Valparaiso Downtown Commercial District

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Valparaiso Downtown Commercial District
Franklin east of Courthouse(CLight).jpg
Franklin east of Courthouse
Valparaiso Downtown Commercial District is located in Indiana
Valparaiso Downtown Commercial District
Location Roughly bounded by Jefferson, Morgan, Indiana, and Napoleon, Valparaiso, Indiana
Coordinates 41°28′3″N 87°3′36″W / 41.46750°N 87.06000°W / 41.46750; -87.06000Coordinates: 41°28′3″N 87°3′36″W / 41.46750°N 87.06000°W / 41.46750; -87.06000
Area 14 acres (5.7 ha)
Architect Multiple
Architectural style Italianate, Commercial Style
Governing body Local
NRHP Reference # 90000327[1]
Added to NRHP February 23, 1990 name=Mullins

Valparaiso has retained an active downtown. It remains a mix of government, retail and business center, with a mixed residential and service area (retail and restaurants). Numerous economic changes have not changed the basic character, historic courthouse area. The historic district retains the distinctive turn-of-the-19th-century architecture, supporting numerous small specialty shops, shaded sidewalks, and a people friendly environment.[2] The Downtown District, is anchored on the Porter County Courthouse. It includes 14-blocks surrounding the square, bounded on the north by Jefferson Street, on the east by Morgan Street, on the south by Monroe Street, and on the west by Napoleon Street.[2]


The Portersville Land Company platted the town of Portersville in 1836.[3] The next year, the town was renamed in honor of Commodore David Porter’s last battle outside the Chielean port of Valparaiso. The County had been named in honor of Commodore Porter. The first building were constructed near the Morgan Street bridge (corner of Morgan Street and Lincolnway). The town did not begin to grow until 1850, when the first railroad was completed through town.[3] The first courthouse was completed in 1837. This frame structure was replaced in 1852, and again in 1885 with a limestone structure. The current courthouse is the 1885 structure, restored after the 1934 fire, which destroyed the disticnctive clock tower.[3] The county jail was located on Mechanic Street (Indiana Street today). The log buildijng was replaced in 1871 with a modern limestone building. It was attached to the Sheriff’s residence, which had been built 11 years earlier.[3] Public programs were held in the Grand Opera House when it opened in 1874. Originally known as the Fiske Opera House, it was the first public space in Valparaiso. The first floor was retail space and the second floor could hold up to 700 people.[3] In 1893 the Memorial Hall was built to honor Civil War Veterans and could hold an audience of 1,000.[3]

Significant Structures[edit]



  1. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2009-03-13. 
  2. ^ a b Valparaiso Downtown District Comprehensive Plan 1996; Valparaiso Downtown District, City of Valparaiso, IN; 1996
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n Porter County Interim Report, Indiana Historic Sites and Structures Inventory; Historic Landmarks Foundation of Indiana; July 1991; pg 43-47

Historic Districts and Structures[edit]