Indiana Veterans’ Home, West Lafayette
Veterans of War
In West Lafayette, Commandant’s Row returns to the 10 Most Endangered list in 2019. At the Indiana Veterans’ Home (IVH), three buildings on Commandant’s Row still need major repairs, and in the case of the Administration Building and Lawrie Library, sustainable new uses.
To assist aging Civil War veterans recovering from war injuries, Indiana created a state soldiers’ home in Tippecanoe County in the 1890s. Within 20 years, nearly 1,500 residents occupied the sprawling campus, complete with a hospital, fire department, library, chapel, restaurant, assembly hall, and dormitories for men and women. Today, IVH continues to serve veterans within its modern residential community campus.
The library and administration building, both built in 1896, and the 1899 Commandant’s Home are all that remain of the original campus buildings. The Commandant’s home is partially occupied and has undergone some repair, but the other two buildings have been vacant and neglected for years. Indiana Landmarks and the Wabash Valley Trust for Historic Preservation paid for rehabilitation assessments of the library and administration building. Both landmarks need immediate stabilization to address damage from water infiltration, and the collapse of a side porch at the administration building underscores the urgency of finding a new use for the landmarks.
Saving threatened buildings takes teamwork. You can be a part of that team. Reach out to local leaders. Let them know these buildings are important to you. And support state and local preservation groups.