For the Indiana Historic Sites and Structures Inventories for South Bend and St. Joseph County, the Indiana Division of Natural Resources Department of Historic Preservation and Archeology and Indiana Landmarks assigned each property a Rating based on historical significance, architectural merit, environment, and integrity.
Outstanding: The property has enough historic or architectural significance that it is already listed, or may be eligible for listing, in the National Register of Historic Places.
Notable: The property did not quite merit an "outstanding" rating but still is above average in its importance. Further research may reveal that the property is eligible for National Register listing.
Contributing: The property met the basic inventory criterion of being at least fifty years of age, but that it is not important enough to stand on its own as individually "outstanding" or "notable". Such resources are important to the density or continuity of an area's historic fabric. "Contributing" properties may appear in the National Register if they are part of a historic district but do not usually qualify individually.
Non-Contributing: Such properties are usually built after 1965, are older structures that have undergone bad alterations and lost historic character, or are otherwise incompatible with their historical surroundings. These properties are not eligible for the National Register.
National Register of Historic Places
The National Register of Historic Places is the official list of the Nation's historic places worthy of preservation. Authorized by the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, the National Park Service's National Register of Historic Places is part of a national program to coordinate and support public and private efforts to identify, evaluate, and protect America's historic and archeological resources.
Local Historic District
An historic district is a geographically definable area with a significant concentration of buildings united by past events, design, material, or related historical associations. The local historic districts of South Bend were established at different times over the past thirty years by the Common Council. West North Shore Drive became the first local historic district in 1978; since then, eight other local historic districts have been designated.