Historic Landmarks to announce move, name change

April 12, 2010

Historic Landmarks Foundation of Indiana is expected to announce Tuesday that it will move its headquarters to the Old Centrum, a striking Romanesque Revival church at 12th Street and Central Avenue in Indianapolis.

Work on the church, formerly Central Avenue United Methodist, has already begun. As IBJ reported in February, the foundation acquired the building from its former owner to stabilize it after a period of disrepair. Foundation President Marsh Davis said at the time that his organization was considering moving its 22-member Indianapolis staff from its offices on the Central Canal to the Old Centrum.

The landmarks foundation, however, won’t likely take up the entire 80,000-square-foot building. One of the main interior features of the church, which opened in 1892, is an auditorium praised for its acoustics.

Full restoration could cost $10 million, according to an estimate by the building’s previous owner, the Old Centrum Foundation.

Historic Landmarks Foundation said in a press release that it will also announce on Tuesday a major donation that would preserve the building. Bill Cook, the medical equipment magnate from Bloomington who put up the money to restore the historic West Baden Springs Hotel in southern Indiana, will attend the Tuesday morning press conference.

Also on Tuesday, Historic Landmarks Foundation said it will unveil a new name. The change is expected to help distinguish the statewide organization from other historical groups.

Founded in 1960, Historic Landmarks Foundation of Indiana is the largest private statewide preservation group in the United States. It has nine regional offices in addition to its Indianapolis headquarters.


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