'Endangered' House to Get New Life

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(photo courtesy Indiana Landmarks) (photo courtesy Indiana Landmarks)

A historic house in Ohio County is set to undergo massive renovations. The Speakman House, built in 1846 just north of Rising Sun, has been included on Indiana Landmarks' "10 Most Endangered" list for the past two years.

The house was built by Stephen Speakman and sits on a 40-acre property that also includes a large dairy barn, a small tenant-farmer house, a milk house and the remains of a large stone ice house. An assessment of the house's condition commissioned by Indiana Landmarks last year showed more than $300,000 in urgently-needed exterior repairs, in addition to electrical, plumbing, HVAC and other interior improvements.

The house was sold last month to Mark Banschback, owner of Greendale-based Top Quality Building Products Inc. Indiana Landmarks says Banschback will begin work on the house, which he he will eventually use as an office, residence and community gathering space. 

Work will begin with the installation of a new roof, followed by facade improvements and the repair of a rear summer kitchen, which will be used as a catering kitchen for outdoor events. Once that is complete, interior work will begin, along with additional renovation of the tenant house.

You can view the inside of the house from a tour hosted in October by the Ohio County Historical Society in the video below:

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