IBJNews

Indiana Landmarks still trying to save pre-Civil War home

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

Indiana Landmarks is making another push to save an 1850 house on the city’s northwest side that is threatened by development.

The Cotton-Ropkey House, at 79th Street and Marsh Road just west of Interstate 465, sits on 95 acres that Kite Realty Group bought in 2004. Five years later, facing a tepid development climate, Kite agreed to let Landmarks search for a buyer. Kite would sell the house for $1 if the buyer would agree to move it to another site.

So far, Landmarks has come up empty in its search, but the preservation group has renewed the effort, publicizing the plight of the house in its recent newsletter. “The house enjoyed a brief reprieve when development plans for the property stalled,” the newsletter said. “But now the redevelopment of the site is gearing up and the Italianate-style house is in grave danger.”

REW_Cotton_Ropkey_HouseThe home sits on a 95-acre site on 79th Street that developer Kite Realty Group bought in 2004. (Photo courtesy Indiana Landmarks)

Chad Lethig, Indianapolis preservation coordinator for Indiana Landmarks, says the house, which is one of the oldest structures in Marion County, could be moved for about $35,000. The problem is there aren’t many places to move it.

To the east is I-465, which the house couldn’t cross, and within a mile of the site to the west and south there are topography issues that would make moving it all but impossible, Lethig said. He said the house could be moved north, over land, to 86th Street if the move happened when the ground is frozen—or very dry, as it is now.

The most likely site is a three-quarter-acre parcel facing 79th Street that is roughly 1,000 feet to the west in the Normandy Farms subdivision. Lethig said the land could be purchased for between $65,000 and $85,000.

Depending on the buyer’s plans, the house could be moved and restored for between $185,000 and $285,000, including the land, according to Indiana Landmarks estimates.

Although the house has been added to over the years, the original house—and the part Landmarks is most keen to save—is a 2,200-square-foot, two-story structure with Greek Revival and Italianate features, including six-over-six windows, walnut floors, crown moldings, and other original details.

Sandy Weddle, a broker for F.C. Tucker Co. who is familiar with the northwest side, said the house would list for at least $300,000 after a well-executed restoration.

Lethig believes time is running out. “Our fear is the [development] market is starting to turn around. [Kite is] starting to grow a little anxious about keeping it.”

Zeff Weiss, an attorney at Ice Miller who represents the owner, said the house is threatened by theft and vandalism. But he said development is not imminent and his client hasn’t given Landmarks a deadline.

Lethig said it isn’t out of the question that Landmarks would buy and move the house, but he said the preservation group’s real estate program is “cash poor at the moment.”   

The pre-Civil War home was built by farmer John Cotton beginning in 1848 and stayed in the family until 1937, when the Ropkey family bought it. The Ropkeys sold the house in 2004.

 

ADVERTISEMENT

  • House is in Historic Traders Point area
    this is a significant house on the eastern edge of one of the earliest settlement areas in the county; historic Traders Point. For more info on the area visit my site www.historictraderspoint.org

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
 
Subscribe to IBJ
  1. I had read earlier this spring that Noodles & Co was going to open in the Fishers Marketplace (which is SR 37 and 131st St, not 141st St, just FYI). Any word on that? Also, do you happen to know what is being built in Carmel at Pennsylvania and Old Meridian? May just be an office building but I'm not sure.

  2. I'm sorry, but you are flat out wrong. There are few tracks in the world with the history of IMS and probably NO OTHER as widely known and recognized. I don't care what you think about the stat of Indy Car racing, these are pretty hard things to dispute.

  3. Also wondering if there is an update on the Brockway Pub-Danny Boy restaurant/taproom that was planned for the village as well?

  4. Why does the majority get to trample on the rights of the minority? You do realize that banning gay marriage does not rid the world of gay people, right? They are still going to be around and they are still going to continue to exist. The best way to get it all out of the spotlight? LEGALIZE IT! If gay marriage is legal, they will get to stop trying to push for it and you will get to stop seeing it all over the news. Why do Christians get to decide what is moral?? Why do you get to push your religion on others? How would legalizing gay marriage expose their lifestyle to your children? By the way, their lifestyle is going to continue whether gay marriage is legalized or not. It's been legal in Canada for quite a while now and they seem to be doing just fine. What about actual rules handed down by God? What about not working on Sundays? What about obeying your parents? What about adultery? These are in the 10 Commandments, the most important of God's rules. Yet they are all perfectly legal. What about divorce? Only God is allowed to dissolve a marriage so why don't you work hard to get divorce banned? Why do you get to pick and choose the parts of the Bible you care about?

  5. Look at the bright side. With the new Lowe's call center, that means 1000 jobs at $10 bucks an hour. IMS has to be drooling over all that disposable income. If those employees can save all their extra money after bills, in five years they can go to the race LIVE. Can you say attendance boost?

ADVERTISEMENT