BATESVILLE – In October 2020, information broke that a property in Batesville, one shown on Indiana Landmarks’ “10 Most Endangered” listing, had uncovered a buyer. Right after additional than a ten years the For Sale indication in front of the quirky and charming house at 507 N. Walnut could be retired. And greater still, immediately after a long time of professional use, the new operator vowed to transform the assets again into a solitary spouse and children dwelling the grand aged house would be a household all over again!
Rose and Anthony Romweber experienced no doubt developed the imposing residence with their 5 younger sons and chaotic social plan in head. Situated at the north entry of Batesville on Ind. 229, it is a person of the town’s most beloved landmarks. Future doorway, in the previous planet custom of holding shut to spouse and children, Rose’s brother George Hillenbrand and spouse Sophia created their aspiration household.
Done someday in 1912, above the following seven many years the Romweber household was in use as a one spouse and children residence. Nevertheless, like most properties of this vintage, it fell out of trend all through the 1970s when soaring power fees activated many to seek out more recent, superior insulated dwellings. It was marketed in the 1980s to the Hillenbrand corporations for use as a corporate event and retreat room.
Much more improvements have been in keep when the dwelling the moment yet again adjusted palms in the 1990s. This time it was repurposed as office room for the Scheurman regulation company. When Schuerman relocated to the county seat at Versailles, the grand aged property settled in for what turned out to be a lengthy extend of emptiness and decrease.
After 12 many years on the market without having any takers, the outlook for the Romweber household was bleak adequate that Indiana Landmarks agreed to move in and help location preservationists in attracting a purchaser.
Jarrad Holbrook, Director of the Southeast Field Business office for Indiana Landmarks described, “We seem for attributes that have a persuasive story and precise needs that would advantage from the more coverage that our 10 Most Endangered checklist supplies.”
In selecting the dwelling for inclusion on their nationally regarded listing, Holbrook said, “The Romweber title alone is intensely embedded in Batesville’s record and identification, so the compelling story was effortless.” He went on to reference the houses of Rosemont and the Hillenbrand Mansion future doorway stating, “Especially when you consider that the total historic community was kicked off by these sister homes.”
Around the decades, the household captivated a great deal of fascination and showings, but no a person made a critical offer. Bob Koester, operator of Tudor Sq. Realty, was the Real estate agent who lastly brokered the sale of the residence. “The Romweber” as it is frequently known as, had been on the industry for practically 50 % of his 25 12 months profession. He famous, “I showed the residence at minimum after a 7 days for decades. Tons of men and women appreciate it, but the perform terrified them off.”
He’s glad the new owner procured the position to are living in and not with intent to divide it into multi-family units or a different commercial use. Koester mentioned, “The property is an asset to our group. We’re happy it’s heading to be restored.”
The excitement was palpable very last Oct when the television program Within Indiana Enterprise compensated a visit to Batesville after the “save” was made. Host Gerry Dick proclaimed the Romweber as the “first rescue of 2020” in their Endangered Indiana segment collection. Mary-Rachel Redman, the show’s All-around Indiana reporter, explained the Romweber as “a treasured piece of Batesville’s past that unfortunately has fallen into disrepair.” Introducing with a wide smile that the property experienced “caught the eye of an Indianapolis customer.”
The Romwebers commissioned renowned Cincinnati-based mostly architects CC and EA Weber to construct their new residence in 1910. The Weber brothers’ agency was liable for lots of prestigious houses, church buildings, commercial and community jobs across the location. Two of their finest recognized performs involve the stylish Kentucky Governor’s Mansion at Frankfort and the elaborate courthouse at Wilmington, Ohio (on the Nationwide Sign-up of Historic Locations due to the fact 1982).
Though it’s not instantly crystal clear who was accountable for the mixed-up fashion of this individual house, it was probably a collaboration concerning the architects and the vision the Romwebers them selves had for their new household. Holbrook remarked, “Personally, I have generally liked the eclectic charm of the property, with aspects from Dutch Colonial, Arts & Crafts, and much more. You certainly don’t see a residence like this daily.”
Incorporating to the one of a kind attractiveness of the home’s exterior is the perfectly appointed interior. The quite a few small business passions of Anthony Romweber glow through within. A selection of fantastic wood species ended up specified for flooring, wall panels, uncovered beams and designed-in cabinetry all through the four full levels of the property. At some place, all of the wooden flooring (as very well as most of the Rookwood tile) was coated with carpet. Possibly mainly because of this, the quartersawn oak, white pine, ash, and even chestnut floors were in good problem when the carpet was pulled up.
Remarkably, none of the stained wooden trims, wainscotting, or created-ins have been painted around. This is primarily shocking as a coat of paint was the common “remedy” applied by decorators for the duration of the very last a long time of the 20th century.
While some fashionable substitute windows have been added, most of the first leaded and stained glass fenestrations are nevertheless intact. This consists of what could be a nod to the Romweber Household furniture Company’s most enduring line, the Viking Oak collection. A small stained glass window depicting a masted ship crossing a turbulent sea continues to be as a appear-by way of on a services door among the oval shaped eating area and what was the servant’s staging space off the kitchen area.
All in all, at extra than 110 a long time old, the dwelling, though neglected for several a long time, is in moderately good form and the original blueprints are guiding the renovations. The new entrepreneurs hope for a drop transfer in date.