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Historic Structures of

Hammond, Indiana

State Street

Downtown Hammond suffered over the last couple of decades, after the opening of large shopping malls in neighboring Illinois. However, there are new signs of hope for a rebirth of downtown Hammond.

A large housing complex is being built just a couple of blocks away, meaning a large number of potential shoppers nearby. In addition, glitzy casinos on Hammond's shoreline are bringing in new tax revenues, which, if wisely used, could provide healthy tax credits to developers who want to restore historic buildings. Another bonus: Hammond offers great proximity to Chicago (it neighbors Chicago on the Indiana side) yet it offers a small city feel.

All photos by Timothy Arends

State Street in Hammond, one of the city's main commercial districts. While there are a lot of gaps, a lot of historic buildings remain.


L. Fish furniture building, State Street, Hammond Indiana

L. Fish furniture building (1927), now a center for Hispanic Americans, is a striking example of Art Deco architecture and terra-cotta ornamentation..

(The wooden water tanks you see on this and other old buildings serve a very useful purpose; they use technology from the 1890s to hold water for tap and sprinkler systems.

The tanks are unaffected by the loss of electrical power during a fire and provide the only ready water supply for some buildings. Since they are elevated, gravity pulls the water down and gives fire crews time to set up on the street.

Electrical pumps bring water up from the city's underground pipes to the tanks. Water from the tanks is used for bathrooms and kitchens throughout a building. The tank is automatically refilled when an electric sensor tells it that the supply is low.

With only rare exceptions, the tanks are made of wood because it is such an excellent temperature moderator. Water stays cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter.)

Colonial Revival Lincoln Hotel, State Street, Hammond Indiana

The Colonial Revival Lincoln Hotel (1923) is in excellent condition and the ground floor has been minimally altered.

Colonial Revival Lincoln Hotel, State Street, Hammond Indiana

Another view of the Lincoln.


Odd Fellow's Building, State Street, Hammond Indiana

The Odd Fellows must have been important indeed to have their own building in Hammond's central business district. The inscription at the top of the building reads "I.O.O.F. Calumet Lodge 601" and above the central doorway is inscribed "Odd Fellow's Building." The minimally altered building is now the Marcus Plumbing Supply Co.

Renaissance Revival, 1924.



Edward C. Minas Building, now condominiums, State Street in Hammond Indiana

A preservation success story: the Edward C. Minas Building, c. 1913, is being converted into the State Street Lofts. Sign reads: "Studio one and two bedroom loft condominiums, retail and office loft condominiums; in Hammond's new downtown arts district; now taking deposits; (219) 931-5113." Commercial Vernacular.

American Trust and Savings Bank, an example of Neoclassical architecture, State Street, Hammond Indiana

The charming American Trust and Savings Bank, an example of Neoclassical architecture, dates back to 1899.

Neoclassical Hammond Federal Building, State Street, Hammond Indiana

Hammond Federal Building (1939) is a more modern example of Neoclassical architecture.


Colonial Revival style Seifer's building, State Street, Hammond Indiana

The impressive five-story Seifer's building (1925) shows the Colonial Revival style. The inscription in the masonry above the entryway reads "Seifer's Furniture Co." Despite its appearance, this building is still in use; on the Sunday I photographed it, people were entering and leaving.


A peculiar mix of 1960's-era facadism over an older brick building.


An example of

Just goes to show, bad taste knows no decade! Another example of the "facadism" of the 60's, this building (long since abandoned by the perpetrator) was converted into a giant neon billboard! (So tacky, it's actually funny.)

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