My turn

Longevity and loveliness go together in downtown Whiting

2013-01-31T00:00:00Z Longevity and loveliness go together in downtown WhitingBy Gayle Faulkner Kosalko Times Columnist nwitimes.com
January 31, 2013 12:00 am  • 

With the loss of our beautiful building at the corner of Sheridan Avenue and 119th Street due to the recent fire, it got me thinking about how many other beautiful buildings exist in Whiting. Many of these structures give Whiting its hometown Americana flavor.

Please remember to look up when walking down our main street. It's the only way you can truly appreciate the beautiful architecture of our very old buildings, many built at the turn of the 20th century. It seems the prettiest and most historic buildings are on the corners.

Some of them have the names of the original builders, like the Obreshk building, which is now the new home of Beggars Pizza. Jim Eder, the owner, has a real appreciation for Whiting's beautiful buildings and has said one of the things he enjoys most is looking out the window at the glorious Hoosier Theater building right across the street. The Hoosier was built in 1924. Its neoclassic design has wonderful ornate terra cotta work, too.

And if you like terra cotta, just go a block over and take a look at the Whiting Community Center, where you'll see great terra cotta pieces over the auditorium doors. Or, if you like the neoclassical style, go down New York Avenue and gaze at the massive Whiting Junior High School building.

The building that houses Sunrise Restaurant was once Recht's magnificent department store. We are very lucky that when after a car drove into the building, its owner rebuilt, including the building's gable that makes it so picturesque.

Another great corner building is home to Chase Bank, a real beauty of neoclassic design with its pillars. You really need to see the beautiful stained glass piece inside that was saved from destruction. When you think of how boring most modern banks look today, going into Chase is quite an experience if you take the time to truly appreciate its interior, as well as its exterior.

Right across the street on the corner is our Whiting Post Office. Its look is from a different era, having been built the 1930's. Whiting's original "post office" was a spool box in the corner of Henry Schrage's general store.

Later, the post office moved to other locations before Whiting got its first federal building. I've been told that its architectural style is considered Colonial Revival.

And, of course, we always boast of Whiting's beautiful Andrew Carnegie Library which managed to keep its original architectural design even when it had to expand. Some of the new libraries being built have all the warmth (and sometimes the look) of an old tin can, so we're very lucky that ours still maintains its Romanesque style, complete with towers.

Now I know every old building here doesn't need to be saved, but I hate to see any of them go. I'm of the age where I believe there's something to be said for longevity and loveliness. I like to think that applies to us seniors as well.

The opinions are solely those of the writer. He can be reached at billvargo@yahoo.com.

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About Whiting

City of Whiting

1443 119th Street Whiting, IN 46394
219.659.7700

Police Department

1914 Schrage Avenue Whiting, IN 46394
219.659.2131

Fire Department

1914 Schrage Avenue Whiting, IN 46394
219.659.1069

School City of Whiting

1500 Center Street Whiting, IN 46394
219.659.0656