The City of Huntingburg has paused plans to demolish a nineteenth-century house near its historic downtown so preservation advocates can look for someone interested in rehabbing the property.
Indiana Landmarks has joined with local preservation supporters to call for the house’s renovation and reuse. The City bought the property located at 405 N. Main Street last year, planning to demolish it to provide expanded parking for nearby downtown businesses.
Located in southwest Dubois County, Huntingburg is known for its Victorian-era downtown listed in the National Register of Historic Places. Preservation advocates argue that the house’s removal would create a gap in an otherwise intact historic streetscape in a National Register-eligible neighborhood adjacent to the city’s commercial district.
As a compromise, preservation advocates suggest that parking could be added behind the house without requiring its removal. Demolition plans are on hold as the city council seeks rehabilitation proposals, which are due by the end of July.
“The house suffers from some deferred maintenance, but it is structurally sound and retains a great deal of historic character,” says Greg Sekula, director of Indiana Landmarks’ Southern Regional Office. “It has tremendous potential for commercial or residential use.”
Under its current clapboard and aluminum siding, the house’s original first story is solid brick, with a dormered second story added sometime in the 1930s. Other historic features include original woodwork, divided light windows, and quartersawn oak floors.
City officials are willing to entertain public proposals for sale or lease of the house, though any reuse would still need to include public parking behind the building.
To learn more about submitting a proposal, contact Indiana Landmarks’ Southern Regional Office, firstname.lastname@example.org.