Property Lines - Scott Olson

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Real Estate & Retail

Summit breathing new life into 1909 downtown building

September 3, 2010

Summit renderingSummit Realty Group has begun restoration of its future headquarters, a 1909 building at the southeast corner of Pennsylvania and New York streets that has been vacant 10 years. Summit plans to move into the building's top two floors by April 2011, and will offer the bottom two floors for lease. The company plans to spend about $3.3 million to buy and renovate the structure, originally known as the Pennway Building. IBJ first reported on the plan in August. Summit liked "the idea of putting a beautiful and historic structure back into use downtown," said Brian Zurawski, the company's chief operating officer. Good call!

Here's some more history from Summit: It was designed by noted architect Oscar Bohlen, who also designed the Murat Temple and the original St. Vincent Hospital on Fall Creek Parkway.  From 1929 to 1938, it was home to Gregory & Appel Insurance. In 1948, the Jefferson Life Insurance Company bought the building and remained there until 1970. The structure is the only building still standing after the entire 200 block of Massachusetts Avenue was torn down in 1967 to make way for the Indiana National Bank Building (now Regions Bank Building). Before that, the land was the site of an elegant home owned by Gov. Oliver P. Morton, Indiana's governor during the Civil War. After Gov. Morton died in the home in 1887, attempts were made to save the home as a historic museum. Instead, Indiana's chief medical officer during the Civil War bought the home, demolished it and built the four-story building that stands there today. In the early years, ground-level tenants included the American Radiator Company, Story and Clark Piano Co., Cable Nelson Piano Co. and Shoemaker-Smith Auto Company.

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