North Meridian Street Preservation
North Meridian Street, as well as the adjacent streets, is protected by the Meridian Street Preservation Commission.
The MSPC is a state commission with members appointed by the Governor and the Mayor of Indianapolis. Most of the commissioners are fellow residents of the general neighborhood. Provisions are made that there is some representation by professional architects.
The preservation area is divided into two districts.
The primary district includes North Meridian Street itself, as well as one or two parcels on North Illinois and North Pennsylvania Streets. Broadly speaking, any major alteration to the structures or land on North Meridian Street need to be approved by the MSPC. Such alterations would include roof replacement, additions, removal of significant trees, driveways, and fencing. Approval is also needed for the removal/replacement of any architectural features such as windows, doors, columns, etc.
The secondary district extends as far as the east side of North Capitol Avenue and the east side of Washington Boulevard, depending on the block. See the MSPC Area Map below for clarity. In general, no approval is needed from the MSPC for changes to these properties unless a variance by the city is being requested. For example, if a person wants to erect a fence that is higher than the city code, a variance from the city will be required. This is true in any part of Indianapolis. If that property is in the MSPC secondary district, however, the owner would also need to gain approval from the MSPC.
Read -- The Main Stem: The History & Architecture of North Meridian Street Now out of print, this book was published by Indiana Landmarks in 1992. In addition to stories and commentary by and about the residents and homes, it also includes an index of each home on North Meridian Street. This online book is hosted on the Meridian Street Foundation website, by arrangement with Indiana Landmarks.
Meridian Street Preservation Commission Area Map This map identifies by address those properties that lie within the MSPC district and, if so, if it is in a primary or secondary district.
Meridian Street Preservation Commission Website The MSPC website provides a wide range of information on applying for a Certificate of Appropriateness, the commissioners, and previous decisions.
Meridian Street Preservation Commission Guidelines [PDF] These guidelines were first adopted by the MSPC in the early 1990s. Their goal is to create consistency and, by that, to help the resident in determining