Historic Preservation

Taylor Haggerty / WBAA News

A little less than 2,300 people live in Fowler. The town runs along U.S. 52, just northwest of Lafayette – but still, Town Council President Linda Brouillette says there’s not much outside investment.

“We’ve done a number of things in the past few years. Some have succeeded and some have not,” she says.

The town hosts regular events every year, including a wind turbine festival and a Fourth of July fair, and there are plenty of buildings in the downtown that could house businesses or people.

But many of those buildings sit empty. Brouillette says a few have even collapsed from neglect in recent years.

Stan Jastrzebski / WBAA News

Lafayette city officials argue historic preservation is good for economic development. But not every building can be protected. The city plans to redevelop Five Points – but there’s a debate over whether to restore historic properties or build something new.

How will the proposed demolition of the E.M. Weaver building change plans for Five Points development? What effect might it have on the timeline for developing the area? And what role does preservation of similar historic landmarks play in economic development for Lafayette?

Taylor Haggerty / WBAA News

Indiana Communities are debating the future of their historic buildings as state and local leaders push for economic development and city expansion.

Some small towns are struggling to maintain these structures in the face of sometimes confusing and conflicting rules and regulations.

Stan Jastrzebski / WBAA News

One of Lafayette’s most historic properties has finally been sold after many months on the market. The Moses Fowler House had been owned by the Tippecanoe County Historical Association, which couldn’t afford to maintain it any longer.

It’s now owned by a recently-created not-for-profit called the 1852 Foundation – named for the year the home was built.

Stan Jastrzebski / WBAA News

For months, a sign outside the Moses Fowler mansion at the corner of 9th and South streets in Lafayette has exhorted passersby to make an offer on the 150-year old property.

For months, not a single offer has come through.

Now, the Tippecanoe County Historical Association, which has owned the property for 75 years, wants to divest itself of the 11,000-square foot house and the 1.8 acres of land on which it sits.