Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Saving Midtown: Tipton School Site and saving it from out of town developers

Naturally even in a small town there are forces determined to change things and not always for the better.

Such is the case in Midtown in Logansport, as Crestline Property Management out of Indianapolis, is seeking  a PUD (Planned Unit Development) in our neighborhood at the old Tipton School Site. The site represents an entire city block that once housed this grand school. Later on they built an elementary school on part of the site and it too was town down. The site now runs from 15th to 16th.

As we can see the school occupied a large part of the site and in fact most of the massive stone foundations are still under that site under the parking lot as in the old days they just collapsed it and put fill over it.

The commercial district on 15th street tells us a lot about the neighborhood. There was a Meat Market and a Barber on the corner at 802, S 15th street,   two residential buildings and large long building that was a foundry of some sort. These buildings were demoed years ago and again, just dropped and covered. So what does this mean? Well in means this is likely an archeological dig site and that should be considered as a part of any digging on the site. This is something the developer are  overlooking and something that we, as preservationists need to be sure is addressed with any development on that site. Important pieces of Logansport history are on that site and they must be preserved.

One of the major concerns of the community is the proposed size of this project is 69,000 sq ft and goes from one end of the street to the other. It would house 42 apartments and be over 40 feet tall. It will tower of the smaller cottages built between 1860-1890 and will negatively impact them,  of particular concern is the negative impact to The Shondinger building at 825 and the small one story at 805 (now a garage )that was originally a Tailor shop as it project will literally block out the sun.

Similarly this will negatively impact the homes on Wright street.

The smallest house is on the NE corner of Wright and 15th  is a 600 sq ft one story shotgun cottage circa 1865 (restorable).

This illustrates what this house might resemble post restoration:

On the opposite NW corner is a yellow brick 1 story storefront that would be part of the Midtown 15th street revitalization project which envisions a future community retail or shop use and redesigned sidewalks

There are also Victorian era assets along Wright St including small 1 1/2 story cottages circa 1875 cottages and a two story (circa 1885) on the  corner of Wright and 16th that still have a high level of interior architectural integrity and just need exterior restore including correct sized windows.

This shows how these street might impact the community if restored.

This is the point.  A large scale 69,000 sq. ft. 40 ft tall, 42 unit apartment building (low income), with only 43 spaces will overwhelm the neighborhood, create traffic and safely concerns and negatively impact the quality of life in Midtown which is why we must oppose bad development.

This project will require state tax credits to move forward and it will be up to the community to let officials know that large scale sprawl is not needed in our community. We can not have historic single family neighborhoods in small towns over run with large scale buildings and traffic.

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