New hope for crumbling Washington Street building

42 E Washington StThe new owners of a pre-Civil War building that is one of downtown's oldest surviving structures have removed metal paneling as they seek to determine whether the four-story building could withstand a façade improvement project. The building at 42 E. Washington St. has been mostly vacant for years, save for an occasional first-floor retail tenant (most recently a jewelry store). Owners Jim and Linda Hunter received city approval last week to remove the panels as they assess structural integrity, said Jeff York, a senior city planner. The owners are working with the planning department and the Indianapolis Historic Preservation Commission on a larger project to revitalize the structure. A prior owner of the building tried to brick over the windows in 2011 before the city issued a stop-work order. The Antonopoulos family ultimately completed a stabilization project before selling the property to the current owners, who live in Johnson County. Watch this space for an update on the Hunters' plans.

IBJ photo/Cory Schouten

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