Indiana State University is searching for a location in downtown Terre Haute to build off-campus student housing. Terre Haute construction firm Thompson Thrift is developing the project, which will feature ground-floor retail space and housing for up to 150 students.
The expansion of ISU into downtown is significant because it will physically intertwine the university and the city. It is also the initial step in what ISU calls a multi-phase development of its campus master plan.
ISU spokesman Dave Taylor says the university is still studying locations for the new development.
One area being considered is the 500 block of Wabash Avenue, which features four buildings on the national register of historic places.
Tommy Kleckner, the Director of the Western Regional Area for Indiana Landmarks, says the buildings display examples of Romanesque revival as well as Chicago-style neoclassical architecture. Kleckner says he hopes the restoration of the Federal Building will serve as a benchmark of preservation for future ISU projects, regardless of the location.
“Often times when people come in to a city like Terre Haute, they see the historic buildings and think ‘Wow, look how great the city was in the past.’ But the historic architecture that remains – that’s what makes the city great now,” he says.
The stretch of Wabash Avenue is only one possible location within a 20 square block area in downtown Terre Haute that is under consideration for development. Both ISU and Thompson Thrift declined to comment on specific locations being researched or when a decision would be made.