News and Tribune

Floyd County

August 2, 2013

Indiana Landmarks announces preservation awards

New Albany’s Midtown project is honored

> SOUTHERN INDIANA — The city of New Albany and New Directions Housing Corp. won a Rosemary Prentice Award for the Midtown Renaissance project.

The project is following preservation standards in rehabbing dilapidated and abandoned houses — most dating from the mid-19th to the early-20th century — in the Midtown neighborhood. Sixteen homes have been rehabilitated so far, and 15 new houses of compatible design — many utilizing the camelback shotgun form common in New Albany — have been built on vacant lots.

The project also has sparked private rehabilitations. The award was accepted by Scott Wood, Chief Planner for the City of New Albany, and Joe Gliessner, Lisa Thompson, and Gus Thomas of New Directions Housing Corporation. Indiana State Representative Ed Clere was also recognized for his contribution to the project.

Also, St. John’s United Church of Christ in Madison won a Prentice Award for the restoration of the church in the wake of Hurricane Ike. The 2008 storm peeled back the roof of the 1844 landmark at 501 E. Main St.

Water damaged the plaster and revealed elaborate decorative painting on the walls of the sanctuary, hidden since the 1930s. The congregation raised $15,000 to re-create the Victorian interior. Artisans David and Diedre Cart completed the work. The Rev. Jeannie Sarver and Council President Michael Gourley, with the Carts, accepted the award.

Josh and Sonja Casebolt won a Prentice Award for their rehabilitation of the historic Tell City Bank purchased from Indiana Landmarks on Main Street in Tell City. Indiana Landmarks rescued the structure, built in the mid-1880s as, when it was threatened with demolition. The Casebolts renovated the building, opening the Vault Bar & Grille on the first floor and rehabbing the upper floors as an apartment.  

Bruce Rippe won a Prentice Award for RomWeber Flats, his adaptive use of the RomWeber Furniture Factory in Batesville. After the Romweber factory closed in 2008, the company’s president Bruce Rippe turned the historic industrial space to productive new use as RomWeber Flats, a 54-unit senior living development. An additional 30 units will open in 2014.

The Prentice Awards are named in honor of the late advocate who helped create a strong preservation organization in Jeffersonville and led Indiana Landmarks to open a regional office in Southern Indiana.

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