Greenfield Historic Landmarks is...

PRESERVATION

LOCAL HISTORY

ARCHITECTURE

CONTEXT

RESEARCH

DISCOVERY

Welcome To Greenfield Historic Landmarks


Greenfield Historic Landmarks came to be as local residents saw historically significant buildings in our community targeted for demolition in the name of “progress.” Some buildings truly need to be saved to preserve our architectural heritage. This group hopes to preserve the integrity of our community’s unique structures to provide a legacy for our future generations.

Our group includes historians, artists, teachers, residents and community leaders. Meeting regularly, GHL tries to encourage the upkeep and upgrading of structures in our communities.

What We Do

Historic Preservation

Our group includes historians, artists, teachers, residents and community leaders. Meeting regularly, GHL tries to encourage the upkeep and upgrading of structures in our communities.

Ora Myers Photos

Prints of Ora Myers historic photos are available for sale. Please see order form. Additionally licensing is available for use of these photos to create unique items with a local flair.

GHL on Facebook

Ever heard of a Lustron House? These unique homes have an equally unique history. After WWII, there was a nationwide shortage of housing for our returning soldiers. Inventor and industrialist Carl Strandlund developed a prefabricated house that was made almost entirely from enameled steel. Interior and exterior walls, doors, ceilings, built in cabinetry, and the roof were all enameled steel. All the wall studs and roof trusses were steel as well. 

Available in 3 styles with a minimal list of additional options, the houses were shipped from the Lustron factory in Columbus, Ohio on specially designed trucks to the building site. The Lustron Corporation claimed that the assembly team could assemble the approximately 3300 individual parts in 350 hours. They were marketed as being extremely durable and needing almost no maintenance.  They were cheaper to construct than conventional housing and had modern, space saving, easy to clean styling. 

Unfortunately, the Lustron Corporation wasn’t able to maintain the production and distribution level necessary to generate a profit. In January of 1950, after only 20 months of production, the company was forced to declare bankruptcy and close. The company had built 2500 of their Lustron homes across 36 states, and it’s estimated that 2000 of them are still standing. 

Greenfield is fortunate enough to boast 2 Lustron houses. One is located on South State Road 9, just a few doors down from Shares, Inc. The other is on the corner of Boyd and East streets near Hancock Regional Hospital. 

Are you the owner of one of Greenfield’s Lustron houses? Please feel free to post any interior or exterior pictures so we can appreciate the design and detailing of these fascinating homes.Image attachment

Ever heard of a Lustron House? These unique homes have an equally unique history. After WWII, there was a nationwide shortage of housing for our returning soldiers. Inventor and industrialist Carl Strandlund developed a prefabricated house that was made almost entirely from enameled steel. Interior and exterior walls, doors, ceilings, built in cabinetry, and the roof were all enameled steel. All the wall studs and roof trusses were steel as well.

Available in 3 styles with a minimal list of additional options, the houses were shipped from the Lustron factory in Columbus, Ohio on specially designed trucks to the building site. The Lustron Corporation claimed that the assembly team could assemble the approximately 3300 individual parts in 350 hours. They were marketed as being extremely durable and needing almost no maintenance. They were cheaper to construct than conventional housing and had modern, space saving, easy to clean styling.

Unfortunately, the Lustron Corporation wasn’t able to maintain the production and distribution level necessary to generate a profit. In January of 1950, after only 20 months of production, the company was forced to declare bankruptcy and close. The company had built 2500 of their Lustron homes across 36 states, and it’s estimated that 2000 of them are still standing.

Greenfield is fortunate enough to boast 2 Lustron houses. One is located on South State Road 9, just a few doors down from Shares, Inc. The other is on the corner of Boyd and East streets near Hancock Regional Hospital.

Are you the owner of one of Greenfield’s Lustron houses? Please feel free to post any interior or exterior pictures so we can appreciate the design and detailing of these fascinating homes.
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The Carlisle Area Historical Society recently obtained a Lustron Home and moved it to our campus. It is currently undergoing reassembly and will be open for viewing in the near future. Website: carlisleareahistory.org

There is also o e in Peru IN, close to Peru High, it is yellow.

