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Old February 27th, 2005, 05:49 AM   #1
cjfjapan
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Terre Haute, IN Development News

Here is some information on the Terre Haute House, a beautiful old hotel built in the 1920s, but abandoned since 1970. The City recently gained control of the building, and have asked developers to submit redevelopment plans by April 8th.

For several years, the hotel has been listed as one of the "Ten Most Endangered" by the Historic Landmarks Foundation of Indiana. This designation has tended to spotlight down and out buildings, and at least keep them from being demolished...let's hope.

Recent pictures, empty & forlorn...




Older postcards:




This is the older THH--torn down in the mid 1920s to make way for the one above



Some recent articles about the hotel, and it's possible renovation:

http://www.tribstar.com/articles/200.../bennett01.txt

http://www.tribstar.com/articles/200...ews/news05.txt

http://www.tribstar.com/articles/200...ge/package.txt

This is a really cool story about an autistic kid obsessed with the Terre Haute House:
http://www.tribstar.com/articles/200...ews/news07.txt

http://www.tribstar.com/articles/200...ews/news06.txt

http://www.tribstar.com/articles/200...ews/news02.txt

Here is an example of what a downtown building can look like after extensive renovation--the Hulman Building two blocks from the TH House, home of the Clabber Girl Museum, believe it or not. Yes, a museum devoted to Baking Powder:
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Old February 27th, 2005, 06:00 AM   #2
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A few more shots lifted from the WWW of the THH

A few more that I didn't take:

\

The smokestack behind the building:



Ye Olde Sign facing North



A little context:



Many nice brick buildings--many empty nice brick buildings...



This is shot of Downtown Terre Haute many years ago--before interstate highways, neglect, fires and disinvestment gutted it:

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Old February 27th, 2005, 07:27 AM   #3
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Other Shots of Downtown TH, Ind.

Looking from the top of the Sycamore Building toward Indiana State Univ:



St. Benedict's Catholic Church, which sits directly in front of the old Wabash and Erie Canal bed:



Looking South toward Farrington Grove Historic District



The Sycamore Building--the above pictures were taken from the top of this building



Many of the old commercial buildings have been torn down--good shot of the Vigo County Courthouse--



Shot of the Heinl Flower Shop, which has been in business since the 19th Century at 7th and Walnut



The Champagne Velvet Taproom at 9th and Poplar--canalboats used to deliver beer here--long, long before prohibition



The Indiana Theater, at 7th & Ohio--the only downtown theater still showing movies--the Hippodrome and the Grand are still standing, but they have been converted for other uses:



The Hulman Clabber Girl Factory-Museum



Looking down Wabash Avenue toward the Terre Haute House



Fuzzy shot of the Sycamore Building and the County Courthouse at dawn



Dome of the Courthouse



Pre-renovation of the Courthouse, before the glass bricks and yellow paint were removed:



Another good one of the Courthouse



View from dormitory in Terre Haute--



Different angle, same vantage:



White Chapel on the Rose Hulman campus




Entrance to Highland Lawn Cemetery on the east side bluffs:



Church of the Immaculate Conception at St. Mary of the Woods College, just west of the City





Le Fer Hall on the same campus


Last edited by cjfjapan; February 27th, 2005 at 03:27 PM.
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Old February 27th, 2005, 11:05 PM   #4
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thanks for the pics!
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Old February 28th, 2005, 01:56 AM   #5
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Terre Haute gets such a bad rap. I have always found it to a fairly nice little city for its size. I mean it has had hard times and is perhaps still not the most prosperous of cities in the state, but its not the cesspool it seems so many people in and out of the state would make it out to be.
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Old February 28th, 2005, 03:46 AM   #6
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the first impression i got of terre haute when I went there was that it sucked ass.



