Historic Homes In Sioux Falls

City Looks At Adding Historic District

We have not had many hoops to jump through when it comes to remodeling historic homes in Sioux Falls. That could be changing. Is this a good thing that will protect those homes? Or is it an extra hassle and expense for those homeowners who already have the challenge of keeping up an older home? You be the judge. The following story ran on Kelo News...

June 26, 2013, 10:15 PM by Angela Kennecke Keloland TV

Some of the most charming neighborhoods in Sioux Falls have been named historic districts, including the McKennan Park area, the Hayes District and the area surrounding St. Joseph Cathedral. There are extra steps property owners must take if they want to remodel or build a new home in those areas. Surprisingly that's becoming more popular than ever despite the red tape.

It's also why the city is looking into whether it needs to make another nearby neighborhood a historic district as well.

Tree-lined streets, a beautiful park and old fashioned charm; it’s easy to see why people want to update homes in the McKennan Park neighborhood or put a new one in altogether.

"It is a good thing. We like to have the neighborhood kept up. We like to have the neighborhood added to, but we want to make sure it stays historic in value as well, meaning the front of these homes stay to their period," McKennan Park Neighbor Pat Johnson said.

Because McKennan Park is a historic district, any exterior work, additions and new construction must go through the city's historic preservation board for review.

"It maintains the integrity of the area. We've determined the architectural significance is such that it's worth saving. It tells a story. It tells the history of the city just by the architecture itself," Debra Gaikowski, a Project Manager with the City of Sioux Falls, said.

In some cases, property owners want to tear down the existing house and put up a new one. The sale of this home on South 4th Avenue is contingent on the board approving a demolition request in July. The plans for a new home must meet standards set by the Secretary of the Interior for historic properties.

"Every time you take a piece of property out of an historic district, it really impacts the entire district. If everybody just went about willy-nilly and took a piece of property out, eventually what do you have left?" Gaikowski said.

But cross 26th Street from McKennan Park into Pendar Lane and you're out of the historic district. And while the homes may be just as stately, there isn't any red tape to build or remodel.

"Unfortunately, right now some people want a large house like you would get in a subdivision, but the lots are quite small. We want to preserve this feel of the old neighborhoods where you have a nice lawn and trees," Linda Barker said.

Barker raised her now-grown children in this 1937 home. She's happy the city is finally taking the first steps to make the Pendar Lane area from 26th to 33rd Streets and 4th to Phillips Avenue a historic district.

"I just think it gives people, if they do move in, the historic significance of the neighborhood and if they do chose to remodel or change the façade out of a house that they keep in a historic perspective," Barker said.

"I have a design background, so it was really important to me when we updated this house and made it more functional for our family today, it was really important to respect the existing architecture and enhance it," Patti Abdallah said.

Patti and Scott Abdallah are remodeling their 1937 home on Pendar Lane. They even found the original plans tucked away inside and say they're doing all they can to keep with the period of the home, while making it work for their family. But they're not sold on being forced to go through a city board for such projects.

"I have mixed emotions about it. On the one hand, it keeps some consistency, or tries to keep consistency in the neighborhood, which everybody wants. But on the other hand, I'm a person who believes when you purchase a piece of property, as long as you're complying with city zoning regulations and so forth, that you should be able to do what you want with your house," Scott Abdallah said.

Abdallah also points out that even if a homeowner's plans are denied in a historic district, they can still go ahead and do what they want with their property eventually. But the city says what homeowners learn in the process does help preserve history. Meanwhile, it's hired a New Mexico company to survey the Pendar Lane neighborhood to see if it will qualify for historic preservation.

"And if there were a design review, people would be more cognizant of the historic nature of the neighborhood. And people would do remodeling or retrofitting to fit the historic character," Barker said.

But the wheels have just started turning in the process to make the Pendar Lane neighborhood a historic district, and that could take anywhere from two to four years.

Sioux Falls Board of Historic Preservation

Preservation Guidelines

© 2013 KELOLAND TV. All Rights Reserved.

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Eric Larsen
Call or Text: 605  261-0416
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