$700K in grants awarded to historic properties

Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch and the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs today announced 11 properties were awarded $712,989 in funding through the Historic Renovation Grant Program.

“Historic structures are some of the most powerful storytellers in Hoosier communities,” Crouch said. “The preservation of historic properties is integral to retelling Indiana’s history to future generations. This funding will help ensure communities can continue their Hoosier tradition and stories for years to come.”

Eligible properties for this grant program must be at least 50 years old and either listed on the register of Indiana historic sites and structures, be listed or eligible for listing to the National Register of Historic Places, or be listed as a contributing resource in a National Register District.

Eligible applicants include non-profits, individuals, partnerships, firms, associations, joint ventures, limited liability companies, corporations or non-profit affordable housing organizations. Awarded properties will receive funding for the renovation and preservation of exterior features.

“These Historic Renovation Grant Program projects will make a lasting impact on their local communities and on our state,” said OCRA Executive Director Denny Spinner. “These 11 properties will preserve the history of Indiana while supporting local economic development.”

Awarded projects include the following:

Odd Fellows Building in Salem

Lisa M. Fleming is awarded $100,000 to preserve the Odd Fellows Building in Salem. The brick building with Italianate limestone details has three stories and a unique limestone cellar stretching across 12,000 square feet. In 1897, the Salem Lodge #67 of the Independent Order of the Odd Fellows was built for the use of the organization and leased space to others. The property is planned to have an event center, office space, retail and internet sales, and possibly a restaurant or tavern. Eight full-time and 24 part-time jobs will be created from the building’s three new businesses.

Ernie Pyle World War II Museum in Dana

The Friends of Ernie Pyle is awarded $26,400 for exterior restoration of the birthplace of noted Indiana journalist Ernie Pyle. The Friends of Ernie Pyle operates the house as a museum for the journalist who became famous during World War II. Combined with the World War II Museum on-site, the organization preserves and interprets an important part of Hoosier and American history.

Honeywell Plumbing and Heating in Wabash

Amanda Lopez is awarded $27,858 for the historic Honeywell Plumbing and Heating building to paint exterior trim, tuckpoint brick and open the south side windows. After renovations, the building will look more like it did in the early 1900s. Lopez owns Transform Consulting Group, which occupies the first floor of the building.

Auburn Automotive Company Administration Building in Auburn

The Auburn Cord Duesenberg Automobile Museum is awarded $100,000 to replace the roof, allowing the building to remain a community and national icon. The museum is located in the former Auburn Automotive Company Administration Building and is the only automobile museum in the world housed in the original headquarters building of the automobiles it represents. The building’s history and its collection have been a significant part of Auburn’s tourism. Designed by A.M. Strauss, the Art Deco masterpiece served as the brain and nerve center of the Auburn Automobile Company and Duesenberg, Inc. This revitalization project will create 12 full-time jobs, five of which are low-to-moderate income.

Hong Kong Kitchen in Madison

Yu Jiang and Zu Tian Zhang, together with their children, have been awarded $27,840 for Hong Kong Kitchen in Madison. The family has successfully run the kitchen inside of a prominent Italianate structure for nearly 20 years. It is one of the only minority-owned businesses on Main Street in the Madison Historic District. The funding will help repair the historic wood windows and install exterior storm windows to preserve the original windows and prolong their life. The grant funding will partially pay for the labor of the window restoration expert and any required materials for restoration.

PR Mallory Company Factory Smokestack in Indianapolis

Englewood CDC and the John Boner Neighborhood Centers are awarded $85,000 to stabilize the 100-year-old, 140-foot tall chimney on the PR Mallory Company Factory Smokestack campus to ensure it remains an integral part of this historic campus. Ensuring the stability of the smokestack is also crucial to protect the health and safety of the 1,000 students and staff who use this campus every day. The PR Mallory Company Factory Smokestack is a unique and iconic landmark on the near eastside of Indianapolis.

ANCO Factory in Valparaiso

ANCO Revitalization, LLC is awarded $100,000 to rehabilitate the exterior of one of the four buildings of the former ANCO Factory in Valparaiso. Built circa 1945, the two-story brick industrial building will provide a much-needed transit center on the lower level. The remainder of the building will serve the new multi-use Journeyman Distillery Complex, sister to the highly successful version in Three Oaks, Mich. Over 150 construction jobs will be created during development, and approximately 80 full-time employees will be employed within the first year of operation.

Willkie House in Rushville

The 601 Preservation LLC and the Willkie family are awarded $29,120 to preserve the Wendell Lewis Willkie home in Rushville. The Willkie home was built in 1876 and the Cullen-Mauzy-Willkie home stands in a residential section of Rushville. Plans include making the property a social gathering place for special events, tours and possibly a bed and breakfast. The Willkie House restoration is part of the redevelopment and revitalization of the county seat of Rush County.

RomWeber Marketplace in Batesville

The RomWeber Marketplace is awarded $79,463 for the preservation of this historic landmark in Batesville that dates to 1863. The Marketplace is home to approximately 40 small dealers housed under one roof, along with a wedding venue and four retail and office locations. The restoration of its roof will further enhance the robust retail center continuing its valuable contribution as a viable commercial district for the City of Batesville. This restoration project will also allow Trinity Guardian, a health care device company, to employ 20 people on the third floor of the marketplace.

Prewitt Theater Renovation in Plainfield

The Keller Huff Group is awarded $85,637 to renovate and preserve The Prewitt Theater in Plainfield. The theater opened in November of 1927 and was used as a movie theater until it closed its doors in 2005. The Keller Huff Group is renovating and restoring the theater into an upscale restaurant and event center. Upon completion, the Prewitt Theater expects to provide five or six full-time jobs and up to 35 part-time jobs. 

Nohr Building in Jasper

The Nohr Building, built in 1875 as a hotel and located in Jasper, is awarded $51,671 to restore the original lapboard sliding façade and the storefront. Three housing units will be created, supporting the city’s need for short-term housing. The building is the last remaining wood structure in the Jasper Downtown Historic District. The Nohr Building houses three commercial spaces on the main floor and three one-bedroom units on the upper floor, which will be used as short-term rentals.

“In its fifth year, the Historic Renovation Grant Program has transitioned to become a competitive grant program rather than first-come, first-served, to best support critical preservation efforts throughout the state,” said Andrea Kern, OCRA director of strategic initiatives. “We are excited for the potential of these projects to continue a legacy throughout the state.”

The Historic Renovation Grant Program received more than 50 applications with requests totaling over $3.2 million. Applications were scored based on appropriate historical criteria, extensive support from local residents, and the economic impact the project would have on the greater community. 

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