Just a wastedland of chain stores, auto repair shops, decript housing, dennys, boarded up buildings and really shitty campus. And this was all within a few blocks of downtown (the chain stores and strip malls and such). Just a really crappy place that inspired me to get a college education so I would never have to live a city like that.
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Old February 28th, 2005, 03:49 AM   #7
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^ So what did you expect of a economically struggling small city? Thats what I don't get...what do people expect from Terre Haute?
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Old February 28th, 2005, 04:16 AM   #8
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A friend of mine goes to ISU, so I've been down there once. It's your basic midwestern small city, nothing real special or exciting. Doesn't mean it's a terrible place though, I didn't mind it.
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Old February 28th, 2005, 04:17 AM   #9
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well, I think Fiddler is right--if you stay on 3rd Street, downtown, and campus, then he's right--that area does suck ass. Third Street is the typical commercial strip--nothing but strip mall, tire salons, fast food joints and antique shops.

But you can see that in any city--unless you are too lazy to get in and look around--and I'm not picking on you Fiddler-parts of TH are crap.

But in general, it kind of irks me about the boosters on this site--unless the city slaps you upside the head with its agressive charm or its horrendously overpriced real estate--like Chicago (which I love) or some other boutique city, then people think that it's a complete craphole. Terre Haute, like most other small Midwestern cities, is certainly not going to win any prizes for canned excitement or non-stop pseudo-drama topped off with horrendous displays of conspicuous consumption -- that's why you've got to spend a little time, talk to a few people, get outta your car and hit the pavement. These places don't exist to impress you, they are just places you can learn from, and maybe in their own quirky, cheap-ass ticky-tack way, be a place you can enjoy.
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Old March 1st, 2005, 02:54 AM   #10
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State budget may slow ISU projects
By Sue Loughlin/Tribune-Star

The state's budget difficulties may slow down Indiana State University's plan to renovate University Hall as the new home of the College of Education.

ISU's 2005-07 capital budget request to the Legislature includes $29.9 million for the University Hall renovation project. The College of Education is currently housed in one of the Statesman Towers on North Ninth Street.

University Hall, the former Lab School, is on Chestnut Street.

The proposal includes funds to demolish the Statesman Towers, which house both the College of Education and College of Business. The College of Business eventually will relocate to the federal building at Seventh and Cherry streets.

On Friday, Greg Goode, ISU's executive assistant to the president for external affairs, updated trustees on the status of the operating and capital budget requests.

The legislative session is almost at the halfway point. "We knew going into this session there would be some difficulties on funding issues. Those difficulties remain," Goode said.

The House budget flatlines university operating budgets, and it calls only for limited repair/rehabilitation funds. It does not include funding for quality improvement initiatives.

"Perhaps one of the things that hurts us the most right now, there is no discussion about funding construction projects," Goode said. That would include funding to renovate University Hall.

The university has provided legislators with a seven-minute DVD discussing the importance of the University Hall/School of Education project. ISU also had requested the capital funding for the 2003-05 biennium.

The Statesman Towers were built in 1968 as residence halls but converted for the Colleges of Business and Education in the 1970s.

The towers are neither energy-efficient nor space-efficient; only about 50 percent of the space can be used for academic purposes because of the design. They are expensive to maintain and operate, officials have said.

While university construction is not currently on the table, "We remain cautiously optimistic that before the Legislative session ends, there may be an opportunity for funding some construction projects for universities," Goode said.

The renovation of the federal building to house the College of Business will use federal and private dollars; ISU is not seeking state funding for it, Goode said. ISU hopes to take possession of the federal building by 2008, he said.

In other matters, the board of trustees authorized ISU to move forward with plans to renovate Burford Hall, a residence hall. With the changes, each room designed to accommodate two students will have a private bath and its own temperature controls.

The project also calls for a new west entrance, fire sprinkler system, elevator upgrade, exterior changes, new windows and remodeling. Pickerl Hall would receive a new roof.

Work is scheduled to begin this summer, and the project cost can't exceed $8.5 million. Funding will come from residence hall operating budgets, reserve funds and interim borrowing.

In personnel, Bonnie Saucier is stepping down as dean of the College of Nursing effective July 1. She will take professional leave from July 1 to Dec. 31 and return as a full-time professor. She has been dean for about six years.

Sue Loughlin can be reached at (812) 231-4235 or [email protected].
___________________________________

Here are the two former dormitories (Now the Schools of Business and Education) that are scheduled to be abandoned and demolished in the next few years. They are currently the tallest buildings in the city.















