Portland's India Street neighborhood ponders historic designation

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PORTLAND — The India Street Neighborhood Association will discuss the proposed creation of a neighborhood historic district at a meeting Wednesday night.

Hilary Bassett, executive director of Greater Portland Landmarks, will be present to explain the city’s historic preservation program.

The city Historic Preservation Board now designates eight areas within Portland as historic districts. The designation protects landmarks and buildings within a district from demolition or historically inappropriate alteration.

The association is exploring the pursuit of a historic designation as part of comprehensive plan for the neighborhood.

While it’s too early to decide what properties would be protected by a designation, or what specific restrictions would be placed on property owners, association Treasurer Hugh Nazor said the neighborhood generally supports the concept.

“It’s a proven fact that in neighborhoods where there is historic preservation, property values have increased,” he said. “So it’s a win-win for our neighborhood and for building owners.”

The association will also discuss the status of Bay House, the 94-unit residential and commercial complex now under construction on the site of the former Village Cafe on Newbury Street.

Also on the meeting agenda will be a discussion with Evelyn Blanchard, executive director of The Milestone Foundation, which helps operate the Homeless Outreach and Mobile Engagement Team Program in partnership with other human service programs and the city. Blanchard will review recent and upcoming changes to the foundation’s services.

Wednesday’s meeting is at 5:30 p.m. at Micucci’s Grocery, 45 India St. Attendees should enter via Newbury Street.

William Hall can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 106 or whall@theforecaster.net. Follow him on Twitter: @hallwilliam4.