Preservation commission hopes to save Colgate building in Clarksville

Evening News and The Tribune, The (Jeffersonville, IN), 2014-08-07

Aug. 07 -- CLARKSVILLE -- The Clarksville Plan Commission voted unanimously Wednesday to hold a public hearing Sept. 3 to determine the fate of a building at the Colgate Property.

The move came at the request of the Clarksville Historic Preservation Commission , which voted to enforce interim protection of a one-story building at a July 14 meeting upon discovering that the town's own master plan for the development site calls for the building to be demolished to make way for a road. The commission wants the plan updated to move the proposed road and allow the building to continue standing.

"The preservation commission has decided to pursue local district designation for the complex," said Greg Sekula , spokesman for the Southern Regional Office of Indiana Landmarks . "It has been deemed to be eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places . The commission would love that property preserved and is hopeful that they can work with the developer to ensure that historic properties on the site are preserved as part of a redevelopment project."

Boston Development Group owns the Colgate Property. Dr. Jayesh Sheth , principal with BDG, did not respond to a message left on his cell phone requesting an interview by press time.

The building in question, known as Building 44 on site maps of the property, dates back to the 19th Century, according to documents provided by the preservation commission to the plan commission.

The Clarksville building inspector's office received an anonymous phone call about a month ago from someone who claimed BDG had contracted a demolition company to tear down Building 44 and another building on the campus, according to Building Inspector Ilpo Majuri . Majuri contacted the company that had been contracted and informed them they needed permits before they could proceed. Stop-work notices were issued, he said.

Majuri declined to comment further before researching the issue. A request for public records relating to the requested demolition permits was not fulfilled by the town of Clarksville prior to press time.

Sekula said that Sheth had expressed an interest in having the property listed on historic registers, but had changed his mind somewhere along the way.

"I think the commission would love to understand why we have this kind of reversal, this change in the direction that Dr. Sheth had initially articulated," Sekula said.


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