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Fishers / Hamilton County / Historic Preservation / Regional News

Moving historic Fishers house from development site could cost $100K

June 17, 2014

Slated for demolition last week, the historic Flanagan House in Fishers has been granted a reprieve—at least for the time being.

Preservation advocates met Monday with property owner Thompson Thrift to discuss alternatives for the two-story brick home at the southwest corner of 106th Street and Kincaid Drive, just east of Interstate 69.

Flanagan House, FishersKnown as both the Flanagan House and the Kincaid House, this brick house in Fishers was built in the 1860s. (IBJ photo/Andrea Muirragui Davis)

The developer and local partners acquired the house along with the rest of the 70-acre Delaware Park commercial subdivision earlier this year. Located near a planned I-69 interchange, the property is zoned for retail, office and industrial use.

Thompson Thrift weighed options for the building months ago but couldn't find anyone willing to invest the estimated $100,000-$130,000 needed to move it even a short distance, said Ashlee Boyd, senior vice president of the development firm.

So the company decided the raze the 1860s-era structure, salvaging bricks, lumber and other "aesthetic features" for use elsewhere in Fishers. Thompson Thrift delayed the work scheduled for June 9 amid outcry from organizations including Indianapolis-based heavyweight Indiana Landmarks.

Interested parties met Monday to brainstorm ways to save the building and agreed to reconvene in a couple weeks, said Emily Compton, a member of the Noblesville Preservation Alliance who attended the private confab.

At this point, relocating the structure seems to be the most viable option, she said. But pulling that off will require finding a new site and partners with deep pockets.

“It’s a little scary but also exciting because of the possibilities,” Compton said. “Who knows what we can come up with?”

Thompson Thrift plans to use Kincaid Drive as the entrance to its retail-and-office development, Boyd said, and the 106th Street frontage will be prime property. The company is open to the idea of moving the house within Delaware Park (which will be rebranded), but he said ongoing maintenance costs would be an issue.

"We had a good discussion, but I think everyone acknowledges the logistical and financial challenges of moving a home like that," Boyd said.

A source of funding would need to be identified in the next few weeks to save the house, he said.

The Flanagan family purchased the farm from southern land prospectors in 1853, Hamilton County historian David Heighway said after reviewing ownership records, and the house likely was built  in the next 10 years.

The house is solid brick, with 13-inch-thick walls, said Dan Kincaid, whose grandfather bought the property in 1934—a dozen years after he founded the still-operating L.E. Kincaid & Sons meat market at 56th and Illinois streets in Indianapolis.

Dan’s father, Donald, purchased the farm in 1961. Around the turn of the current century, Donald Kincaid invested about $80,000 to refurbish the exterior of the house, sandblasting the brick and replacing the roof, doors, windows and exterior trim.

He ran out of energy and interest before getting to the time-worn living quarters, Dan Kincaid said. Over the years, “treasure hunters” have damaged the interior, he said. Built without an indoor bathroom, the home has never had a furnace.

The Kincaid family lost the property during the recession, Dan Kincaid said. Thompson Thrift and its partners acquired it from a Nevada investment firm.

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