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Old March 1st, 2005, 03:05 AM   #11
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Terre Haute. Here in West Lafayette, that conjures up images of a failing, dying city with a bad scent. Everyone I've met from "The Haute" is glad to be gone and never looking back. I classify Terre Haute with Muncie and Anderson. They're all small Indiana cities that were once important, but have fallen on hard times, and honestly, have little prospect for coming back strong.

I do not mean it as a rip, but I feel bad for Terre Haute actually. You can see how the city was once very successful and nice, but driving through the place now is sad indeed. Downtown is a patchwork of many abandoned structures and parking lots, the commercial corridor is not particularly well kempt, and the campus is quite different from my personal college experiences (and not a very good type of different).

I honestly wish I had a better vision of Terre Haute, but from my experiences there, it is not a place I would ever consider spending more than enough time to eat.
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Old March 1st, 2005, 04:08 AM   #12
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Terre Haute is your typical midwestern city of one hundred to two hundred thousand people that grew in the late-1800's and early to mid-1900's because of manufacturing, but then suffered when the factories all left. It's got an interesting history and at one time was a fairly important city for it's size. Those days are long gone. The one thing that I believe gives it a worse rap than other similar midwestern cities, is it's smell. Those factories on the west bank of the Wabash stinking up the place really affect people's opinion more than anything. In essence the city really isn't given much of a chance after people get hit by that smell.
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Old March 1st, 2005, 03:45 PM   #13
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[QUOTE=LouisvilleJake]Terre Haute. Here in West Lafayette, that conjures up images of a failing, dying city with a bad scent. Everyone I've met from "The Haute" is glad to be gone and never looking back. I classify Terre Haute with Muncie and Anderson. They're all small Indiana cities that were once important, but have fallen on hard times, and honestly, have little prospect for coming back strong.

BINGO! Anderson, Muncie, and Terre Haute are one in the same. All three were very important and somewhat known (not that they aren't still today) outside of Indiana during the '50's - '70's. Manufacturing was the key to success. I know that at one time all three were very near 100,000 people in size and had a very strong middle-class. Now, all three struggle to get to 60,000 people and people have been quoted as saying," The last one to leave (insert any of the three) turn of the lights."
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Old March 1st, 2005, 04:31 PM   #14
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Actually Cory, I was using metro numbers when I mentioned 100,000 to 200,000. It's only fair to use their metro numbers, since that's where quite a few of the city residents moved. And metro wise they're as such:

Terre Haute 170,943
Anderson 133,358
Muncie 118,769
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Old March 1st, 2005, 09:08 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HumbleHoosier
Actually Cory, I was using metro numbers when I mentioned 100,000 to 200,000. It's only fair to use their metro numbers, since that's where quite a few of the city residents moved. And metro wise they're as such:

Terre Haute 170,943
Anderson 133,358
Muncie 118,769
It's hard to say whether Terre Haute is really "Dying"--I don't find that it has the industrial blight of Anderson--which was much more of a factory town than Greater Terre Haute ever was. Terre Haute is probably as industrial now as it ever has been--given the factories north of town. The City itself has pretty much deindustrialized, except for that potent mix of Creosote and Poo wafting over the city when there is SW wind. The current mayor is talking actively about that, and doing something about it--he has pushed to shut down an industrial waste processing plant for environmental violations.

In addition, TH has one of the largest per capita retail spending rates in the country--owing to its continued monopoly on shopping for the surrounding counties in Indiana and Illinois. It also is one of the few cities left in Indiana, I think, where the major bank is still local--Evansville might be another. Most other cities' banks have been bought out.

Physically, I would agree that the town is in bad shape--downtown looks like a 70 year old alley cat, with half his teeth knocked out. The remaining old buildings are quite nice--but what has since filled the gaps in places is awful--almost no sense of continuity. I really blame the city for this, but then again, there isn't a lot of demand for downtown space, and they are often just happy to get the land back on the tax rolls (see the awful buildings at 4th and Wabash).

