The city of Elkhart is offering to sell one of its downtown historic buildings for a dollar with hopes they won’t have to demolish it.
The vacant Elkhart Armory building was constructed in 1885 and sits on the Elkhart River, near the city’s downtown. The building was once used as a skating rink and later as a grocery store, but more recently, the city grew concerned the building was deteriorating and purchased the old armory.
Historical preservation group Indiana Landmarks helped fund a structural analysis of the building after the city acquired it last year. Indiana Landmarks Northern Regional Director Todd Zeiger says their study found the building to be stable but urgently in need of structural repairs.
“Studies showed that it could be saved, but time was of the essence and particularly there was concern over the trusses which they can be repaired but have been damaged over the years,” he says.
Zeiger says Indiana Landmarks hopes to find a buyer by hosting walk-throughs of the building this week.
“If there’s anybody out there that would be interested in putting a new life into this building to get in touch with us, and the city is willing to work with that party if they have a viable plan to move that that building into a new life,” he says.
Walk-throughs are planned for Tuesday and Thursday of this week. City officials say they plan to reinvest what they would have spent on demolition if a buyer is found.