Valpo Mansion May Fall to Wrecking Ball

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(photo courtesy of The Times of Northwest Indiana) (photo courtesy of The Times of Northwest Indiana)

A one-time mansion that hosted dignitaries and politicians while they visited Valparaiso appears to be facing demolition, following years of decline and disrepair.  The stately mansion, known locally as the Brown home, maybe knocked down and the property redeveloped, according to our partners at The Times of Northwest Indiana.

The paper says the house was built in the 1860s by a wealthy family. At one time, in the late 1800s, it was owned by the president of Valparaiso University.

Throughout the second half of the 20th century, the building operated as a restaurant, known as the White House. The publication says the Pappas family purchased the house in 1942, residing in it for many years before turning it into a fine dining restaurant in 1978. The restaurant closed in the mid-’90s.

The publication says another restaurateur opened it in 2002 as Calkins’ Hill restaurant, but it only lasted about a year. The years have not been kind, says Valparaiso’s mayor.

"It was a symbol of times past," Mayor Jon Costas said. "But now it's a symbol of times moving forward. While we appreciate our past, we can't always re-create it. The downtown was a very different place in the 1960s, the 1970s and the 1980s, and it doesn't fit anymore."

Costas says over the years there have been attempts to revitalize the building, but extensive repairs were needed. The paper says the four-story house has been vacant for more than a decade.

"It's cool, a grand old building. But what happens is people have a vision for it, but when they put the pencil to it, see it would be economically unfeasible," Costas said.

You can read the complete story by The Times of Northwest Indiana by clicking here.

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