INDIANAPOLIS — From a church designed by a trailblazing Black architect to a neglected mansion, an Indiana organization is warning people about 10 historic Indiana landmarks in jeopardy.

On Monday, Indiana Landmarks announced the 10 Most Endangered. This is an annual list of Indiana landmarks in jeopardy.

The organization said places that land of this list often face a combination of problems, rather than a single threat. These problems include abandonment, neglect, dilapidation, obsolete use, unreasonable above-market asking price, or owners who simply lack money for repairs.

“Indiana Landmarks uses its 10 Most Endangered list in several ways. Sometimes it serves an educational role. It functions as an advocacy tool. And it can assist in raising funds needed to save a place,” said Marsh Davis, president of the nonprofit preservation organization. “Every listing comes with significant challenges. In all cases, when an endangered place lands on our list, we commit to seeking solutions that lead to rescue and revitalization.”

Since starting the list in 1991, 20 of 159 sites have been demolished. Another 99 places have been completely restored or are no longer endangered. The following locations are on this year’s list:

Birdsell Mansion, South Bend

Birdsell Mansion, South Bend

In 1898, J.B. Birdsell had a mansion built in what is now South Bend’s West Washington Historic District. Indiana Landmarks said Birdsell was one of South Bend’s industrial titans.

When J.B. took over his father’s company, he commissioned the home for his family. Indiana Landmarks said with hardwood paneling, ornate fireplaces and a third-floor ballroom, J.B. and his wife entertained South Bend’s high society from their mansion.

An absentee owner is now in control of the mansion, which has been vacant for over a decade. Indiana Landmarks said the home faces a growing list of code violations, with water seeping in through missing windows and leaking gutters.

You can find more information about this property by visiting the Indiana Landmarks website.

Cades Mill Covered Bridge, Fountain County

Cades Mill Covered Bridge, Fountain County

Built in 1854, the Cades Mill Covered Bridge is the state’s oldest covered bridge still in its original location. However, it faces structural issues that may cause it to collapse if not repaired.

This bridge was built to help Fountain County’s early settlers travel to a mill at Coal Creek. Now, Indiana Landmarks said it is one of only three historic covered bridges remaining in the county.

When the bridge was bypassed due to the construction of a newer concrete bridge in 1976, the bridge saw deferred maintenance. Indiana Landmarks said this has hastened the historic bridge’s decline.

In 2019, a covered bridge contractor was hired to assess the bridge. They discovered a broken chord. Indiana Landmarks said this is a serious structural compromise that could cause the bridge to collapse.

The Fountain County Art Council Historical Committee is raising money to rehabilitate the bridge. Indiana Landmarks said repairs are estimated at over $800,000, and ongoing labor and material shortages are expected to increase that price tag.

You can find more information about the bridge, including how to help save it, by visiting Indiana Landmarks’ website.

Geter Means House, Gary

Geter Means House, Gary

What once served as a focal point for the community, is now a blight among the neighborhood’s well-kept homes.

Indiana Landmarks said Geter Means’ house was built in 1954 on a prominent corner lot. The neighborhood where the house was built quickly became the preferred area for middle-class African American home buyers.

The house was built by Means Brothers, Inc., one of the largest Black-owned real estate development companies in the Midwest. Indiana Landmarks said the company was started by Andrew and Geter Means in the 1920s.

Over the last decade, vacancy, vandalism and neglect have caused the house to languish. Neighbors continue to mow the lawn and pick up trash, but they worry that one of their neighborhood’s cornerstone properties could deteriorate to the point of no return.

For more information about this property, visit Indiana Landmarks’ website.

Hulman Building & Garage, Evansville

Hulman Building, Evansville

Dominating the Evansville downtown skyline, this 10-story commercial building has been largely vacant and neglected for years.

Indiana Landmarks said the building was constructed in 1929. It was acquired by Hulman & Company in the 1930s. The building shows off the Art Deco style as applied to a city skyscraper.

Now, the building lies vacant and neglected, with water leaking in through the roof and windows. Indiana Landmarks said the building, along with a neighboring garage, were bought by an out-of-state buyer in the spring of 2022.

The new owner is relisting the properties for sale as separate parcels. Indiana Landmarks said this makes it less desirable for re-development.

For more information about this property, visit Indiana Landmark’s website.

Knox County Poor Asylum, Vincennes

Knox County Poor Asylum, Vincennes

One of only a few remaining poor farms in the state, this historic building faces demolition by neglect.

Indiana Landmarks said the Knox County Poor Asylum was built in 1882. At the time, Indiana’s plan for caring for the poor and disabled centered on developing poor farms. At these farms, people could work for housing and food.

By 1860, all of Indiana’s counties created poor farms. Indiana Landmarks said as federal agencies supplanted them, county homes gradually lost their purpose. By 2014, only 47 remained standing.

Indiana Landmarks said this building was built to replace an earlier one. It combines elements of Italianate and Greek Revival styles to create a facility that would serve as a point of local pride.

