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

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Restoration and Renovation

I peeked into the old Beaver News building this afternoon and the new owner invited me in to take some pictures.The building is cluttered with stuff left by the previous owners, and the first step in restoring and renovating it is to clean it out.

A couple of things worth noting in the picture below. There are heating pipes going up to the second floor, which means that there may be something interesting there. You can vaguely see a bit of detail on the ceiling--more on that later. The florescent lights were added sometime in the history of the building, which was constructed in 1902. (The Jasper County Interim Report is not useful in giving any information about it.)
On the other side of the doorway is a pile of old metal magazine racks. You can see that some of the plaster has come off the brick wall. The plaster was directly on top of the bricks. There is no lathing under it. And windows are out and have been replaced with plywood that is starting to deteriorate. You can see light coming through it.
Turning around and looking toward the back of the building, you can see fairly modern constuction, little office rooms that are now being torn out. Notice the beams above these little offices. There are no pillars breaking up the space, and that was an attraction to Mr. Musch, who wants a large open space.
Here is an overview of the building from the stairs in the back. (Wondering what is up the stairs? You will have to wait for that.) Notice the little windows. There were two-story buildings on both sides of this building, so there are no side windows near the front. This building, however, extends much further back than its neighbor on the north, so there can be some windows here.
One of the little things that I thought was interesting is this air vent in the floor. I am not sure what it is for--the heating of the building seemed to be hot water.
Tucked in the back is another office space with a huge, old safe. Before Beaver News the building was occupied by Warner Hardware. (That was before my time in Rensselaer, but if you have any memories of it, feel free to share them in the comments.) Would a hardware store need a safe like this? Does anyone know what was in this space before Warner Hardware? Why the big safe?
This building has not been extensively remodeled over the years, and as a result it still retains its old metal ceiling. You can see a bit of rust, probably caused by a leaky roof.
Here is a closer look.
Next time, the back room.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It really does have charming bones. It will be spectacular. I only know that it was Warner Hardware. Maybe, others have more knowledge of what is was when it opened in the early, early 1900's.