Historic Preservation Month Celebrated in North Manchester
May is National Historic Preservation Month, and the North Manchester Historic Homes Preservation Group celebrated on May 13, 2014 with a special program for North Manchester residents and Indiana Landmarks members. HHPG is an affiliate of the North Manchester Historical Society,
Paul Hayden of Indiana Landmarks provided an informative slide show at the Center for History, demonstrating historic paint colors in America through the years. He then provided consultation with audience members about their own vintage homes.
Those not wishing a consultation went on to the next part of the program, a tour of the HHPG’s two latest restoration efforts in North Manchester. The house at 404 W. Second Street is well on its way to being restored. The house at 110 N. Mill Street has also been acquired by HHPG and was open to visitors. Most residents know it at the house at the corner of Mill and Second that has been vacant for years; half of it was painted yellow at one time. Renovation work on this house will begin in earnest once the property at 404 W. Second has been sold.
The HHPG has been active in North Manchester for over 7 years. Its home restorations include all-new heating and cooling systems, plumbing, and upgraded electrical work. All-new kitchens and bathrooms are standard. Once the homes are restored to contemporary standards, they are sold. So far, HHPG has rescued eight properties from being demolished or made into rental units, including the historic Cigar Factory and the newest acquisition on Mill Street. The group is delighted that most of the properties they renovated have been purchased by first-time homeowners who had not thought it possible to own their own homes.
Indiana Landmarks is a state-wide nonprofit organization fighting to defend architecturally unique, historically significant, and communally cherished properties. They seek to save our state's shared heritage and bring new life to communities through preservation programs, regional offices throughout the state, grant and loan programs, and technical assistance and advocacy.
This is the first time the two organizations have collaborated on a joint program for their memberships, but not the first time the two organizations have joined forces to improve and preserve housing in North Manchester. As an affiliate member of Landmarks, HHPG has received two loans from Indiana Landmark’s Efroymson Family Endangered Places Loan Fund. The loans provide HHPG with the cash needed to renovate the property; they are paid back once the property is sold.
Paul Hayden of Indiana Landmarks consults with program participants
about vintage home colors.
The Historic Homes Preservation Group (HHPG) is a sub-group of the North Manchester Historical Society. It was formed in 2007 by a group of citizens who wanted to see historically significant "homes of character" in North Manchester restored. The group was concerned about the lack of affordable historic homes in North Manchester. Many first-time home- owners were wary of purchasing a "fixer-upper", but yet they wanted a home with character. This group decided to find affordable historic homes, restore them and update the interiors and re-sell them. A benefit of the work done by HHPG has been improving the neighborhoods in which the houses are located.
The idea of restoring historic properties began in the early 2000s when another
group from the Historical Society took on the project of saving the Rice House
from demolition. The Rice House was the home of a photographer in North
Manchester, who had his studio on Walnut Street. The Rice House was
scheduled to be torn down to add space to the town parking lot, but a group of
citizens convinced the Town Council to save it. The Council allowed the group to
restore it to the point where it would be able to be sold, and the town received
the money from that sale. Because the Rice House was saved, there is now a
complete row of homes on Second Street, instead of a gap which would have
occurred if the home was demolished.
The Historic Homes Preservation Group saw an opportunity to purchase homes that were in poor condition and might otherwise continue to deteriorate. By finding funds through loans and grants and hiring local contractors they are able to restore the historical elements of architecture, inside and out. They also make sure the interior is updated with modern plumbing, HVAC, kitchens and bathrooms. The funds from sale of the updated home are then used to purchase the next home in need of restoring. The projects have been funded with loans from Historic Landmarks, grants from the Indiana Department of Natural Resources, grants from The Efroymson Foundation of Indianapolis and private donations.
Historic Homes Preservation Update
By Mary Chrastil , August 2013
, August 2013
August 2012, The projects of the Historic Homes Preservation Group:
Grant Street Property
2008 – Purchased an 1877 home at 706 Grant Street. “Foreman’s Home” – built to house persons hired by the mill where the current police station stands.
Summer 2009 – Renovations completed.
Summer 2011 – Property sold to a young couple.
The Blackmore Cigar Factory
In spring of 2010 the HHPG began conversations with the owner of an empty warehouse in the downtown area, formerly the site of The Blackmore Cigar Factory. The warehouse had stood empty for many years and town officials had become concerned about the safety of the three-story structure. A consultant was hired to look at the structure and deemed it sound for renovation.
The owner decided to gift it to the Historical Society to have the Historic Homes Preservation Group preserve it.
The building was gifted to the group in the summer of 2010. The group hired masons to tuck point the masonry, added a new roof and downspouts and covered the open windows with art done by local students.
In September of 2011 the building was sold to an individual.
South Mill Street
In 2012 the HHPG purchased a 100-year old house on South Mill, renovated it and sold it.