This blog reports events and interesting tidbits from Rensselaer, Indiana and the surrounding area.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


There is something about today that makes me think of change, so I decided to put together a bunch of little things I have seen lately that represent change. The first is a picture of the city removing the last of a tree in Milroy Park that was damaged in the winds after Christmas. I think we lost two big trees there in December.
When I took the picture above I was just a few dozen yards from another change that was about to happen. An Alliance sign suddenly appear where previously there had been a sign for Riley Financial Group. Alliance Bank, which served some excellent cookies before Christmas, is just down the street, so I stopped in there and asked what was happening. Riley Financial Group seems to have ungrouped, and one of the partners is now working for Alliance. However, the bank does not have room for her in their new building, so until they figure out what to do, she will continue in her old office. (I hope I got that right.)
Speaking of banks, I saw the new sign for the Kentland Bank on the ground a few days ago.
And then a day or two later, it was up.
The old bank sign is still in operation down by the bowling alley, and I prefer it to the new one because it gives me information--time and temperature. I wish they had moved it. I do not expect it to be functioning for much longer. That is a change I believe in but do not want.About two weeks ago I had pictures of some commercial buildings for rent. I taken more since then. One is of a tiny building across from the court house. I do not remember what has been in here in the past. (Feel free to add info in the comments.)
Another is in the College Square mall next to the Smoke Shop. Rensselaer has some insurance agents who have been in business for decades, and others who come and go.
The building below has been occupied by a variety of businesses over the years. Long ago it was the Johnny Rusk car dealership. Previous occupants include a fitness center, a pool hall or video arcade of some kind, and most recently, a scooter store.

There are still scooters in the window, but also this sign.
It is hard to sell scooters in the winter. It is also hard to sell them when gas prices are low. So unless we return to much higher gas prices, I doubt if we will be seeing much of this store next summer. (Did I cheat a little by including it here?)

On the next block over, Whippersnaps Photography has left the building. The building itself has seen many tenants--it has housed sellers of office supplies, musical instruments, and palm readings. I wonder who will be next. It does not seem to be a very good location. Maybe it should go back to a residential use.
The good news is that the studio has not gone out of business but has moved to North McKinley. (Check out the very sophisticated website that requires Flash.) Across the street the jail remains empty, but there is no "for rent" sign on it. What can you do with an old jail that has foundation problems?
Finally, the Town Mall has a couple of vacancies. The Town Mall was originally the Sears store, and it was a large and thriving store in the mid 1970s. Then Sears was the dominant retailer, the position that Wal-Mart holds today. After Sears closed, the building sat empty for a while until someone redeveloped it into a complex of offices.
Some of this space may have been vacated by Cooperative School Services, which has moved to a new building near the Fountain Stone Theaters. (They have a website address, but there is nothing there right now.)I hope you have had enough change for one day. Feel free to add any insights you have on any of these changes in the comments.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I marvel at your varied interests. This empty building syndrome is a worry for many of us here. Why can't these buildings all be full of useful business to the community in Jasper County?