Community works to save historical home on South St.

The historic house on the corner of South St. in Lafayette could be coming down. 1014 South has stood in the community for nearly 135 years.

Posted: Nov 30, 2018 7:16 PM

LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) -- The historic house on the corner of South St. in Lafayette could be coming down. 1014 South has stood in the community for nearly 135 years.

The home is currently owned by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Lafayette. The Cathedral of St. Mary is requesting its demolition and community members aren't happy.

Ivy Meyer is the President of St. Mary's Historical Neighborhood Association. She and her husband Andrew Meyer said the whole situation is disheartening.

“This neighborhood has many, many beautiful historical buildings, that's what makes it a beautiful neighborhood and we hate to see another one go at the hands of the church,” said Ivy.

The neighborhood association doesn't have any affiliation with St. Mary Cathedral, however, the organization has worked to form a relationship with the church, since St. Mary owns many houses in the neighborhood. The neighborhood association previously met with the church to make sure 1014 South Street would be preserved, so seeing the demolition signs were a shock.

“They gave us no notice that this was going to happen and they in fact told us about a year and a half ago they were going to restore this building,” said Ivy.

The Wabash Valley Trust for Historic Preservation created a petition that’s reached more than 1,000 votes. Matthew Weller, the Vice President said that doesn't necessarily mean the demolition won't happen. He hopes the petition serves as a message to the church.

“The historic homes and buildings in our local area really contribute to our sense of community and our sense of identity and I think that the continued assaults that our community has had on historic buildings has really been detrimental to the continued rehabilitation and revitalization of our downtown area,” said Weller.

Weller said, ultimately, the church has the final say in this demolition.

“The ball is in their court, I would just encourage them to make the choice that is right for the community and I believe that that involves preserving the structure,” said Weller.

Community members feel this demolition goes beyond the neighborhood, affecting the city as we know it.

“We knock these things down one at a time, sometimes two at a time and you still look around and you go, oh still a beautiful historic neighborhood but then you take another one down and another one down and, someday we or our kids are going to look around and there will be none of them left and where will we be then,” said Andrew.

WLFI did reach out to St. Mary's Cathedral and the diocese. Both declined to comment. Board of Public Works will hold a public hearing for the home Tuesday Dec. 4th at 9:00 a.m.

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