Just in case you missed the news on facebook, one of our favorite old commercial buildings was demolished this week. It was a familiar touchstone and neighborhood anchor that stood on the southwest corner of College 16th. H.I. visited this spot a couple of times. The day before the final destruction and some time ago. Alas, no happy ending for this building. Just a dusty pile of vintage bricks and wood from the time when quality and craftsmanship were de rigueur rather than an anomaly.
Just some quick info, because there are numerous rumors and assumptions. In the early 2000’s, not one, but two different trucks hit the corner of the building (within a fairly short time period). Repair orders were issued and some shoring up happened, but the northeastern most part of the building was no longer and standing open to the elements. From memory of watching the IHPC hearing, the owners (as of last year) applied to demolish the building, but were denied, because this was believed to be the oldest, or one of the oldest, commercial building within Old Northside’s boundaries. Because estimates just to stabilize the building were in excess of $250,000–without addressing any issues of redevelopment, retrofitting, etc, and to implement a redevelopment plan would be at least 5 times that, it was determined to be cost prohibitive. Because it posed a safety issue to the cars and pedestrians beneath it, the demolition order was approved. If you ever want to revisit what it looked like in its place, outside of merely photos, we pieced together a short video–watch here, or look for our growing library of videos on our youtube channel: Historic Indianapolis