Indiana Landmarks has awarded one of its top prizes for the $38 million transformation of the P.R. Mallory complex on the near east side of Indianapolis. Renovation of the manufacturing landmark, which stood vacant for about 30 years, has received the Indiana Landmarks’ 2021 Cook Cup for Outstanding Restoration.

The complex once served as a manufacturing center where electronics components were produced from 1929-1979. Some of the work led to the development of Duracell batteries.

Indiana Landmarks says the complex sat empty for decades. A consortium of organizations saw the potential for the property, turning it into an education facility.

Seeing the structure as a potential catalyst for change in the neighborhood, leaders from the Englewood Community Development Corp. and John Boner Neighborhood Centers created P.R. Mallory LLC in 2018 and proposed creative reuse and ambitious restoration plans.

“The community impact of this project is enormous,” says Indiana Landmarks President Marsh Davis. “It’s a heroic transformation richly deserving of our 2021 Cook Cup for Outstanding Restoration.”

It’s now home to two schools and a hydroponics growing operation, Uplift Produce.

The public charter schools, Paramount Englewood School of Excellence and Purdue Polytechnic High School, operate there.  

“When we started the school, we wanted to be someplace where we could be part of a community,” says Scott Bess, head of schools for Purdue Polytechnic High Schools. “The vision for not just the building but the neighborhood really sold us on it.”

Indianapolis-based architectural firm Schmidt Associates oversaw the project.