Noblesville Preservation Alliance Board President Sandy Stewart has watched as Preservation Hall’s renovation progressed.
“The most satisfying thing is watching the building gradually emerge from its practical, modern cocoon and become true to its intended vernacular, while still embracing its new role as NPA headquarters and community event center,” she said. “Preservation Hall was a featured stop on the Sept. 18 Historic Home Tour, and it was particularly gratifying to see the public respond to its beautiful new look, especially the porch and front entry. Even incomplete, Preservation Hall dazzled.”
Stewart said NPA purchased Preservation Hall, formerly known as the Logan Street Sanctuary, 1274 Logan St., in October 2019. She said the group immediately began work on the interior, painting all interior walls and removing walls on the lower level to create an open gathering room furnished with vintage tables and chairs donated by members and supporters.
“The walls upstairs, and down, are decorated with framed historic Noblesville photos and posters from the past 34 years of NPA home tours and other events,” Stewart said. “Downstairs also displays photos from the 1938 opening of the Christ Lutheran Church. Work on the exterior began in July with siding removal and ramp relocation. Construction on the front entry and porch began Aug. 4 and was completed in time for the Home Tour.”
A concert, which had to be rescheduled from 2020, was held Sept. 30.
“This concert was a particularly joyous celebration as it signaled the beginning of many exciting new program possibilities at Preservation Hall,” Stewart said.
The first official event was the grand opening and capital campaign kick-off in November 2019, followed in early 2020 by a concert and a Noble Stories oral history presentation. When in-person events became impractical amid the COVD-19 pandemic, Stewart said NPA created a safe outdoor flea market featuring vintage items and architectural salvage at Preservation Hall and other homes in the neighborhood. The flea market returned this year and is planned as an annual event.
Stewart said remaining components of the project will be addressed as funds become available, utilizing community volunteers when possible and construction professionals for work beyond the scope of volunteers.
The next project focus is a ramp to be moved for easier access to the building. Site drawings were donated by Peterson Architecture and cement for pilings were donated by Ready Mix Concrete.
Other improvements needed include existing window converted to access door for the ramp; restoration/repair of windows original to building; removal of remaining siding and painting of sides and rear of building, including repair and scraping and painting of the ramp and shed and conversion of backyard to combination patio and handicap parking.
“The dramatic transformation as this lovely little building emerged from its covering of vinyl siding and other modernizations,” Stewart said. “The earliest photo we have was taken in 1916 in Ohio before the building was moved to Noblesville. Under the expert guidance of Indiana Landmarks, we are meticulously restoring, but not precisely replicating, the exterior to early 1900s style. Recognizing that the purpose of the building has evolved from church to community event hall, Landmarks allowed the addition of a small, covered porch.”
The original 2020 estimate for entire exterior renovation was nearly $75,600. The post-COVID estimate, reflecting price increases for materials, for the porch only was $53,074. There was an additional expense of $1,5000 for custom foundation stone.
“The extraordinary Christmas in Action volunteer team from Serve Noblesville removed the vinyl siding, old deck and ramp, and reroofed the basement entrance all for the supply cost of $192 for miscellaneous supplies,” she said.
Stewart said to complete remaining projects, NPA will likely spend an additional $25,000 to $30,000.
Stewart said funds are also needed to retire the $75,000 Indiana Landmarks/Efroymson Family Endangered Places Loan. Along with donations, Preservation Hall is available for rentals. Sponsorships that include permanent naming opportunities inside the building are also available for businesses and individuals. For more information, please see preservationhall.org or contact NPA at firstname.lastname@example.org.