Preservation Partners Honored At Common Council Meeting

During the month of May communities across the country celebrated National Historic Preservation Month by recognizing the efforts of people who have saved places that matter. As part of the celebration in Mishawaka, the Mishawaka Historic Preservation Commission honored people who worked hard to save a place that matters to all of us. With foresight, patience and persistence, these people helped create a new life for a familiar old place - Main Junior High School.

This beloved, historic building was built adjacent to the first Mishawaka High School in 1910 as a replacement for the older structure and it remained the City's official high school until 1924. After the current high school was completed, this building served as Mishawaka Main Junior High for 50 years. In the 1970s, it became home to Mishawaka Furniture until it was purchased in 2009 by the City of Mishawaka for adaptive reuse as apartments. The prairie-style structure has been a landmark in the downtown for 100 years and now it has a new life as an important example of renovated civic architecture.

At the May 16, 2016 meeting of the Mishawaka Common Council, the Mishawaka Historic Preservation Commission presented, as a thank-you, framed sections of the former school’s gymnasium floor  to the partners who breathed new life into a cherished old building. Each framed floor section, reclaimed from the gymnasium is made of old-growth hard maple and sport their original finish and court stripes under a coat of protective lacquer. The reclamation and preservation of 75 sections was completed by the Mishawaka Historic Preservation Commission in cooperation with Ziolkowski Construction and Troop 111 of the Boy Scouts of America-Lasalle Council, Indiana.

The partners honored were Mayor Dave Wood, City Planner Ken Prince, Kil Architecture and Planning, Ziolkowski Construction and the Mishawaka Housing Authority. Additional gym floor sections were presented to groups who pledged to display floor sections as a way to remind the Mishawaka community about the importance of Mishawaka's architectural heritage. Those recipients included The Heritage Center of the Mishawaka-Penn-Harris Public Library, the Hannah Lindahl Children’s Museum and the Boy Scouts of America – Lasalle Council.