Summit breathing new life into 1909 downtown building

September 3, 2010
Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

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?

Post a comment to this blog

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
  1. By Mr. Lee's own admission, he basically ran pro-bono ads on the billboard. Paying advertisers didn't want ads on a controversial, ugly billboard that turned off customers. At least one of Mr. Lee's free advertisers dropped out early because they found that Mr. Lee's advertising was having negative impact. So Mr. Lee is disingenous to say the city now owes him for lost revenue. Mr. Lee quickly realized his monstrosity had a dim future and is trying to get the city to bail him out. And that's why the billboard came down so quickly.

  2. Merchants Square is back. The small strip center to the south of 116th is 100% leased, McAlister’s is doing well in the outlot building. The former O’Charleys is leased but is going through permitting with the State and the town of Carmel. Mac Grill is closing all of their Indy locations (not just Merchants) and this will allow for a new restaurant concept to backfill both of their locations. As for the north side of 116th a new dinner movie theater and brewery is under construction to fill most of the vacancy left by Hobby Lobby and Old Navy.

  3. Yes it does have an ethics commission which enforce the law which prohibits 12 specific items. google it

  4. Thanks for reading and replying. If you want to see the differentiation for research, speaking and consulting, check out the spreadsheet I linked to at the bottom of the post; it is broken out exactly that way. I can only include so much detail in a blog post before it becomes something other than a blog post.

  5. 1. There is no allegation of corruption, Marty, to imply otherwise if false. 2. Is the "State Rule" a law? I suspect not. 3. Is Mr. Woodruff obligated via an employment agreement (contractual obligation) to not work with the engineering firm? 4. In many states a right to earn a living will trump non-competes and other contractual obligations, does Mr. Woodruff's personal right to earn a living trump any contractual obligations that might or might not be out there. 5. Lawyers in state government routinely go work for law firms they were formally working with in their regulatory actions. You can see a steady stream to firms like B&D from state government. It would be interesting for IBJ to do a review of current lawyers and find out how their past decisions affected the law firms clients. Since there is a buffer between regulated company and the regulator working for a law firm technically is not in violation of ethics but you have to wonder if decisions were made in favor of certain firms and quid pro quo jobs resulted. Start with the DOI in this review. Very interesting.