The Oread neighborhood on the east side of Kansas University's campus has been nominated for the National Register of Historic Places.
The move paves the way for property owners to receive tax credits and incentives for preservation and rehabilitation work.
"It really can turn around a neighborhood," said Sarah Martin, national register coordinator for the Kansas State Historical Society.
Oread stretches roughly from the east side of KU's campus to Massachusetts Street and from Ninth Street to 17th Street.
The neighborhood primarily is home to renters, but there are some year-round residents such as Candice Davis. Davis said she loves her yellow house at 10th and Louisiana streets, but she wishes her neighbors had more pride in the area.
"I don't mind a certain amount of noise," she said. "I hate the garbage ... the beer parties and the garbage."
Davis said she hoped that the move encouraged people to improve their properties and attracted year-round residents.
Qualifying property owners can receive the Kansas State Tax Credit, which is 25 percent of rehabilitation costs. And, when the neighborhood is on the National Register, income-producing properties can receive an additional 20-percent federal tax credit.
"If you're an income-producing property, you can get a total of 45 percent off your rehab costs," Martin said. "It's really attractive, especially to commercial properties that are listed and rental properties."
Any demolition plans will require evaluation by the city's Historic Resources Commission.
Davis said the neighborhood, with its many rental properties and temporary residents, is fragile.
"The hope is it will provide stability and improvement and make it a little more desirable to live in the neighborhood," she said. "This will always be a rental neighborhood, but I think you lose stability if you don't have some people living here year-round."
More about historical districts in Lawrence
- Historic district designation may thwart plan to tear down Yello Sub (08-23-06)
- National historic districts OK'd in Lawrence (07-30-06)
- Hancock neighborhood eager for historic district designation (11-21-06)
- New historic resources administrator learns from past (11-20-06)
- University officials halt pursuit of historic district designation (11-20-06)