Saved Facades Will Put Old Face on New Construction

Petersburg officials plan to preserve the historic facades of two seriously dilapidated nineteenth-century commercial buildings, preserving the downtown streetscape.

Petersburg commercial facades

No Gaps Here

When neglected buildings become structurally unsafe, cities and towns are faced with a tough choice. It can be nearly impossible to find a buyer for derelict properties, so most often the decision is demolition. But losing buildings leaves gaps in the streetscape—vacant lots that diminish the character of historic downtowns.

Faced with just such a dilemma, the city of Petersburg made a different choice for two nineteenth-century commercial buildings at 606 and 608 Main Street. Though both buildings are seriously dilapidated, the historic facades remain intact enough to be considered “contributing structures” in the state-listed Petersburg Historic Downtown District.

Petersburg facades

The structurally unsound rear portions of both buildings will be demolished, making room for new construction to be incorporated into the historic facades.

Working with the Indiana Division of Historic Preservation and Archaeology, Petersburg officials have crafted a plan to demolish the collapsed rear portions and unsafe interiors of both buildings while preserving and bracing the historic facades. Once the city identifies a new use for the sites, the storefronts will be restored and incorporated into any new construction.

Located on the southern bank of White River, Petersburg is the county seat of Pike County. Its historic downtown includes the 1922 Pike County courthouse along with a vibrant mix of shops and restaurants.

For more information, contact Stewart Sebree in Indiana Landmarks’ Southwest Field Office, 812-423-2988,

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