South Bend restoring one of its oldest buildings

Historic building set to serve low-income elderly October 2013

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By Daryl Bjoraas

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- Restoring a 106 year old building isn't easy, but for Sami Hussen, it's a project worth doing.

"It's not just a building, it's not just a project," Hussen said. "It's historical, it's part of the city."

The Rushton was South Bend's first highrise.

In it's heyday, in 1906, the apartment complex served folks working nearby.

Today, 106 years later, people caught a rare look at the building inside; before restoration work begins.

"It's nice to have it where it's going to have a use," Steve Szaday, a preservation specialist with the South Bend Historic Preservation Commission, said.

The historic highrise is set to be used as an apartment complex for low-income elderly.

They're trying to preserve as much of the building's history as possible.

"Even though there's been so much damage, knowing that some of that beautiful detail is going to be preserved is really making me happy," Pamela Allen, a Mishawaka resident who toured the building, said.

"We need to understand our past in order to go into the future," Dea Andrews, another tourist, said.

The building has been through a lot over the years; home to hoodlums and the homeless, but once it's completed, many feel the building will be a thriving part of South Bend once again.

"For them to take the time and effort to do all these things," Hussen said. "It's amazing, it's good to see that."

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