The historic Kemper House near 10th and Delaware streets, known as the "Wedding Cake House," sustained about $100,000 in damage early Tuesday morning during a rash of fires in Indianapolis, many of them ruled arson.
The 1873 home at 1028 N. Delaware St. is owned by Indiana Landmarks, which had used the first floor as office space for about 25 years before moving out in 2008. The 2,800-square-foot home with Italianate and Greek Revival details is listed for sale with an asking price of $350,000.
Chad Lethig, Indiana Landmarks' Indianapolis Preservation Coordinator, was surveying the damage this morning. He said the fire started on the back porch. There was no forced entry to the structure. He figures it will cost between $80,000 and $100,000 to repair. Lethig said someone in the apartment building next door called in the fire, and the Indianapolis Fire Department arrived quickly enough to save the landmark home. "Their response time was phenomenal," Lethig said.
Seven of the overnight fires had been ruled arson by mid-morning Tuesday but three others, including the one at Kemper House, were still under investigation, IFD Capt. Rita L. Burris wrote in an email.