In recent weeks, SOS has been hard at work on an exciting effort to preserve one of Marion’s storied properties. Suffering significant fire damage to the roof earlier this year, the owners of Aunt Sue’s Tea House, 225 Spencer Avenue, have closed their business and are preparing to sell the property. For a variety of reasons, they are planning on demolishing the building rather than undertaking repairs.
Demolition is scheduled for December 1, 2014 unless an alternative is found.
The property, thought to be designed by African American architect, Samuel Plato, is a 1906 Tudor Revival structure. The building has beautiful Classical and Craftsmen interior elements, a style combination often displayed in Plato’s work. Whether or not this building was designed by Plato, it is a fine residential structure that should be saved because of it’s architectural character and the potential it offers to redeveloping the river front area.
The 225 Spencer Project is not only about preserving history; it is about taking action today to enhance Marion’s character tomorrow.
Saving 225 Spencer prevents the extension of blight into a very promising section of town. The building truly anchors that section of the street between Marion General Hospital and Washington Street. It directly faces the 3-acre Charles Mill Park on the Mississinewa River and is located between the historic Spencer Avenue district and a commercial area that includes the offices of Main Street Marion and the soon to be completed Riverside Community Credit Union.
We believe this is both an historically significant building as well as a vital anchor to its neighborhood today. Potential end uses are being researched; options will be developed once site control is in place. SOS believes several viable options exist to extend the life of this structurally sound, beautiful example of early 1900s architecture.
None of those options will be possible if the building is demolished. All the potential the property holds will be lost the moment it is torn down. Gone forever. Please help us prevent that from happening.
We thank you for whatever contribution you can make to this project, and we urge you to consider donating as soon as possible. December 1 will be here before we know it!
If you prefer to donate by check or money order:
Make payable to SOS – Save Our Stories, Inc.
Mail to PO Box 266, Marion, IN 46952