I do think that Terre Haute could much more rapidly improve with more attention to quality of life issues--which it has started to do. A recently survey found that TH has more miles of pedestrian only trails per capita than Indianapolis, and there are plans for several more miles. The city is working hard on making road connections that will improve traffic flow, and open more urban land to--hopefully quality--development.

Long term, I think TH has to focus on reducing the impact of the railroads that crisscross the city--this is a serious noise and quality of life issue. The decaying urban neighborhoods north and east of downtown I don't think will ever improve while there are constantly blaring train whistles noon and night. The city would also have to invest some serious money in those neighborhoods, practically paying graduate students and young families to fix them up---which is what Bloomington does with the "HAND" program. Indy's Fall Creek Place is another good example.

Last edited by cjfjapan; November 12th, 2006 at 05:44 AM.
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Old March 1st, 2005, 11:08 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cjfjapan
It also is one of the few cities left in Indiana, I think, where the major bank is still local--Evansville might be another. Most other cities' banks have been bought out.
Actually, Indiana has lost all of it's really big banks, but there are several cities in Indiana whose hometown bank is still the largest bank in town based on local market assets. Here's a list of the cities in Indiana where the hometown bank has the largest local market share:

Terre Haute ----- First Financial ----- $2.2 billion total bank assets
Evansville ----- Old National ----- $8.9 billion total bank assets
South Bend ----- 1st Source ----- $3.6 billion total bank assets
Muncie ----- First Merchants ----- $3.2 billion total bank assets
Bloomington ----- Monroe Bancorp ----- $634 million total bank assets
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Old March 2nd, 2005, 01:27 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HumbleHoosier
Actually Cory, I was using metro numbers when I mentioned 100,000 to 200,000. It's only fair to use their metro numbers, since that's where quite a few of the city residents moved. And metro wise they're as such:

Terre Haute 170,943
Anderson 133,358
Muncie 118,769

I figured. Back in the 70's though, I think all three were between 80,000-90,000 just within the City.

What will help the Anderson MSA is the fact that Fishers is knocking on the County line between Hamilton and Madison. Pendleton is poised for a huge growth spurt. I was just through there last weekend and there are subdivisions popping-up everywhere.
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Old March 2nd, 2005, 03:58 AM   #18
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Terre Haute's population dropped from a high of about 72,000 in 1970, and has hovered around 60,000 since then. Most of the growth in the city since the 1920s has come from annexation, first all of Harrison Township, then areas south and east of the city, including the Federal Pen, which skews the city's poverty level.There are large subdivisions north and south of the city that could easily add another 10,000 if annexed, although I don't know of any discussion to do this. There are ongoing discussions about consolidating Terre Haute and Vigo County governments, which, if it was a true UNIGOV-type consolidation, would increase the city population by about 40,000, making it the 4th or 5th largest city in Indiana, right about the size of South Bend. This would probably break the Blue Dog Democrat stranglehold on City government, and make Republicans electable. As for the consolidation, most of the western and southern parts of the county are so rural that it probably won't happen, but one can dream...
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Old March 2nd, 2005, 04:06 AM   #19
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Census: Terre Haute population dips

(Terre Haute) Tribune Star
By Howard Greninger

Tribune-Star

More people have left Terre Haute and Vigo County since the national 2000 Census than any other county in the Wabash Valley, according to new estimates released by the U.S. Census Bureau.

Vigo County's population dipped 1.2 percent -- 1,308 people -- to 104,540, while Terre Haute dropped 2.7 percent, or 1,588 people, to 58,096, according to the 2003 Census estimates released this week.



It's a trend that's closely tied to employment, said Vincent Thompson, economic analyst for the Indiana Business Research Center.

"Unemployment rates show the biggest factor in lower population rates. The area has experienced higher than state average unemployment pretty consistently," Thompson said.

The 2003 average unemployment in Vigo County was 5.5 percent, while the state's was 5.1 percent, Thompson said. Several Wabash Valley counties were above the state's 2003 average unemployment rate, with Vermillion County at 6.5 percent; Parke County at 5.7 percent; Clay 5.6 percent; Sullivan 6.4 percent; and Greene at 8.3 percent.

