Huntington Landmark Structurally Sound

A local Indiana landmark that had been threatened to be demolished has been deemed structurally sound. 

The city of Huntington Redevelopment Commission used matching funds to launch a study investigating the I.O.O.F.-United Brethern Block building. It's a city-owned, three interconnected building that appears on the Indiana Landmarks' current 10 Most Endangered list. 

In the 20-page report, Kil Architecture and Planning in partnership with Keller Engineering determined the building to be safe, saying the load-bearing capacity is suitable for contemporary uses such as residential or office space. 

“Rehab is a viable option for this block,” according to architect Greg Kil, the study’s primary author. “Accessibility is always a design challenge in historic buildings, but these three structures present fewer barriers than most. They could be individually rehabbed, although there are code-related advantages to combining the buildings in a single redevelopment,” he adds. 

In the study, Kil and engineer Rick Keller concur that the structures are sound and in far better shape than many rehab projects on which they’ve worked. “They estimate the exterior restoration would cost $511,000, a very reasonable number,” says Todd Zeiger, director of Indiana Landmarks’ northern office. Reconstructing the long-missing brick and limestone finials on the 1889 Odd Fellows Hall would add $36,000. 

The Huntington Redevelopment Commission had given Indiana Landmarks and Huntington Alert until November 2015 to find a new use and developer for the block. 

On Thursday, June 11, the public is invited to tour the block during a Landmark Look, sponsored by Indiana Landmarks, Huntington Alert and the city.