Area family restoring faded glory of downtown building

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From the third-story window of the building at 42 E. Washington St., people have watched a city grow from nothing. They’ve looked down on a muddy, stump-ridden rut of a road cutting through what would be Indianapolis. Abraham Lincoln marched past in a parade, and a blocks-wide fire in the 1970s destroyed old buildings to give way to new construction.

Today, Washington Street is at the bustling heart of Indiana’s most worldly and modern city. And that city’s oldest commercial building in existence will be soon be updated to join it in the modern age.

Jim and Linda Hunter, residents of Lamb Lake, have purchased the more than 180-year-old structure in downtown Indianapolis with plans to restore it. Along with their sons, Nick and Curt Hunter, they envision turning the first two floors into a high-end art gallery and immersion event space where nonprofit organizations can host fundraisers with local celebrities. Taking what was once a city landmark and restoring it to new life has become the family’s focus for the past eight months.

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