The 2003 Census estimates are based on information as of July 2003. A recent upswing in employment in the Wabash Valley may show a change for the positive in population in 2004, said Carol Rogers, associate director of the Indiana Business Research Center.

"It is a mobile society and people go where there is employment. Over the last 10 months, Terre Haute has seen increases in jobs, so by next summer for the 2004 estimates, it may begin to see a boost in population," Rogers said.

"The population losses are not as significant as people feel they are, or the perception," Rogers said. "Certainly we look at the economy of the areas pretty constantly and I have noticed over several months [that] manufacturing is holding its own and is experiencing a slight increase," Rogers said.

Between May 2002 and May 2004, manufacturing jobs rose to 70,700 from 66,900 in Vigo County. "That is better than other parts of the state," Rogers said.

Health and education employment rose to 11,100 in May up from 10,400 in May 2002.

"There is a greater diversity in the [Terre Haute] economy. I would suspect that diversification has helped stop some [population loss] problems that hit other metropolitan areas," Rogers said.

The population decline shown in the 2003 Census estimate for Vigo County and Terre Haute mirrors a nationwide trend, Rogers said.

"Folks who work in Vigo County might decide to move to other parts outside of the Terre Haute incorporated area and into unincorporated areas. It could be the typical effect we have seen over the past 10 to 20 years of people moving outside cities," Rogers said.

Rogers said Vigo County is holding its own in population, remaining the 16th-largest county in Indiana, with a population of 104,540, and ranks 513 out of 3,100 counties in the nation. Terre Haute remains as the 11th-largest city in Indiana.

"Nationally, Vigo County compares to several other counties that have had about a 1 percent population loss from 1990 to 2002, such as counties in Kansas, Kentucky, Pennsylvania and New York as well as Henry County in Illinois. I would suspect those counties have similar characteristics, where manufacturing has been dominant," Rogers said.

Vigo County's population ranks higher than the state average for people aged 65 and older, making up 14.2 percent of the county's population. The state and national average is 12.4 percent.

With Indiana State University, Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, Ivy Tech State College and St. Mary-of-the-Woods College, Vigo County also has a higher number of people age 18 to 34 than the state or national average. That age group makes up 14.3 percent of Vigo's population, compared to 10.1 percent for Indiana and 9.6 percent nationally.

Steve Witt, executive director of the Terre Haute/Vigo County Department of Redevelopment, said he doesn't put much stock in the annual Census estimates.

"I think the national Census figures done every 10 years are what we need to hang our hat on as a community," Witt said. "That is what is used to determine federal funding appropriations to our community."

Witt said the 2000 U.S. Census showed a population increase over the 1990 Census for Terre Haute.

"I think recent data that indicates we are one area in the state experiencing job growth tends to bode well for our future," Witt said.

In other Wabash Valley counties, Brazil and Clay County are the only city/county combination to show a population growth in the Wabash Valley since the national 2000 Census, according to 2003 Census estimates.

Clay County grew 0.8 percent - 216 people -- from 2000 to 2003, according to the estimates. The county, with a population of 26,772, remained ranked 61 out of 92 Indiana counties. Brazil, the county's largest city, grew by 1.6 percent, or 126 people to a population of 8,166.

Vermillion County and the city of Clinton showed a decrease in population, with the county dropping 1.3 percent, or 216 people. The county's 2003 population estimate is 16,572. Clinton fell 3.4 percent, or 175, to a population of 4,951.

While the cities of Rockville in Parke County and Sullivan in Sullivan County each showed a population decrease, the counties showed a slight population increase. Rockville lost 43 people, dipping to 2,722. Sullivan lost just 14 people to a population estimated at 4,603.

Parke County grew by 88 people to a population of 17,329 while Sullivan County grew by 110 people to 21,861, the estimates show.

Copyright © 2004 Tribune Star
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Old March 2nd, 2005, 03:35 PM   #20
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Terre Haute only got to 72,000! Hmmm. I would have thought it was larger than that. I think that both Anderson and Muncie got to 80,000 people. Anyway, these three cities are showdows of their former selves. Too bad.
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