NEWS

Historic Connersville Home Needs a Hero

The Newkirk Mansion dazzles atop a hill overlooking Connersville. Without a new owner and an aggressive restoration plan, however, the house could become another loss – a desperate situation that landed the landmark on our 10 Most Endangered list.

Newkirk mansion Connersville

Decaying Grandeur

William Newkirk made his fortune as owner of the Indiana Furniture Company. He spared no expense when he built his home in 1880. The mansion showcased Newkirk’s wealth, with a central tower and multi-colored slate on its signature mansard roof. As owner of a furniture company, Newkirk had access to the finest materials and carpenters, so the inside of the home is filled with ornate cherry and walnut woodwork.

Newkirk Mansion Connersville

William Newkirk passed away on vacation in Daytona in 1911. His widow, Ida, lived in the home until her death in 1933. Since then, the mansion has passed through the hands of several different owners. It was carved into an apartment house for nearly 25 years, then converted to a nursing home in 1962.

Vacant for more than a decade, the Newkirk Mansion deteriorates rapidly under a leaking roof. Deterioration isn’t only threat; in April, the home’s ornate two-story carriage house caught fire under suspicious circumstances.

Newkirk Carriage House, Connersville

Newkirk carriage house (Photo: Darrell Smith, Connersville News-Examiner)

The property’s owner does not have the means to rehabilitate the house and hopes to find a buyer who can. Indiana Landmarks optioned the property to help find a preservation-friendly buyer with the financial capacity to restore the mansion. The sale will come with a preservation covenant that requires Indiana Landmarks’ approval of exterior work to ensure the home’s historic character will be maintained. See the listing in our For Sale section for details.

For more information, contact J.P. Hall, director of our Eastern Regional Office, 317-822-7937, jphall@indianalandmarks.org.

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