Endangered Buildings of Northwest Indiana
Architecturally significant buildings in danger of being lost through negligence or indifference
Thanks to Christopher A. Meyers, local preservation consultant, for research, documentation and images on this page.
This page pictures three endangered structures: a "Grit house," the Moonshower house and the St. Michael's Church.
The "Grit house" looks like it is in excellent condition, needing perhaps just some roof work done from the outside. What a waste. This attractive four-square house could be brought back/reused with just a little effort.
Why is it called a "Grit" house? Because local (loco?) Northwest Indiana officials, in a plan called "Operation Grit," used one million dollars to tear down all the "crack houses" in the region, some of them in historic districts.
Perhaps we missed something, but we don't see how that would stop the drug dealers from simply setting up shop down the street. Also, if officials know where drugs are being dealt, why not simply go in and arrest the dealers? But, of course, we shouldn't question the politicians who have plenty of money to spend on the "war on drugs."
The Moonshower house is an unoccupied home in a prominent location on a now commercial area of Ridge Road in Griffith. It looks like it needs a little stucco work to the exterior, but is in otherwise good condition. What a shame to let such a striking example of architecture go.
Says Christopher Meyers, the preservationist who provided these photos, "The Moonshower House is an example of the International Style. It is such a wonderful house. I have attempted to contact the owners but no one ever answers the phone. I am planning on writing a letter to request access to the interior to at least document the house. I wish I had some cash as this example is a "dream" house for me. I love the modern. And the original owners, Otto and his wife, knew specifically about this style during its run. I wonder who the architect was for this house?"
The new St. Michael's Church is not a bad building, but its so unnecessary to demolish the old building when there is so much available land to build on. How much better it would have been for the members of this church to sell the building to another congregation and to use the money to buy a plot of land at another location. But that would have been too inconvenient. Says Meyers, "The new building, in my opinion, looks like a strip mall which implies a Disney style historicism. The details, such as the rose window, seems out of place in this warehouse type shed possessing an exterior envelope of masonry. Post-modern suburban is what I call this type of construction."
What beautiful masonry detail in the old bell tower. We wonder if they're going to pave over all those headstones too. They have removed the stained glass windows from the old church to put in the new one, but the old one still standing as of this date (10/15/00). Perhaps the old St. Michael was past the "endangered" point and now at the "doomed" or "gone" point but, says Chris Meyers, "My famous quote"as long as it is standing, hope remains. Many Schererville residents are upset that the old church is going to eventually come down."
As the Bible at Proverbs 22:28 puts it, "Remove not the ancient landmark, which thy fathers have set."
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