Summit breathing new life into 1909 downtown building

September 3, 2010
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Summit renderingSummit Realty Group has begun restoration of its future headquarters, a 1909 building at the southeast corner of Pennsylvania and New York streets that has been vacant 10 years. Summit plans to move into the building's top two floors by April 2011, and will offer the bottom two floors for lease. The company plans to spend about $3.3 million to buy and renovate the structure, originally known as the Pennway Building. IBJ first reported on the plan in August. Summit liked "the idea of putting a beautiful and historic structure back into use downtown," said Brian Zurawski, the company's chief operating officer. Good call!

Here's some more history from Summit: It was designed by noted architect Oscar Bohlen, who also designed the Murat Temple and the original St. Vincent Hospital on Fall Creek Parkway.  From 1929 to 1938, it was home to Gregory & Appel Insurance. In 1948, the Jefferson Life Insurance Company bought the building and remained there until 1970. The structure is the only building still standing after the entire 200 block of Massachusetts Avenue was torn down in 1967 to make way for the Indiana National Bank Building (now Regions Bank Building). Before that, the land was the site of an elegant home owned by Gov. Oliver P. Morton, Indiana's governor during the Civil War. After Gov. Morton died in the home in 1887, attempts were made to save the home as a historic museum. Instead, Indiana's chief medical officer during the Civil War bought the home, demolished it and built the four-story building that stands there today. In the early years, ground-level tenants included the American Radiator Company, Story and Clark Piano Co., Cable Nelson Piano Co. and Shoemaker-Smith Auto Company.

  • Super!
    Continuing to be very happy about this news. Classic building, reuse of it is "green", and it represents a move away from New Generic. (For the record, I love a good modernist building.)
  • Old Indy has beauty still!!
    Great! What a beatiful building to save and a nice bit of Indianapolis History. My family has been in Indianapolis before the Civil War. So anything that can be saved and restored for children's children is a great idea. Indy has so much history. Kudo, I can't wait to see it completed.
  • Sweet!
    Way to go Summit Realty!
  • Fond Memories
    After Jefferson Life moved out the state leased the building for the Department of Mental Health, readdressing the building as 5 Indiana Square. I worked on the ground floor but my duties took me to all 4 floors. After DMH moved the building housed the city's housing division.
  • Illinois St building
    This is great news! Now lets hear a great plan for the Illinois St building on the Indiana Landmark danger list.
  • Love LOVE love
    Awesome that Summit has stepped up to the plate and is taking over this building. I drive by there everyday and think what potential. Bravo !!
  • Outstanding
    Great news that some of these older abandoned building are receiving the proper love and not the wrecking ball, I wonder if the Consolidated building further south will be next?

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