New historic preservation plan goes before commissioners Monday

By: 
DEB HILL
News-Argus Managing Editor
Friday, March 1, 2019

City Planner Cathy Barta holds up a copy of the new Historic Preservation Plan for Lewistown Friday. The plan goes before the City Commission for approval Monday evening.

Photo by Deb Hill

It’s been some years since Lewistown revised its plan for preserving historic resources. Monday’s commission meeting could change that, as a newly updated plan is on the commission’s agenda for approval.

According to City Planner Cathy Barta, Lewistown adopted a comprehensive plan in the 1990s. More recently the office of City Planner worked with an outline of approved goals to determine which resources should be preserved. 

Now, thanks to Barta’s work in conjunction with the Lewistown Historic Resources Commission, a new 43-page plan has been written.

“It’s really important to regularly review our historic assets and the plan for preserving them,” Barta said, adding she received copies of plans from other communities across Central Montana which served as references for Lewistown’s new version.

“Our Certified Local Government grant requires us to adopt a comprehensive plan,” she said. “If the commissioners approve this one at Monday’s meeting, it will be good for five years, until 2024.”

According to the new plan, goals will help the community to highlight assets, protect the visual character of downtown, restore or renovate historic commercial buildings, provide opportunities for new second-floor housing and ensure historic buildings are “proudly preserved and utlilized.” 

The plan proposes four goals, broken down with detailed objectives and strategies.

“One of the newer goals is to identify the contributions of the Metis to Lewistown,” Barta said. “There are grants available to focus on under-represented communities, such as the Metis, that would help us conduct surveys and assessments to see what properties are here. It might not be buildings; it might be neighborhoods that are identified.”

Barta said the Metis played an important role in the early history of the state of Montana and in Lewistown.

“One of the largest Metis communities was right here,” she said.

The City of Lewistown Historic Preservation Plan 2019-2014 is on the City Commission agenda for approval on Monday, March 4. The meeting starts at 7 p.m. at the Community Center, 307 W. Watson Street. For more information, contact Barta at 535-1775.

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