NEW ALBANY — Indiana Landmarks hopes history repeats itself as the organization opens its Southern Regional Office in New Albany.
The nonprofit, which saves historic places statewide, will have a public celebration and ribbon cutting at 4 p.m. May 20 to show off its new home in the recently restored 1899 Kunz-Hartman House at 911 State St. The house will be open to the public for tours after the ribbon cutting.
Indiana Landmarks is moving its Southern Regional Office from Jeffersonville, where the organization occupied the historic Willey-Allhands House. Indiana Landmarks saved the house from demolition, moving it in 2003 and restoring it in 2004. The rehab project was a boost for downtown Jeffersonville, which had suffered a devastating fire earlier that year. The fire destroyed several historic commercial buildings.
Indiana Landmarks’ restoration of the Willey-Allhands House became a catalyst for revitalization for the entire neighborhood. Through public and private partnerships, the area now includes the Big Four pedestrian and bicycle bridge connecting Louisville to Jeffersonville, as well as a park and numerous restaurants, craft breweries and offices. Earlier this year, a private buyer purchased the house with protective covenants requiring exterior changes be approved by Indiana Landmarks to ensure it retains its historic character.
Indiana Landmarks is now taking that model to nearby New Albany, where it recently completed a 20-month restoration of the Kunz-Hartman House. Vacant since 2012, the house suffered a fire in 2017 that left gaping holes in the roof, along with charred timbers and water damage. The owner had begun to strip the building in preparation for demolition when Indiana Landmarks acquired it. Indiana Landmarks restored the Queen Anne-style home’s original woodwork, stained- and bevel-glass windows, and other historic details to their former glory. More details can be found at www.indianalandmarks.org/celebrating-a-turnaround-in-new-albany.
By moving in and restoring an ailing landmark, the organization intends to inspire investment in the surrounding neighborhood. The upper floors of the house are available for rent as offices.
Funding for the project came from proceeds of the sale of the Willey-Allhands House in Jeffersonville, the Horseshoe Foundation of Floyd County, the City of New Albany and its Redevelopment Commission, the Paul Ogle Foundation, the Kunz family, PC Home Center, Develop New Albany, and many individual contributions. Architect Ron Stiller of Floyds Knobs-based RCS + Associates served as project architect.
For more information, call 812-284-4534, firstname.lastname@example.org