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American Institute of Architects Sustainable Design Assessment Report

In late 2019, Cannelton applied to the American Institute of Architects (AIA) for a Sustainable Design Assessment Team (SDAT) to provide recommendations for the future of the Can Clay site. In March 2020, AIA Team leader Terry Ammons and AIA staff visited Cannelton to conduct an initial scoping mission for the project. This visit occurred just days before the onset of the global COVID pandemic, which subsequently postponed the full community project indefinitely.

In early 2021, AIA and Cannelton representatives began to explore the possibility of holding a circumscribed version of a design assistance team project in an in-person but modified format. A design assistance team was formed from across the country to serve this role and provide a fresh set of outside eyes and unencumbered analysis and recommendations for Cannelton. The ongoing pandemic unfortunately constrained the AIA’s ability to hold large-scale community engagement meetings, thereby confining the community’s input opportunities to extremely limited virtual surveying. In preparation for their work, the team reviewed existing plans and background information about the Can Clay property and the adjacent downtown Cannelton area. The team then toured the project area extensively once they were on site, and held a series of small-group meetings with stakeholders selected by the Cannelton SDAT steering committee. The team feels strongly that an extensive community engagement process will be a critical element for success once the community begins to move forward with the implementation of the SDAT recommendations.

Click here to view the AIA Assessment

Related Documents

2013 Downtown Revitalization Plan for Historic Downtown Cannelton


Cannelton Historic District Appears on Indiana Landmarks 10 Most Endangered List

Once a year, Indiana Landmarks announces the 10 Most Endangered, a list of historic places on the brink of extinction and too important to lose. The Cannelton Historic District appeared on the list for 2018 and 2019. In 2018, it was the first time that Indiana Landmarks placed an entire Historic District on the 10 Most Endangered List and in 2019, it was the first time an entity was placed on the list for a second time.

Cannelton’s historic district encompasses much of the town, including houses, downtown commercial buildings, churches, and the Cannelton Cotton Mill, a National Historic Landmark. Like the mill, many of the district’s structures, which date from 1837 to 1936, feature locally quarried honey-colored sandstone, a distinctive signature of the river town.


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