For more than a century, downtown Hartington has been the commercial and entertainment hub of Cedar County.
Buildings constructed as early as 1900 are still in use today, giving the area a distinct historic character.
History Nebraska announced that the National Register has listed downtown Hartington as a historic district because of its contribution to Nebraska history from 1900 to 1969, and because its buildings have retained their original look, feel and integrity.
This designation opens up the possibility for the revitalization of this area. The Hartington Downtown Historic District comprises 30 contributing resources, all of which are now potentially eligible for federal and state historic tax credits.
Property owners and developers may apply for up to three different tax credits to help finance rehabilitation projects. Some successful tax credit projects completed in other Nebraska communities have converted historic buildings into housing units or retail space.
David Calease with the History Nebraska Preservation Office said on Thursday that this designation offered an incredible opportunity for Hartington.
“In addition to being the county seat, Hartington also had a lot of commercial activity in the early and mid-20th century. Some of that has changed since the loss of the railroad, but that commercial core still remains largely intact today," Calease said.
"There are some great historic resources in this district that have a ton of potential for historic rehabilitation,” Calease said. “I think Hartington is a great example of a community that can better its future by embracing its past.”
The National Register of Historic Places is the nation's inventory of properties deemed worthy of preservation. It is part of a national program to coordinate and support local and private efforts to identify, evaluate and protect the nation's historic and archaeological resources.
The National Register was developed to recognize historic places and their role in contributing to our country's heritage. Properties listed in the National Register either individually or as contributing to a historic district are eligible for state and federal tax incentives.