Home and Dry
After years stymied in a legal tangle, a former 10 Most Endangered property in Knightstown is finally weathertight and on the path to reuse.
Built c.1900, the handsome three-story brick Masonic Hall occupies a high-profile corner on Knightstown’s Main Street, the historic National Road. Indianapolis architects W.S. Moore & Son designed the Romanesque Revival-style building, incorporating a distinctive corner oriel and conical tower. The first floor housed a number of businesses over the years, while the Masons used the two upper floors.
Knightstown’s Old Masonic Hall landed on the endangered list in 2018, when demolition of an adjacent structure damaged the Masonic Hall’s exposed wall. The building, already vacant and deteriorating under a rotten roof, continued to decline as a lawsuit between the Hall’s out-of-state owner and the town drug on.
The legal battle resolved when the town took title to the building, transferring the property to a newly formed Redevelopment Commission (RDC). Using a grant from Indiana Landmarks, the RDC made temporary repairs to the Masonic Hall’s failing roof and stabilized an ominously leaning gable. Inside, workers removed damp carpets and repaired soaked plaster.
The RDC is now working to identify a new use for the building. Investors proposing low-income and senior apartments or artists’ housing have already expressed interest.
For more information about the project, contact Indiana Landmarks’ Eastern Regional Office, 765-478-3172, email@example.com.
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