Huntington gets grant to rehab stone race at Memorial Park

The City of Huntington has announced it has been awarded a $20,000 Indiana Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) matching Historic Preservation Grant to develop rehabilitation plans for an aging stone water race at Memorial Park.

The grant is one of 14 federal Historic Preservation Fund (HPF) grants totaling more than $481,000 for historic preservation and archaeology projects in Indiana communities.

The stone water race runs approximately 490 feet from the park’s south pond to West Park Drive and was installed in 1937 as part of a Works Progress Administration project.
The channel’s stone walls are roughly 16 inches thick and range 3 feet to 5 feet in height and 8 feet to 12 feet in width.

The condition of the stones, embedded into Memorial Park’s sloping banks, has deteriorated over the years due to hydraulic forces, freeze-thaw cycles, undercutting and vegetation growth.

In addition, the channel and in-line basin are affected by debris and vegetation growth.

The water race is part of a system designed to drain storm water from the city’s north side. Water flows from Memorial Park’s north pond into to the south pond before entering the water race, ultimately draining into the Little River.

On July 21 this year, the city’s Historic Review Board received notification that IDNR’s Division of Historic Preservation & Archaeology selected the Memorial Park water race project through a competitive grant application process that uses National Park Service historic preservation grant funds for qualifying projects across the state.

On Monday, the Huntington Board of Public Works and Safety approved the city entering into a grant agreement with IDNR. Next, the city will solicit qualification-based proposals from engineering firms to enter into an agreement to develop rehabilitation plans consistent with the Secretary of the Interior’s standards for the treatment of historic properties.

The project will use HPF funds to hire a professional engineering firm to evaluate the current condition of the stone race and develop plans for appropriate rehabilitation.

The city will use money from the Park’s Matching Grant Fund for its share of the cost to evaluate the water race and prepare rehabilitation plans. These plans will be used to seek additional grant money in future budget cycles to offset the cost of completing the rehabilitation.

Memorial Park, located at West Park Drive and Bartlett streets in Huntington, is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. The park also is the site of Huntington’s Veterans Memorial that includes a T-33 Shooting Star Jet and Sherman tank as its centerpieces.