Two area landmarks make ‘Most Endangered’ list

A park memorial in Indianapolis and a portion of downtown Greenwood are among two of the additions to Indiana Landmarks’ annual 10 Most Endangered list.

Since the inception of the program in 1991, Indiana Landmarks counts just 10 losses among more than 85 historic places that have appeared on the list. This year’s list includes six new entries and four making repeat appearances.

The Taggart Memorial at Riverside Park in Indianapolis honors Thomas Taggart, an Irish immigrant who served as Indianapolis mayor from 1895 to 1901. As mayor, he created the city park system, acquiring hundreds of acres along the White River, in addition to land for Brookside and Highland parks.

He also served as a U.S. senator and chairman of the Democratic National Committee, and owned the French Lick Springs Hotel.

The Neoclassical landmark at Riverside—a limestone colonnade and fountain—was erected in 1931, two years after his death. The fountain doesn’t work, and an unsightly fence surrounds the monument to protect the public from its unsafe condition, said Indiana Landmarks. The not-for-profit group is studying how private funds might be raised to restore the memorial.

“Taggart’s Indianapolis legacy—a parks system available to all citizens of the capital city—deserves the honor of a fountain that works and a graceful, safe colonnade,” the organization said.

In Greenwood, nearly a quarter of the downtown is in danger of being razed and replaced with buildings that imitate the original structures.

Indiana Landmarks said Mayor Charles Henderson wants to acquire and demolish seven buildings near the intersection of Main Street and Madison Avenue, and redevelop the site with architecture that mimics the Italianate-style and Classical Revival-style buildings that would be torn down.

The buildings are in good condition and house several businesses, Indiana Landmarks said.

“Greenwood has become defined more by its sprawl and mall than by its neighborhoods and downtown,” Indiana Landmarks said. “Retaining these buildings is key to maintaining an individual character for the community.”

Other new entries on the list are the George DeBaptiste House in Madison, the Haven Hubbard Home in New Carlisle, Sylvan Springs in Rome City, and the Taylor Dome at Taylor University in Upland.

Repeat entries from last year’s list are the Farmers Institute near Lafayette, Robert Memorial Building in Connersville, St. John’s Hospital in Gary, and historic windows on structures statewide.

The Indianapolis-based Indiana Landmarks uses the list to bring attention to neglected sites and to mobilize support for preservation efforts.

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