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South Bend looks to rescue "endangered" Lafayette building

SOUTH BEND, Ind.— The city of South Bend is looking to preserve a historic building that’s now considered a safety hazard.

The department of Community Investment is looking to spend over a million dollars to save the Lafayette building.

Just a couple of years ago it was named one of the 10 most endangered properties in the entire state by Indiana Landmarks.

“Bricks were falling off the side of the building from the erosion when the roof damage occurred up there,” said Randy Wilkerson, Director of South Bend Code Enforcement. “Since then somebody has re-broken back into there and busted out the skylights.”

For years this piece of South Bend history has gone to pieces.

In 1903, it was the city’s first office building.

Now, it’s just an empty shell.

The last time it was used was regularly was back in 2011.

Just two years later it would be closed for good.

“We really want to see it redeveloped and restored so were working hard to get the property under city control,” said Tim Corcoran, South Bend Director of Planning.

South Bend is looking to spend $1.5 million dollars in the 2018 budget to get the building back in shape.

“We’ve put some money together to look into what it might take to rehab the building from things like asbestos and mold remediation, things like that,” said Corcoran.

The city is open to what use could come out of the space after its turnaround.

“Buildings like this is part of what made South Bend a great place to live and we want to retain as much of that fabric as possible,” said Corcoran.

The city has the certificate to the building but it has to go through a redemption period before it’s transferred to the city.

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