Some Bismarck residents are working to get Highland Acres labeled as 'Historic' by the National Register of Historic Places. Pretty cool, huh?

Lorna Meidinger
Lorna Meidinger

What Does The Designation Mean?

When a place gets listed on the national register, it's not just an honorary title, it also gives the area the ability to apply for some grant programs. This also allows for properties that produce income, to apply for the Federal Historic Preservation Tax Credit. 

I spoke to Lorna Meidinger, a Historic Preservation Specialist, and asked her why she and other locals are working to get this done.

"The Highland Acres neighborhood has a very interesting background as the Bismarck Veterans Home Owners Cooperative was formed to address the housing shortage following World War II. ...The group dissolved after a couple of years but the master plan created a very desirable neighborhood and led to an enclave of Mid Century Modern architecture," said Meidinger.

Lorna Meidinger
Lorna Meidinger

In The Works For Quite Awhile 

Meidinger told me that the nomination process started all the way back in 2017. A man who resided in the neighborhood, named Bruce Whittey got the ball rolling. I'm told it wasn't an easy undertaking. 

"Nominating a large district like this is a lot of effort. ...The residents decided to advocate for them (city officials) to take on the project. After agreeing to do the project, the survey of the neighborhood took a year and that had to be done so the information was available for writing the nomination, said Meidinger.

Meidinger says the nomination process, in itself, takes about a year.

The Final Days

Their efforts may soon pay off as they are waiting for the "Keeper's" final word. Meidinger says that usually takes about 60 days.

"Once we verify everything, it will get sent to the Keeper for the official decision regarding listing," said Meidinger.

They hope the nomination will go through and get accepted.



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