Wabash Seeks New Use for Historic Industrial Building

The Wabash Redevelopment Commission is looking for a developer with the expertise to reinvent the historic Sposeep Building.

Sposeep Building, Wabash

Rustic Potential

Constructed of rough-hewn limestone in 1890, the Sposeep Building in Wabash is a striking landmark. Built at the height of the industrial revolution as a recycling center for metal and paper products, the property processed tons of material in an outdoor sorting area and inside the building’s cavernous 10,000-square foot interior. Today, the largest recycling challenge for the old Sposeep might just be the building itself.

Simon A. Cook constructed the building for his junk business, stamping his mark on the structure by adding “S.A. Cook” to a lintel on the building. Abe Sposeep & Sons acquired the recycling business in 1924, operating out of the nineteenth-century building for nearly a century before closing in 2018. The City of Wabash acquired the site from the Sposeep family, and now the Wabash Redevelopment Commission is marketing the property for reuse, seeking a developer with the expertise to reinvent the historic building for retail, entertainment, restaurant, office, or mixed use.

Sposeep Building, Wabash

Sposeep Building, Wabash

Located on Water Street a block south of downtown Wabash’s commercial district, the Sposeep Building retains rustic stone walls inside and out, with exposed wooden beams and columns supporting original plank wood floors inside. Tall ceilings and the vast open floor plan offer possibilities for any number of business uses. The site includes a large yard, which could provide a generous amount of dedicated parking and possibly room for an outdoor dining space.

Due to the property’s past industrial use, the Redevelopment Commission has enlisted the Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) to conduct a thorough remediation of the site and parts of the basement. The property may not be adapted for use as residential housing or a daycare.

With a renaissance happening in Wabash’s nearby historic commercial district, the timing is ideal to repurpose this unique property. For more information, contact Paul Hayden, director of Indiana Landmarks’ Northeast Field Office, 574-289-8861 or

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