History of the Conservation District Designation

The gable-ell was a common house style in Bloomington between the 1890s and the late 1910s. 

History of the Initiative

The Near West Side Historic Designation Committee (NWSHDC) was a group of homeowners and landlords, all residents of the Near West Side neighborhood, who came together to explore what historic designation could mean for our Bloomington neighborhood.

The Historic Designation Committee members were: Olivia Dorfman and Karen Duffy, Co-chairs; Alan Balkema, William Baus, Tim Clougher, Peter Dorfman, Christine Lovelace, Frank Marshalek, Steve Mascari, and Lisa-Marie Napoli.

Our committee hosted a series of three informational public meetings in the first half of 2019. At the end of this series, we held a vote for property owners to indicate whether or not we should apply to the City for some form of local designation, and if so, for which district type (Conservation or Full Historic).  Two-thirds of the responses received were in favor of submitting an application, and the majority of voters expressed a preference for a Conservation District.

Following this result, the Co-chairs of the committee prepared and submitted an application on behalf of the neighborhood to the City of Bloomington.  The proposal was approved by the Common Council on December 4, 2019.

Records of the Three Public Meetings:

Meeting One. Basics of Local Designation: The what, why, and how. Click here to view CATS tv Feb. 28 Historic Designation Meeting. Click the following links to read the Statements from the Co-chairs and view the Power Point Presentation 2-28-2019.

Meeting Two. The Historic Value of the Near West Side. Click here to view  CATS tv April 26 Historic Designation Meeting.  Click the following links  to read the Statements from the Co-chairs and view the Power Point Presentation 4-26-2019, Part 1Power Point Presentation 4-26-19, Part 2 ;  Power Point Presentation 4-26-19, Part 3 (file too large to upload, consisting of many photographs of properties in the Near West Side.)

 Meeting Three. Summary and Open Discussion, followed by the start of voting. Click here to view  CATStv June 28 Historic Designation Meeting Click the following link to read the Power Point Presentation 6-28-19


Historic Bloomington: How can I learn more about how the local designation process works in Bloomington?  This link from the city of Bloomington is a good place to start learning about local historic designation in our community. Historic Bloomington 

NWS Conservation District Boundaries Map: What is the area included in the  Near West Side Conservation District?  The following map shows the boundaries of the district, and indicates the historic survey ratings of the included properties.  INSERT NEW MAP

Draft Design Guidelines: What might the Near West Side Conservation District Design Guidelines look like?  The link below leads to a suggestion of what design guidelines might be like in the Near West Side Conservation District. They are based on the Greater Prospect Hill Historic District Guidelines. On a continuum from least to most restrictive, GPHHD would fall in the former category.

In early 2020, a new committee will be formed to develop guidelines specifically for the Near West Side. Rest assured that the linked draft guidelines will undergo changes! They are only meant to suggest the direction a committee of Near West Side homeowners might pursue. Draft Guidelines

Frequently Asked Questions – updated 4-26-2019: Click here: FAQ

Learn More About Historic Preservation: A number of local and national organizations have informative and helpful websites:

Contact Us: Email us at nwshdcommittee@gmail.com.


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