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February 11, 2013

BUILDING A SOLID FOUNDATION: DAR asking for help to repair foundation of Scribner House

NEW ALBANY — To the naked eye, the oldest house in New Albany appears sturdy and sound. 

The Scribner House is still setup in 19th-Century style, and welcomes hundreds of Floyd County students annually for tours. 

However, the guardians of the historic structure — the Daughters of the American Revolution — want to ensure the Scribner House remains an asset to New Albany for another 200 years, and are asking for the community’s help to address foundation issues for the building. 

Built in 1814 by one of the founders of New Albany, Joel Scribner, the Scribner House was the first clapboard home constructed in the city. Typical housing consisted of log cabins prior to this advancement, and four generations of the Scribner family would live in the home. 

In 1917, Harriet Scribner sold the house to the Piankeshaw Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution, or DAR, and the organization has tended the house since. 

In 2010, the gardens of the Scribner House were constructed between the home and the Floyd County branch of the YMCA of Southern Indiana. The project was funded with a grant from the Horseshoe Foundation of Floyd County. 

Now DAR officials are pushing for serious repairs to the Scribner House that go beyond its aesthetic appeal. 

A recent building inspection uncovered damage to part of the foundation known as the sill at the Scribner House. Due in part to the inability to remove interior materials inside the house, the repair project is estimated to be “costly and difficult.”  

Carlene Price, regent of the DAR Piankeshaw Chapter, said the exact cost for the foundation work isn’t known, but that the organization wants to start fundraising so that the Scribner House can remain open when repairs begin.

She said the plan is to refurbish all of the house in phases beginning with the foundation work, which is the most pressing need. 

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