A growing number of government and higher education clients rely on Navient for proven solutions to meet their financial goals. Learn more at www.navient.com. Created from the strategic separation of Sallie Mae, Navient began trading on Nasdaq as an independent company on May 1, 2014.