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Joe Harpring | The Republic - Bonnie Wilcoxson adjusts a slightly askew piece of art in her home. Wilcoxson and her husband, Phil, have lived in the Toner neighborhood in Edinburgh for decades, yet see themselves and their 80-year-old home as mere contributors to the historic district. Below: The namesake property of the Toner Neighborhood is the Toner Maley House, today doing business as Edinburgh Bed and Breakfast.
EDINBURGH — A walk through two Edinburgh neighborhoods offers a glimpse of architectural history.
Houses along East Main Cross and South Walnut streets reflect changing tastes and levels of prosperity.
Now the two residential districts, with houses built as early as the 1840s, are expected to be placed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Property owners should be honored to have a building included in the list, said Rebecca Smith, a community preservation specialist with Indiana Landmarks.
Homeowners will not face special restrictions on how to maintain their property, she said.
The National Park Service, which lists sites on the registry, is expected to announce the listing by April. Applications for naming the residential areas as historic districts received approval in January from the Indiana Historic Preservation Review Board.
Two districts, which are being called the Toner and South Walnut Street historic districts, include more than 100 homes.
The Toner Historic District, or Silk Stocking Row as it was once known because of the wealth of its residents, includes 86 buildings along East Main Cross Street from the railroad tracks to White Oak Lane.
The South Walnut Street district, which runs from Thompson Street to south of Ward Street, includes 55 buildings.
Building designs changed with the values and mood of the country. For example, a two-story clapboard Federal-style home built around 1850 stands next to a brown brick American foursquare built decades later in 1912.
Bonnie Wilcoxson loves history, and her East Main Cross Street home is in the center of a neighborhood brimming with it. Most of the houses were built between 1845 and 1959.
Her home is known as the Cutsinger House, because it was built by Roscoe Cutsinger in the 1920s.
The tall, stately columns on the two-story brick home beckoned to Wilcoxson and her husband, Phil, 30 years ago. They’ve lived in the house with arched interior door-ways ever since.
The couple also has been scraping gold-colored paint for years to reveal the house’s red elm woodwork.
The effort to have the Edinburgh districts recognized started in 2009 when Indiana Landmarks was contacted by a nonprofit group in Columbus.
The Conover Foundation wanted to provide the money for a preservation project in Edinburgh.
Indiana Landmarks received a $10,000 grant to hire a consultant to research and prepare the applications.
Information from property abstracts, which sometimes includes the history of an area before a house was built, local history and resident input helped to support the historic significance of each site.
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