Said building will be offered for sale at the office of the Board, and the right is reserved to reject any and all bids. Appraised value of building, $100.00.
According to Town Historian Richard Schmal, the building that was being sold in this 1924 article was not the main school itself, but the little building on the same Main Street property known as the "doghouse" that was, for a time, used for classes.
School Town of Lowell, Indiana
By its Board of Trustees
P.L. Rigg, Pres.
S.A. Brownell, Treas.
Myrtle L. Iddings, Sec'y
Once the home of school children, it now houses the Lowell Cultural Center, an organization of antique dealers.
Operators of the cultural center are Edward and John Zunica, Harry Schwimmer and Lester Hitzman, local antique dealers.
According to Hitzman, the second floor of the old school at Union and Main Streets is already occupied.
Several shops have been opened on the first floor and others are moving in.
The gymnasium has been converted into a wholesale room for antique furniture.
But the cultural center is not strictly a commercial enterprise.
Classes will be offered this fall in arts and crafts, floral arrangements and the art of antiquing.
Seminars will be conducted in how to deal in antiques.
These will be conducted by qualified antique dealers.
The grade school was sold by the Tri-Creek School Corporation last year.
During the past months the center has encountered difficulty in obtaining a business zoning.
One of the problems encountered involved parking conditions but the dispute was settled.
LOWELL -- The old Lowell Grade School has been placed on the state's 10 most endangered landmarks list.
The Historic Landmarks Foundation of Indiana made the announcement Thursday, releasing the list of irreplaceable historic sites on the verge of extinction.
Lowell's first school, the 1896 red brick Romanesque revival-style structure, was built in a prominent spot on Lowell's highest hill at 525 Main St. by Lowell founder Melvin Halstead.
The building was sold in the 1970s and was used as an antique mall at one time.
Town officials have sought for years to have the building repaired, but have had no success in communicating with its absentee owner.
Several years ago, town officials discovered more than 100 cats and dogs living with the owner in the feces-filled building. Vacant and deteriorating since the 1980s, the building is damaged inside and out from holes in its roof.
The town declared the landmark unsafe and unfit for habitation.
"It's demolition by neglect," said Tiffany Tolbert, director of Historic Landmarks' Calumet Region Office.
Lowell officials obtained a warrant to enter the building April 10 to allow an architectural consultant to do an inspection, Director of Public Works Wilbur Cox said. The architect's structural assessment and appraisal should be completed some time next week, Cox said.
Preliminary reports on the assessment show that the building is salvageable, but would cost an estimated $750,000 to $1.1 million in labor and materials just for repairs, but not improvements, Cox said.
"I haven't run across one person that wants to pull that building down, but you can't keep going off of hope that the current owner will fix it," Cox said.
The town will take the school through the unsafe buildings program, giving the owner a deadline to make repairs, but said the building will likely have to be condemned.
Then, the town could make the school available to someone who may step forward who is willing to put money into it. That's where the building's designation on the endangered buildings list can help, Tolbert said.
"We'll be able to put more applicable financial resources toward it and expose it to other outside interest in terms of possible new ownership," Tolbert said.
Go to "The 1896 Lowell High School" for further information. Return to Lowell Biographies.