Town receives grant to preserve historic building

A 150-year-old building in Edinburgh’s historic commercial district will be preserved for future generations.

The two-story brick building near the corner of East Main Cross and West Walnut streets will mainly be used as a community center, with programming focused mostly on youth and retirees, Edinburgh Building Commissioner Wade Watson said.

A $400,000 state grant from the Indiana Office of Rural and Community Affairs will pay for renovation of the building. One of the major goals of the program is to generate jobs and spur economic revitalization. Edinburgh is one of only 14 Hoosier communities to receive this type of grant this year, according to a news release.

In its grant application, the town said it intends to use the building for both an information and community center, Watson said.

The grant money will be used exclusively for exterior and structural work, Watson said. Funds from other sources will be used for first-floor interior work, while second-floor renovations will be put on hold until more money comes in, he said. A completion date has not been set, Watson said.

The building was constructed shortly after the end of the Civil War, according to historical records.

Blue River Federal Savings Bank acquired the building Jan. 1, 1911. For more than 90 years, it was the financial institution’s only location. Blue River Federal Savings was acquired by Salin Bank and Trust in 2002.

In 2009, the building was donated to the town. Before it was gutted, the structure hosted the town’s annual Haunted House in October, as well as Santa’s Edinburgh headquarters during the holiday season.

Mark Webber is a reporter for The Republic. He can be reached at or 812-379-5636.