INDIANAPOLIS — Indiana Landmarks has released its 10 Most Endangered list, an annual collection of Hoosier landmarks in jeopardy.
The 2021 list includes one of the state’s first high schools built exclusively for black students, a classic high school gymnasium, a neglected historic house, and a decaying community mausoleum.
Places that land on the list often face a combination of problems rather than a single threat, according to Indiana Landmarks. These issues include neglect, abandonment, dilapidation, obsolete use, unreasonable above-market asking price, or owners who simply lack money for repairs.
“Indiana Landmarks uses its 10 Most Endangered list in several ways. Sometimes it serves an educational role. It functions as an advocacy tool. And it can assist in raising funds needed to save a place,” says Marsh Davis, president of the nonprofit preservation organization. “Every listing comes with significant challenges. In all cases, when an endangered place lands on our list, we commit to seeking solutions that lead to rescue and revitalization,” he adds.
The 10 Most Endangered in 2021 includes four sites repeating from last year’s list and six new entries:
- B.G. Pollard Lodge #1242, Bloomington
- The former home of the Improved Benevolent and Protective Order of the Elks of the World, a leading national Black fraternal organization. The space served as a popular Black nightclub and social hub from the 1960s to the 1980s.
- Courthouse Annex, New Castle
- A block-long commercial building on the courthouse square. It needs a new roof and has been vacant for years. The county has repeatedly discussed demolishing the building and using the space as a parking lot.
- Davis Clinic, Marion
- Designed by the protege of famed architect Eero Saarinen, this building was a medical clinic designed to take advantage of the latest advances in hospital design and medical technology. It closed in 1988.
- Falley-O’Gara-Pyke House, Lafayette (repeat entry from 2020 list)
- The home was built in 1886 and sits adjacent to the Cathedral of St. Mary in the city’s St. Mary Historic District. The Roman Catholic Diocese has owned the property for several decades in 2018 quietly filed for a demolition permit, with plans to build a new rectory on the site.
- James M. Shields Memorial Gymnasium, Seymour
- This gymnasium was built by members of the Works Progress Administration in 1941. With seating for 3,500 fans, the gym hosted 21 sectional titles from 1942-1970. Today the deteriorating concrete and steel building represents the plight of many shuttered high school gyms across the state.
- Kamm and Schellinger Brewery, Mishawaka
- Kamm and Schellinger Brewery operated along the St. Joseph River from 1887 to 1951, at one time producing 30,000 barrels of beer in a year. After the brewery closed, the site served as a complex of shops, residences, restaurants, and businesses. The building now sits empty and dilapidated.
- Monon Depot, Bedford (repeat entry from 2020 list)
- Built in 1926 of Indiana limestone, the depot doubled as a passenger depot and a freight station for the Monon Railroad. After the Monon ended passenger service in 1967, the building was operated for a time by the Louisville & Nashville Railroad and later CSX before being adapted into a recycling center and then abandoned.
- Theodore Roosevelt High School, Gary (repeat entry from 2020 list)
- Built in 1930, Gary Roosevelt was one of the state’s first high schools built exclusively for African Americans. At its peak, it housed more than 3,000 students. In recent years, shrinking enrollment and chronic underfunding propelled the school into decline. It was shuttered in 2019.
- Tipton County Jail & Sheriff’s Residence (repeat entry from 2020 list)
- Completed in 1895, the building served as a sheriff’s house and jail. The handsome brick house and cellblock is one of only two buildings in the county on the National Register. The county vacated the building last year after completing a new jail facility.
- Oxford Community Mausoleum, Benton County
- Built in 1908, this is Indiana’s first and oldest still-standing community mausoleum and the only example constructed from concrete block. With extremely limited funds, the township has been unable to address the water damage that’s visible on masonry, roofs, and marble fronts of the vaults.