Hendricks County Flyer, Avon, IN

May 15, 2013

Indiana Landmarks announces 10 Most Endangered places


INDIANAPOLIS — Indiana Landmarks recently announced its 10 Most Endangered, an annual list of Hoosier landmarks in jeopardy.

“Our mission is to save meaningful places, and this is a list of 10 important places in greatest danger of being lost,” said Marsh Davis, president of Indiana Landmarks, a non-profit preservation organization. “All of these places are full of memories and meaning and revitalization potential.”

The sites that achieve 10 Most Endangered status are significant and irreplaceable — and often challenging to save.

“These landmarks preserve connections to our shared heritage and restoring them can spur broader revitalization,” Davis said.

Indiana Landmarks uses the Most Endangered list to bring attention to the imperiled sites and find solutions that will ensure their preservation. 

Since the first 10 Most Endangered list in 1991, Indiana Landmarks counts only 12 losses among 92 historic places in severe jeopardy that have appeared on the list. The 2013 10 Most Endangered list includes seven new entries and three landmarks making repeat appearances.

New on the list are the Flanner House Homes Historic District and Phillips Temple in Indianapolis. Removed from the list was the Taggart Memorial in Indy’s Riverside Park (listed in 2011). It has a new roof, thanks to a task force that raised the money and is working in partnership with IndyParks to pursue more improvements.

The National Register-listed Flanner House Homes Historic District faces threats on two sides. The district’s 181 houses were built between 1950 and ‘59 through an innovative self-help cooperative. African-American families, who found it hard to secure conventional mortgages in the segregated city, helped build their own homes. More than half are still owned by the builders or their descendants. Meijer wants to acquire and demolish 35 of the Flanner House Homes in its bid to build a massive store on city-owned land north of the district. Inside the southern border of the area, the original Phillips Temple sits vacant. Indianapolis Public Schools owns the 1924 African-American landmark and wants to demolish it for parking.

Another new entry is the Anderson Athletic Park Pool. Built in 1925, it is one of only a few swimming pools remaining of the 130 constructed across America following an unusual design by engineer Wesley Bintz. Bintz patented an egg-shaped above-ground pool that incorporated dressing rooms under the structure. That meant less excavation and lower construction costs. Sidelined since 2007, it’s now threatened by vandalism and deterioration.

To learn more about each of the 10 Most Endangered, visit the website at www.indianalandmarks.org or call Indiana Landmarks at 639-4534.