The building includes a central pavilion with the superintendent’s residence and common meeting spaces and is flanked by wings for men’s and women’s living quarters

In 2020, Indiana Landmarks said county officials transferred ownership to a nonprofit that wants to rehabilitate the property as a hospice facility. It needs significant investment to stabilize the structure.

For more information about this property, visit Indiana Landmark’s website.

First Friends Church, Marion

First Friends Church, Marion

Marion could lose a significant landmark if action isn’t taken to halt deterioration.

Indiana Landmarks said the Quaker congregation hired Samuel Plato in 1914 to design a new house of worship. Plato is one of the early 20th century’s most prominent Black architects.

Plato designed houses, schools, stores an apartment complex and churches in Marion. Now, Indiana Landmarks said only a few of his designs remain in the city.

Indiana Landmarks said the Quaker’s approach to race relations harmonized with Plato’s practices. He promoted social progress by hiring integrated crews for his projects, creating training and jobs for Black workers, and insisting that Black contractors be allowed to join local workers’ unions that their white counterparts were in.

The church now languishes in the hands of an out-of-state owner who has not made any improvements. Indiana Landmarks said one of the large stained-glass windows was damaged in a windstorm a few years ago. Plaster crumbles and paint peels from the walls inside.

For more information about this property, visit Indiana Landmark’s website.

Stinesville Commercial Buildings, Stinesville

Stinesville Commercial Buildings

This commercial block embodies Indiana’s limestone legacy. However, as the years pass, prospects for saving the handsome buildings fade.

Indiana Landmarks said the two-story I.O.O.F. Lodge and four limestone-faced commercial buildings were built between 1884 and 1894. They are now all that remains of Stineville’s once-bustling downtown.

Stinesville was developed in the 1850s as the limestone industry took hold in southern Indiana. By the 1890s, Indiana Landmarks said it was a boom town, with stone workers and carvers arriving from all over the world.

The historic lodge houses the Stinesville Merchantile and local post office, but the other buildings have been vacant for decades. In 2021, Indiana Landmarks said the city offered the block for $1 to anyone who would stabilize and restore them but didn’t get any takers.

From the front, the four commercial buildings don’t look bad. Indiana Landmarks said beyond this façade, the buildings have seriously deteriorated.

The group is listed in the National Register of Historic Places and is eligible for rehabilitation tax credits.

For more information about this property, visit Indiana Landmark’s website.

Courthouse Annex Building, New Castle

Courthouse Annex, New Castle

A repeat entry from the 2021 list, county officials have repeatedly discussed demolishing the courthouse annex building in New Castle in favor of parking.

Now known as the Courthouse Annex, Indiana Landmarks said this building reflects the 1869 Henry County Courthouse across the street. It is a three-story Classical Revival edifice with terra cotta details and large windows.

The building was developed at a time when New Castle was a bustling hub of manufacturing. However, when the gas wells dried up and factories began to close, people moved away.

Now, large gaps in the historic streetscape show the effects of widespread demolition. Indiana Landmarks said this includes the block-long commercial structure on the courthouse square.

While the building remains attractive, its condition is precarious. Indiana Landmarks said it needs a new roof, and the demolition of its neighbor exposed a formerly interior wall.

For more information about this property, visit Indiana Landmark’s website.

James M. Shields Memorial Gymnasium, Seymour

Shields Gymnasium, Seymour

A repeat entry from the 2021 list, the future of this temple of Indiana basketball remains uncertain.

The Shields Gymnasium was one of Indiana’s largest high school gymnasiums when it was built in 1941. Indiana Landmarks said it hosted 21 sectional titles from 1942 until 1970.

When a local family bought the long-vacant property in 1996, they ended up having to demolish the dilapidated 1910 high school nearby. This leaves the gym the last tangible school tie to the site for many Seymour alumni.

Indiana Landmarks said the gym remains empty, with vandals breaking windows and covering walls with graffiti. Roof leaks have allowed water to infiltrate the building, but an architectural assessment shows it remains structurally sound.

For more information about this property, visit Indiana Landmark’s website.

Kamm and Schellinger Brewery, Mishawaka

Kamm and Schellinger Brewery, Mishawaka

A repeat entry from the 2021 list, this historic complex faces increasing pressure for demolition in favor of new development.

Indiana Landmarks said this brewery was opened by German immigrant Adolph Kamm and his brother-in-law Nicholas Schellinger.

After the brewery closed in 1951, developers transformed the site into a complex of shops, residences, restaurants and businesses. Indiana Landmarks said this was an early example of adaptive reuse.

Starting in the late 1980s, the 100 Center began losing tenants to newer malls. In early 2022, one of the few remaining businesses closed for good. Indiana Landmarks said several other structures are vacant and dilapidated.

The city recently bought a vacant adjacent building, with plans to demolish it. Indiana Landmarks said this brings development potential to the historic complex.

For more information about this property, visit Indiana Landmark’s website.