Register Now for the Grants and Tax Incentives for Historic Buildings Program!

1403 Indiana

click to share

About the property

Several years ago, one of the members of our group, Tim Stabosz purchased the property at 1403 Indiana Avenue. He recognized that it was very significant historically as the home where the noted local architect, George Wood Allen lived for most of his adult life. It is adjacent to two of LaPorte’s oldest fine homes, the Guggenheim home and the Jacob Wile home.

The house was in bad shape (it had been a rental, but now unoccupied and without utilities) and featured some unfortunate remodeling choices (some made by Mr. Allen himself).

Tim set off on a mission to return the house to its appearance ca 1900 based on a photograph found in the museum archives.

Under Tim’s supervision, much of the interior was gutted, new appropriate, wooden double-hung windows were installed, and a new front porch was constructed to match the historic appearance.

However, Tim had trouble finding reliable contractors, and eventually the project ground to a halt, drawing the attention of the city for various code violations (it still wasn’t habitable).

Tim offered to sell it to our group to take over the project at a very modest price.

The group accepted, and Mark Kurth took ownership of the project to stabilize the house and put it on the market for a new owner to build out.

The main roof was solid, but the front porch had gotten rotten in places as the wood used was not the best, and the porch roof was leaking, causing further damage to the new porch. The other problem was there was a large hole in the south facade where an earlier porch addition had been removed. That porch, perhaps added in the late 1940s or 1950s, was unacceptable close to the property line, and had to be removed for that reason as well as its inappropriate appearance for the ca 1900 restoration.

The group worked together on a major cleanup, further removing poorly built partition walls and junk around the property. The backyard was cleaned up. Mark and a crew installed a new wall on the south side in which the new owners can add windows to fit their desired floor plan. They also installed a new rear entry stair, new doors and replaced the missing floor in the former kitchen. Peter repaired the front porch floor with new boards. Dottie, Ela and others painted the doors, porch floor, siding and a new front porch railing which Mark and Peter installed.

The house was put on the market in the Fall of 2021 and got immediate interest, resulting in a sale in December 2021 to new owners that are in the process of rehabbing the interior.

A historically significant home that would have likely been demolished, will now be returned to the tax roles and hopefully be a great home for a family, adjacent to the historic district.

a look in the past