DPU to report on Ireland House restoration at HPS meeting

Sunday, March 23, 2014
The historic John Ireland House, located along the north side of the new Anderson Street entrance to DePauw University, has been restored and is expected to serve the university as a guest house.

A report on the restoration efforts by DePauw University of the historic John Ireland home in Greencastle will be the highlight the 2014 annual meeting of the Heritage Preservation Society of Putnam County Wednesday evening.

The HPS will meet at the Putnam County Museum, beginning at 6:30 p.m.

Preservation Society members will elect new board members, review 2013 activities and learn about HPS goals for 2014.

Tony Robertson of DePauw University will report on the extensive restoration efforts made by the university to bring the excellent example of Italianate architecture back to its original glory.

Additionally, Robertson will cover the efforts by the university to save and relocate two other period homes to a suitable location within the community.

Throughout the past several years HPS and DPU have collaborated on several efforts by the university that have involved historic structures and a national register listed area within the Greencastle community.

Robertson's remarks are expected to provide examples of how the community's historic heritage can be preserved while at the same time made to serve the needs of today's generation.

The 127-year-old Anderson Street structure originally served as the home of John Ireland who was a partner in a local lumber mill and trim business.

Ireland's home provided a physical setting to show off the firm's capabilities and offerings. Among other features, visitors to the home can see a five-foot laminated wooden sliding door that matches the different woodwork in the two rooms it separates.

The partnership with DPU to restore the Ireland House is one of several efforts HPS has undertaken this past year.

The society has successfully pursued multiple grants, several of which have help them in its effort to restore the county's Civil War Monument, located in Greencastle's Forest Hill Cemetery.

To date, through local fundraising and grants, HPS has raised nearly $33,000 of the approximately $116,000 estimated to bring the restoration of the monument to fruition.

Presentations by HPS's leadership will address all the accomplishments of the past year, the anticipated efforts to be pursued this year and the public events that will be offered in the coming year. The highlight is anticipated to be a public open house of the Ireland House, sponsored collaboratively by HPS and DPU. Further details will be provided at the annual meeting.

Individual HPS memberships are available at $25, while a household membership is $35. Other levels of membership are advocate, $50; guardian, $100, and preservationist, $200.

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