The SullivanMunce Cultural Center has announced the approval and designation of the Cultural Center’s first Century Structure since taking over the program started by the Zionsville Historical Society in 1987. The Century Structure program honors Zionsville’s historic residential and commercial structures.

The program recognizes architecturally significant Zionsville buildings at least 100 years in age.

The latest designee is a home at 485 W. Pine St., and belongs to Michael and Lisa Sandy and family.

According to information provided by the Century Structure selection committee, the Sandy home was built between 1865 and 1866 by Martin B. Hoover, who had just returned from military service in the Civil War. Over the 150 years since, the home has been occupied by an early prominent government official (who shot and killed a would-be thief in the back yard), a retired farmer, and the families of several well-known local merchants. It was a rental property for a few years, was used as an early 20{sup}th{/sup}-century creamery, and later served as administrative space for the Indiana Baptist Retirement Home. The woman who played Mrs. Claus at Christmas in the Village during the 1970s through the 1990s also lived there.

The architectural design is of Carpenter Builder or Vernacular style with an Eastlake front porch.

“We really enjoyed doing the research and learned quite a bit about Zionsville,” Michael Sandy said. “One great way to prepare for the future is to honor the past.”

Century Structure Selection Committee Chairman Ralph Stacy said it was interesting to look into the history of the Sandy home.

Stacy said they were able to talk to people who had connections to the home through previous owners, and were able to locate photos from different eras.

A longtime resident of Zionsville himself, Stacy said he can recall different owners of the property and what the neighborhood was like over seven decades.

“I can relate to a lot of this, and I learn a lot,” Stacy said of studying the history of older Zionsville homes.

Stacy said the older homes are what make The Village, and that over the years, too many of them have been changed drastically or completely replaced.

“Over the years, the community has lost a lot of the older homes,” he said. “I’d like to see us preserve homes, not tear them down.”

The standards for being named as Century Structure were established by the now-defunct historical society in 1987. The standards dictate that a structure be at least 100 years old at the time of application. The front of the structure cannot have been unreasonably altered, with substitute siding, altered window and door openings, removal of front porches, and significant modification of roof pitch, rafters and eaves, being disqualifying changes.

“The authentic building construction materials maintained or restored and the integrity of the façade appearance remain true to the architectural style or styles of the structure with the goal being the preservation of the structure,” the standards explain. “One of the tests for this determination is whether the original owner over 100 years would recognize the structure. The style of the structure shall be representative of its local time period style and not a replica of an earlier style.”

The Century Structure designation doesn’t come with any restrictions regarding the future of the homes, but Stacy said it does help protect them because it raises awareness about their historic nature.

The Sandy home was listed in the Indiana Historic Sites and Structure Inventory published in October, 1983, as “contributing” and acknowledged by the Indiana Department of Natural Resources and Historic Landmarks Foundation of Indiana survey.

The Century Structure selection committee is already working on another application, Stacy noted.

Applications for homeowners interested in the Century Structure designation are available at SullivanMunce. The center also has on hand the documentation for granting the Sandy home designation, and information on the other 21 homes that have received the designation. The Indiana Historic Sites and Structure Inventory publication also is available at SullivanMunce.

Members of the SullivanMunce Cultural Center Century Structure selection committee are Stacy, Abigail Klaehn, Carol Mullet, David Malcom, Todd Rottmann and Mark Zelonis.

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