Expansion of Truman Historic District Approved
Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar recently announced a boundary change and updated documentation for the Harry S Truman Historic District National Historic Landmark in Independence, Missouri. The revised nomination expands the original district boundaries to include the downtown area where Truman worked in various capacities, properties important to and frequented by Truman on his famous walks, and resources omitted from the original designation.
The expansion increases the size of the landmark district from 216 parcels to 567 parcels, and extends its boundaries to the Truman Library & Museum and the Courthouse Square. The proposed expansion also includes three separate parcels associated with Harry Truman-the Truman Depot, Trinity Episcopal Church, and the home of Vietta Garr. The Truman Depot was the final stop in Truman's 1948 Whistlestop Campaign and the location where 8,500 admirers welcomed the Trumans home after leaving the White House. Trinity Episcopal Church is where Harry and Bess were married in 1919; Margaret Truman and Clifton Daniel were married there in 1956. Vietta Garr worked for the Trumans as a cook and companion for more than 35 years.
The National Historic Landmark District (NHLD) designation is given to historic places that "possess exceptional value or quality in illustrating or interpreting the heritage of the United States." The Truman district was established in 1971 to help preserve and interpret the areas in Independence intimately associated with Harry Truman. Specifically, it deals with those areas associated with his personal connections to the community, to the development of his political career, his tenure as U.S. Senator, as Vice President and as President, and his retirement as an elder statesman.
The expansion will allow access to tax credits at the state and federal levels for residential and commercial properties within the district. The state offers a 25 percent income tax credit to residential and commercial properties based on the total eligible project costs. A federal 20 percent tax credit is also available to only commercial properties.
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