Previously Threatened Farmhouse Becomes Preservation Success Story

New Albany’s c.1860 Smith-Phillips Farmhouse was targeted for demolition, but today it’s a prime example showing how preservation and development can work together.

Smith-Phillips Farmhouse, New Albany

Front Page News

When we placed New Albany’s Smith-Phillips Farmhouse on the market in early January, we knew the handsome nineteenth-century house would garner attention. But we didn’t expect the property to land on the front page of the local newspaper, generating same-day offers from buyers eager to take on final rehabilitation of the two-story landmark.

It’s a favorable outcome we could only hope for a couple years ago, when the Smith House’s future looked uncertain.

The large brick I-house has been a high-profile landmark since it was built in 1860 for the son of Floyd County pioneer Martin Smith. It served as the centerpiece of a large farm for 140 years before a local church bought the property and began using the house as office space. In 2021, the church sold the property to Louisville developer Hogan Real Estate, whose original plan for a retail development included demolishing the Smith House.

Area residents joined with Indiana Landmarks to save the historic house, one of the last of its kind in New Albany. More than 2,000 people signed a petition, convincing the developer to relocate the Smith House and donate it to Indiana Landmarks.

Smith-Phillips Farmhouse, New Albany

(Photo courtesy of Hogan Real Estate)

In April 2022, crews moved the 185-ton house a short distance across a church parking lot to a new location off Charlestown Road on land that was historically part of the Smith farm. The property was conveyed to Indiana Landmarks in late 2022 after it was placed on a new crawlspace foundation and the new lot was graded and seeded. We expect to close on a sale in late February.

“This is good news for the community, which rallied to save an important part of the area’s agrarian past,” says Greg Sekula, director of Indiana Landmarks’ Southern Regional Office. “It’s a great example showing how development and historic preservation can work together.”

Check out other historic properties for sale by Indiana Landmarks.

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