507 North Walnut, Batesville
Located in Batesville’s Rosemont neighborhood near downtown, the Romweber House commands attention even in decay. An eclectic mix of architectural styles, the house combines a Dutch Colonial roof, Tudor Revival-style half-timbered walls, Arts and Crafts porch, and Shingle-style shake siding.
Anthony W. Romweber, founder of the Romweber Furniture Company, built the impressive home in 1911. The Romweber name vies with Hillenbrand in Batesville’s history. Romweber Furniture Company manufactured home furnishings there for over 130 years. The company’s Viking Oak Collection, based on Nordic folk furniture, remains highly prized among antiques enthusiasts.
Last used as offices for a law firm, the Romweber House has been for sale since it was foreclosed in 2012. But given the house’s mounting maintenance needs, the price is too high to attract most preservation-minded buyers. The shingle siding needs attention, and so do the deteriorated window sashes. Leaks in the tile roof led to damaged plaster inside. The out-of-state bank that owns the property has made minor repairs, but the vacant property needs substantial investment.
The Romweber House could remain an office, return to use as a single-family home, or be converted to a bed & breakfast inn or restaurant. However, standing vacant with a leaky tile roof, the house needs attention soon.
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.