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Historic Gary Building Joins Most Endangered List

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A new addition to the Indiana Landmarks Ten Most Endangered List is a historic building in downtown Gary. The Gary Heat, Light and Water warehouse, a remnant of the city's early beginnings, sits at 900 Madison Street. In the 1920s, the utility company, which was subsidiary of U.S. Steel, commissioned the noted Chicago firm George W. Maher & Son, to design the building, a steel-framed, precast concrete structure.  Exterior ornament includes pilaster capitals, cartouches, spandrel panels, dentils, and massive exterior lantern-like light fixtures.  The building, described as structurally sound by the non-profit Indiana Landmarks, retains original terrazzo floors, plaster details, wood moldings, and a semi-elliptical staircase. The city’s general services department occupied the building for many years but abandoned it more than a decade ago. In 2012 the city declared the building blighted, and it's been targeted it for demolition, though there are no immediate plans to tear it down. Gary has about 12-thousand abandoned buildings, but the preservationist group is hoping this is one that can be kept from the wrecking ball. Exterior ornament includes pilaster capitals, cartouches, spandrel panels, dentils, and massive exterior lantern-like light fixtures.  [Photo: Kim Johnson Images/courtesy Indiana Landmarks]
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