Art gallery planned for Washington Street building

July 30, 2013
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The new owners of a pre-Civil War building at 42 E. Washington St. are renovating the historic four-story structure with plans to open a high-end art gallery in October.

Jim and Linda Hunter are demolishing the building’s interior and are awaiting state approval before beginning construction. They’ve already received approval from the city’s planning department and Indianapolis Historic Preservation Commission on their plans to revitalize the building.

42 E. Washington
                              history 225px(A sketch of the new design and images of the building through the years are at right.)

The building, one of downtown’s oldest surviving structures, will receive a new façade and an arched entry. Interior plans call for removing a portion of the floor separating the first and second levels to create a mezzanine-type entrance that was part of its original design.

The first-floor art gallery will sell museum-quality art pieces that one might find in New York or Miami, Jim Hunter said. An art and entertainment business will be housed on the second level.

Hunter is unsure how much they will invest in the property but described the renovation as a “significant upgrade.”

The building has been mostly vacant for years, except for an occasional first-floor retail tenant (most recently a jewelry store). A prior owner of the building attempted to brick over the windows in 2011 before the city issued a stop-work order. The Antonopoulos family ultimately completed a stabilization project before selling the property to the current owners, who live in Johnson County.
 

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  • very nice
    Great news for downtown!
  • Boost for the Block
    This block of Washington St. has struggled over the years. Compared to West Washington its like night and day. Many of the buildings are in disrepair. The block lacks an architectural consistency. This renovation will definitely help. Someone please develop the large parking lot across the street. This site really needs an infill development to complete Washington St.
  • upper levels
    Thanks for the update, Scott. Any ideas what they'll be doing with the upper two floors?
  • 1918 photo incorrect?
    Are you sure that's the same building in the photo labelled "1918"? That building has five stories. The article and other photos reference a building with four stories.
    • It is 5 stories tall
      Bill, it appears that the drawing is a bit inaccurate. The building is 5 stories tall. That can be seen by walking or driving by it, so the 1918 picture really is of the building in question.
      • Demo of fifth floor
        The fifth floor will be removed. It had been added to the structure sometime late 1800s, early 1900s and is causing severe foundation pressure to the rest of the building.
      • additional information on building
        Here's a link to additional information about this building that appeared on the "Historic Indianapolis" blog. The fifth floor was added sometime before 1880 to the building (hence the difference between the 1850s drawing and the 1918 photo). http://historicindianapolis.com/then-now-40-e-washington-street/

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