Historic Old Northside church could be yours for $2.9M

February 13, 2012
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                              Church Building at 12th and DelawareA majestic church building at the corner of 12th and Delaware streets is up for sale for the first time in more than 30 years. The 34,000-square-foot neoclassical building includes a 1,200-seat auditorium renovated in 1995. The limestone structure has been used as a place of worship since it was built in 1912. The Jehovah's Witnesses have owned it since 1978, but the church needs more room and plans to move elsewhere once it sells. The building's list price: $2.895 million. Summit Realty Group brokers Rich Forslund and Matt Langfeldt are marketing the property to potential users including another church, an educational or nonprofit organization, or an arts group. The building at 1201 N. Delaware St. sits across from the President Benjamin Harrison Home and blocks away from the Indiana Landmarks Center in the Old Northside neighborhood. "Potential buyers who have seen it have been blown away by its immaculate condition and overall character," Forslund said in a statement. "It really is a vital and unique piece of real estate." Among its impressive features is an open-loop geothermal system that uses groundwater for hearing and cooling, Forslund said. The building sits on 1.8 acres, and the property also includes a vacant roughly one-acre lot along Alabama Street. More photos are here.

  • if only
    If only i had the funds, really this is a steal. A little renovation and it would be a great luxury home. within walking distance of anything.
    Redevelopment is the future -urban sprawl is the killer.
  • No parking on Alabama
    The lots on Alabama Street are not parking. The lots are zoned D-8, and are currently mowed lawn. I am sure any suggestion to make these parking lots would meet with stiff opposition from the neighbors.

    The church currently uses the lots under the Interstate for Saturday and Sunday Parking, as well as street parking.

  • Always Growing
    Jim: You're forgetting about the billions who have the EARTHLY hope, not the heavenly one.
  • yeah, a house
    Really Chris? A 33,000 square-foot house? Sure. Go for it. Maybe like 30-60 apts/condos, but it would be nice to keep the building intact. I wonder if the IHPC would allow it to be carved up inside.

    Cory, isn't it "Jehovah"?
  • Correction
    Thanks Paul, yes it should be Jehovah's. Fixed.
  • History?
    Does anyone know the older history of this building?
  • IHPC
    Paul - Always a good idea to check with IHPC staff first, but generally they have no interest or say in interiors. I wonder how much work might be needed for accessibility and ramps.
  • Best Use
    I can't see a new church moving into the space, but there are plenty of proper uses out there. Not everything needs to be carved up into apartments. There are plenty of historic apartment buildings out there ripe for renovation. How about a museum, a Magnet High School, an Event Center, or a facility that could be used in conjunction with Herron High School or the Harrison Center?
  • cornerstone
    This building has a curious feature that no one's been able to explain to me. The cornerstone is written in Hebrew and the date is inscribed C.E.(common era) 1912, not A.D. (anno domini).
    All of which suggests its use as a synagogue at one time, except for the fact that Jewish congregations - quite understandably - never move into former churches.
    Does anyone know about the cornerstone and its history?
  • re: cornerstone
    @mmdindy, 1201 N. Delaware has been a continuous place of worship for Jehovah's Witness congregations since it was built in 1912. Jehovah's Witnesses utilize the Hebrew scriptures much more than most other Christian groups, which explains the use of Hebrew in the cornerstone. Additionally, Jehovah's Witnesses use Before Common Era (BCE) and Common Era (CE) for dates, rather than the traditional Christian BC/AD.
    • Cornerstone
      One more update: The Hebrew in the cornerstone is the Tetragrammatron, the name of the God of Israel--in English, Jehovah.
      • Makes sense ... but
        Thanks for the info. I'm still confused, though, because the information I have says it was built in 1912 for the Second Church of Christ Scientists, which occupied the space until 1968.
        Is it possible the Jehovah's Witness congregation replaced or changed the original cornerstone?

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      1. I am not by any means judging whether this is a good or bad project. It's pretty simple, the developers are not showing a hardship or need for this economic incentive. It is a vacant field, the easiest for development, and the developer already has the money to invest $26 million for construction. If they can afford that, they can afford to pay property taxes just like the rest of the residents do. As well, an average of $15/hour is an absolute joke in terms of economic development. Get in high paying jobs and maybe there's a different story. But that's the problem with this ask, it is speculative and users are just not known.

      2. Shouldn't this be a museum

      3. I don't have a problem with higher taxes, since it is obvious that our city is not adequately funded. And Ballard doesn't want to admit it, but he has increased taxes indirectly by 1) selling assets and spending the money, 2) letting now private entities increase user fees which were previously capped, 3) by spending reserves, and 4) by heavy dependence on TIFs. At the end, these are all indirect tax increases since someone will eventually have to pay for them. It's mathematics. You put property tax caps ("tax cut"), but you don't cut expenditures (justifiably so), so you increase taxes indirectly.

      4. Marijuana is the safest natural drug grown. Addiction is never physical. Marijuana health benefits are far more reaching then synthesized drugs. Abbott, Lilly, and the thousands of others create poisons and label them as medication. There is no current manufactured drug on the market that does not pose immediate and long term threat to the human anatomy. Certainly the potency of marijuana has increased by hybrids and growing techniques. However, Alcohol has been proven to destroy more families, relationships, cause more deaths and injuries in addition to the damage done to the body. Many confrontations such as domestic violence and other crimes can be attributed to alcohol. The criminal activities and injustices that surround marijuana exists because it is illegal in much of the world. If legalized throughout the world you would see a dramatic decrease in such activities and a savings to many countries for legal prosecutions, incarceration etc in regards to marijuana. It indeed can create wealth for the government by collecting taxes, creating jobs, etc.... I personally do not partake. I do hope it is legalized throughout the world.

      5. Build the resevoir. If built this will provide jobs and a reason to visit Anderson. The city needs to do something to differentiate itself from other cities in the area. Kudos to people with vision that are backing this project.