371-321 Western Avenue, Connersville
Completed in 1880 by the well-to-do owner of a furniture manufacturing company, the Newkirk Mansion at 317-321 Western Ave still displays the original walnut and cherry mantels and woodwork. Sited high overlooking the town atop a 3-acre lawn, the long-vacant house attracts attention for its architecture and deteriorated condition.
Newkirk’s widow died in 1933. Several years later, a new owner converted it to an apartment house, a 25-year stint that ended with its conversion to a nursing home in 1962. Now vacant, the house declines under a leaky roof that’s damaging the woodwork and plaster. An arson fire destroyed the property’s historic two-story carriage house on April 23, 2017.
“The Newkirk Mansion’s arresting architecture and enviable site deserve a better fate. It needs a new owner willing to restore and maintain it,” says J. P. Hall, director of Indiana Landmarks’ Eastern Regional Office.
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.