Building slated for reuse was state's first 'Fresh Air' school

June 3, 2010
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School No. 3A not-for-profit group has found a new use for an historic former elementary school on the near east side. The former Lucretia Mott School No. 3, at 23 N. Rural St., is set to become a mixed-income apartment community. The project by Englewood Community Development Corp. and the John H. Boner Community Center will cost between $6 million and $7 million. Locally based Ratio Architects is working on the project. The full story is here.

The photo above is from the Indiana Historical Society Bass Co. collection and was taken in 1906. A current photo of the school is available here. The school was the state's first so-called "Fresh Air" school, where windows were kept open all year. A photo from the 1910s, available here, shows the "Eskimo suits" students wore during winter months. "Fresh air schools were intended to help students who were anemic, undernourished, or who had been exposed to tuberculosis," Ratio's Benjamin Ross wrote in an e-mail. "The fresh air classrooms were designed to provide a healthful learning environment with an abundance of fresh air and daylight. The program also included nutritious lunches, one hour of nap time per day, and a focus on creative activities."

A few unrelated nuggets:

  • Broad Ripple Steakhouse has closed. The restaurant's front door is boarded up, and its website has disappeared. IBJ's newsgathering partner Fox 59 reports that the restaurant had not paid sales taxes.
  • Affordable Building Supplies is planning to develop a five-story building along South Meridian Street that will house its headquarters, other offices, storage units and a first-floor cafe. The 12,500-square-foot project would take three lots just south of the Greek Islands restaurant. Many more details are here.
  • Big Lots has opened a 24,000-square-foot store in Avon at 10321 U.S. 36. The Columbus, Ohio-based chain now has 10 stores in the Indianapolis area.
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