In recognition of May as Historic Preservation Month, Logansport Landmarks released its annual Most Endangered Properties List for Logansport today.
The group is also rescheduling its annual May Preservation Tour and Pitch-In Picnic for some time in August due to corona virus social distancing measures.
The group’s announcement of the list also recognized that the city is doing a lot to preserve its heritage.
“The purpose of this list is to spotlight historic properties in Logansport that need restoration or adaptive reuse solutions,” stated Paul Willham, communications director of Logansport Landmarks, a group dedicated to historic preservation and promotion of Logansport’s historic assets. “Logansport has made great progress in recent years and many endangered properties are now on path to restoration.”
Mayor Chris Martin sees the benefit of the group’s efforts.
“It’s important to be able to have this list, to be able to know what we should be fixing in our community, and we can’t thank Landmarks enough for the work they put in,” Martin said.
The properties chosen for 2020 are:
St. Vincent de Paul Church
“This property had been on the most endangered list since the list’s inception in 2016,” Willham said.
The building, located in the 800 block of Spencer Street, is now owned by the non-profit Emmaus Mission.
Willham attributes more than a decade of neglect “for putting the local and national landmark in serious condition and in need of immediate attention.”
Cass County Memorial Home
Dedicated as a World War I memorial in 1922 and originally the Kendrick-Baldwin House, in 1865 it became a Presbyterian Academy and in 1875 became a boarding house. The structure at the corner of Seventh and Market Streets then became a private home again in the 1870s and became Cass County American Legion Post 60, according to the Cass County Visitor’s Bureau.
It’s upkeep is supposed to be the shared responsibility of the county and city.
“The continued dispute between the City of Logansport and Cass County has resulted in the continued decline of this historic landmark in spite of the great interest of the community in saving it and its adaptive reuse,” Willham said.
Domicile Square house
“This property received national attention after it made our most endangered list in 2016,” Willham stated. “The property was eventually sold to an out of town buyer and work began, including the removal of its iconic colonnaded porch for restoration.”
“All work has stopped on this property, and its building permits have expired. This property has been returned to this list and, because [of] it’s present neglect, the historic carriage barn is in serious condition,” he said.
The house is located at 2108 North St.
he Greensfelder mansion
This house was also on the original 2016 list, although a family bought it and was restoring it.
“Disputes between Cass County Health department and the owners over the issue of lead abatement has resulted in this property being vacant again. The property was sold at a recent tax sale, but its future remains uncertain. While much needed work was done on the inside of the home, immediate attention to the exterior is required,” Willham said.
The mansion is located at 806 E. Market St.
The 1907 property at 430 North St. was bought in a 2018 tax sale after years of abandonment, and the current owner, Wabash 1 LLC of Indianapolis, put it up for sale in March.
Wabash 1 owner Nathan McCain said he won’t sell the building to someone without the right intentions, and his firm will restore the building to its original condition starting spring 2022 if there’s no buyer.
Willham stated that although no one with a plan has come forward, “There is optimism that a buyer can be found and an adaptive reuse and restoration of this property can take place.”
823 Market St.
“This grand old home suffered a front porch collapse in 2018, and while that has been removed the home continues its downward decline,” he stated.
Logansport Landmarks was formed in 2016 to help promote the historic properties in the city, and the annual list is culled down from many possibilities to ones that would be helped best by work.
Willham said that the list helps the group market historic properties outside of Logansport and gives them national exposure.
“A lot of the houses are being renovated by people from out of town,” he said.
Someone from New Jersey is renovating one on Broadway.
Despite the group’s efforts, some buildings couldn’t be saved, like the Schneider building at 815 15th St., which is scheduled for demolition, and the old BK East, now a new Burger King on Market Street.
“It’s the ones that come off the list that you’re happiest about,” he said.
For those that go back on, “that’s just sort of the state of preservation,” Willham said. People burn out on the work and sell it, and the next owner takes the work a little further.
“In spite of the condition of these endangered properties, there are many bright sports in Logansport preservation efforts,” Willham said.
Bankers Row — the section of Eel River Avenue between Market and Third Streets — has had several homes under restoration, and almost all homes on the row have been converted back to single family use, Willham said.
In 2004, Historic Landmarks Foundation placed Bankers Row on its 10 Most Endangered list after years of seeing homes falling into disrepair. Now it’s a national historic district.
The Main Street Revitalization Program grant that Logansport was awarded last year will insure that several downtown commercial properties, including the iconic State Theatre, will receive much needed façade work, he said.