Indiana Landmarks nearing $25M fundraising goal

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Preservation group Indiana Landmarks kicked off the public portion of its $25 million capital and endowment campaign Thursday evening, entering the homestretch of a fundraising effort that began in 2010.

The Indianapolis-based organization needs $3.3 million more to reach its goal.

Not-for-profits often conduct major campaigns in two phases: a so-called silent period—when leaders solicit major gifts, which usually represent most of the funds raised—followed by a public appeal.

Landmarks’ “Saving Meaningful Places” campaign aims to build its endowment, fund acquisition and restoration projects, and fund grant programs and other initiatives.

The bulk of the total is tied to the $19.5 million Indiana Landmarks Center project, which transformed the vacant 19th century church that now serves as the organization’s headquarters. Bloomington’s Cook family donated $15.7 million for that project.

Of the $25 million total, $1.2 million will go to Indiana Landmarks’ endowment, which helps fund operations in Indianapolis and eight regional offices.

Another $600,000 is earmarked for the Endangered Places Acquisition Fund, which allows Indiana Landmarks to save at-risk historic buildings until buyers can be found.

The campaign announcement came during a preview of living space at Stadium Lofts, a mixed-use development being built around the bones of the former Bush Stadium on West 16th Street in Indianapolis.

Before being repurposed by locally based Core Redevelopment, the former home of the Indianapolis Indians twice was included on Indiana Landmarks’ 10 Most Endangered list.

Core’s managing partner, John Watson, is a former Landmarks board chairman who began working on the project at the organization’s request.

Proceeds of the campaign, expected to be complete by 2015, also will be used to support special initiatives like the National Preservation Conference scheduled to be held in Indianapolis for the first time this fall.

The Stadium Lofts project will be featured during the Oct. 29-Nov. 2 convention.

Founded in 1960 by Eli Lilly and other civic leaders, Indiana Landmarks’ current projects include a 19th-century cottage on East 10th Street in Indianapolis.

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