Rosin Preservation prepared a National Register nomination for 67 commercial, civic, and transportation-related resources that comprise the historic commercial center of Schuyler, an important agricultural center in eastern Nebraska. The District represents the commercial growth and development of the community from c. 1880 to 1965. It also has significant associations with the Lincoln Highway, one of the first paved, toll-free transcontinental highways of the Automobile Era. From 1913 – 1928, the Lincoln Highway passed through Schuyler along 11th and B Streets. New businesses and property types designed to serve the needs of auto travelers appeared along this route. In addition to surviving brick paving on these streets, the District retains an unusually large number of buildings from this era that were built as auto dealerships, garages, and service stations.
In addition to commemorating the heritage of the community, the historic district protects the historic identity of Schuyler from regulatory impacts. When the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) redefined the boundaries of the Platte River flood plain, downtown Schuyler fell within the new flood zone. This would have required significant and costly alterations and upgrades to existing buildings that would permanently alter the historic character of the community. By creating a historic district, city officials grandfathered buildings under the old regulations. The designation also enabled property owners to apply for state and federal historic tax credits to help offset the cost of improvements and encouraged changes that respect the historic character of each building. The city used a grant from the Nebraska SHPO to support the project.