Rivoli Theatre, medical museum on Indiana endangered list

April 23, 2015
The Rivoli Theater opened in 1927 and needs significant investment for preservation.

The Rivoli Theatre and the Indiana Medical History Museum in Indianapolis are among 10 places on this year's most-endangered places list from the not-for-profit historic protection group Indiana Landmarks.

The list, made public Thursday, also includes sites in Evansville and South Bend.

Buildings on Indiana Landmarks’ annual list are historically significant and under threat of demolition or dilapidation. But Indiana Landmarks President Marsh Davis said "they're not lost causes" and have potential for revival and reuse.

More than 100 historic places have been put on the Indiana list since it was first issued in 1991. Of those sites, 13 have been demolished.

This year's list has seven new entries and three repeats from last year. That means the prospects of seven sites from last year’s list have improved enough to be removed.

This year’s new properties:

— Rivoli Theatre, Indianapolis: The theater opened in 1927 with decorative plaster walls and a domed ceiling above an auditorium that seated 1,500. Recent efforts have been made to preserve the property at 3155 E. 10th St., but the theater still needs significant investment. A legal battle regarding ownership also slowed preservation efforts.

— Indiana Medical History Museum, Indianapolis: The museum is housed in the 1895 Old Pathology Building on the former campus of Central State Hospital. Indiana Landmarks said the museum’s “tucked-away location contributes to the challenge of attracting visitors and donors to the National Register-listed site.”

— Former First Presbyterian Church and Lafayette Building, South Bend: The two landmarks are next door to each other and across the street from the city's historic courthouses.

— I.O.O.F-United Brethren Block, Huntington: The three interconnected buildings are on Huntington's Courthouse Square and are threatened with demolishment.

— McCurdy Hotel, Evansville: The eight-story, first-class hotel was built in 1917 facing the Ohio River and operated for decades.

— Elks Lodge, Bedford: The brick and stone structure built in 1917 has a gym and roof garden.

— Camp Chesterfield, Chesterfield: The site has origins as a summer tent camp in the 1890s before growing under the ownership of the Indiana Association of Spiritualists.

Repeats from last year's list:

— McDonald House, Attica: Powerbroker James D. McDonald built the 4,800-square-foot home in 1855.

— Mills House, Greenwood: Indianapolis architect Harry Cooler designed the house in 1955, taking inspiration from Frank Lloyd Wright.

— Indiana County Homes: Seven historic county homes, once used to help the poor and disabled, are vacant and many face demolition and neglect.


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