1 month ago

Greenfield Historic Landmarks

Hancock County Historical Society
There is a lesson to learn from the tragedy that is in Paris at Notre Dame... While I cannot say that I have ever had the pleasure of visiting Paris and seeing the Notre Dame Cathedral, I have visited England and Scotland. You surely appreciate how truly *young* America is, - when you step foot in Westminister Abbey built in A. D. 1245, or Edinburgh Castle built in A. D. 1130. As a state, Indiana has only been around just a little over 200 years. Hancock County lacks nine years to its 200th birthday, and our oldest communities are not much older. Hancock County's age is almost a blip when compared to the age of Paris or other European cities. While Paris is very, very old - Notre Dame Cathedral is only 850 years old, but certainly older than any building we are going to find in Indiana. The loss of Notre Dame is not only the structure (although it appears that some of it was saved), but it is also the loss of the artifacts within the building. This could prove to be the greatest loss. At the time of today's fire, Notre Dame was undergoing a renovation that was needed badly. The French Government had not kept up with the repairs to the historic structure despite the fact that it is a huge tourist draw with 13 million people annually making the visit. In actuality, the old cathedral needed over $100 million in rennovations - prior to the fire, but the French Government was only willing to fund a fraction of the cost. How could it get so bad? They talk of pvc pipe where gargoyles used to be drain spouts, and crumbling limestone, and missing bricks. Notre Dame was falling apart before the fire due to lack of financial support. Now the loss of that structure will be felt even more. From the loss of great portions of the building, to the loss of irreplaceable artifacts inside - to the loss of revenue from tourists. So what lessons can we learn from this fire so far away? Look around our community. Look at our historic structures. We have many - and even if they aren't close to 200 years old - some are well over 100 or pushing 100. If we want them to be around at 850 years old - the age of Notre Dame Cathedral - we need to take care of them. Are they suffering from a lack of repair? Is paint peeling, and bricks falling? Are there leaks where there shouldn't be? Is everything being done to keep the buildings in shape - especially those that house precious artifacts or documents? Our Courthouse is over 100. What would happen if a fire ravaged that building? Are all of our court records digitized? What about the murals and artifacts inside? Other 100 year old buildings include the Hancock County Historical Society's Old Log Jail and the Chapel in the Park in Greenfield, the Riley Boyhood Home in Greenfield, the Mary Nichols Building in New Palestine, and the Jane Ross Reeves Home in Shirley. And guess what these are all as well - - museums! What would happen if one of these structures caught fire? Much of the collections inside these buildings are irreplaceable. With historic structures and historic things, we are merely the caretakers for future generations, and we certainly should be taking care of our historic buildings - especially those that are public museums and public buildings. While Hancock County is not quite 200 years old, we need to do a better job of preserving our history and our heritage, and this means taking care of our historic structures, and properly caring for our artifacts. When was the last time you visited one of our public historic buildings, and paid an admission fee to help support it? Have you ever made a monetary donation to one of our local museums to help preserve the structure or the things within it? Have you asked to volunteer your services to help with preservation or repair? Have you talked to our government officials, who are responsible for some of our historic buildings, and encourage them to make sure these buildings aren't falling apart to the point where they need extensive rennovations. Have you spoken with the Not-for-profit boards who are responsible for the care and upkeep of other historic buildings, and made a donation or volunteered your time? We all need to work together to preserve our history. Remember that at one time Paris was only a small town located along the Seine - much like Greenfield. And 850 years ago the Notre Dame cathedral was new - not falling apart. If we want future generations to see pioneer log construction, an 1860-era church, or an 1850 era home - or a 100+ year old courthouse - we all need to help pitch in and support our historic institutions and historic structures. ~Brigette Cook Jones HCHS Board Member
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The Columbia Hotel was located in the heart of downtown Greenfield, Indiana. It opened around 1895 and was located near the intersection of East and Main streets. As stated in its announcement in the Sep 12th 1895 issue of The Greenfield Democrat newspaper, it was described as: “…a magnificent hotel property that will be one of, it not the handsomest and best arranged hotels in Indiana for its size.  It was designed by the famous architect John H. Felt and was built by the Greenfield Hotel Company.  It featured the newest amenities including hot and cold water, a bar, bath rooms and a barber shop to make it an up-to-date hotel.”  Here are some photographs of the exterior of this gorgeous building, the announcement and the formal dinning room of the hotel.
 
Today, in its place is the parking lot next to the Kenneth Butler Memorial Soup Kitchen.Image attachmentImage attachment

The Columbia Hotel was located in the heart of downtown Greenfield, Indiana. It opened around 1895 and was located near the intersection of East and Main streets. As stated in its announcement in the Sep 12th 1895 issue of The Greenfield Democrat newspaper, it was described as: “…a magnificent hotel property that will be one of, it not the handsomest and best arranged hotels in Indiana for its size. It was designed by the famous architect John H. Felt and was built by the Greenfield Hotel Company. It featured the newest amenities including hot and cold water, a bar, bath rooms and a barber shop to make it an up-to-date hotel.” Here are some photographs of the exterior of this gorgeous building, the announcement and the formal dinning room of the hotel.

Today, in its place is the parking lot next to the Kenneth Butler Memorial Soup Kitchen.
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Sally Kenton

Really neat!

3 months ago

Greenfield Historic Landmarks

The Greenfield Fire Dept celebrates 125 years this year. This is probably one of the earliest photos of the fire dept. They were stationed in the City Building which was built in 1895. Lucy Couture is currently housed in that building. Happy Birthday Greenfield Fire! ~Brigette Cook Jones ... See MoreSee Less