The home of a prominent Huntington businessman and former state senator will be preserved, after the City of Huntington worked with the preservation group Huntington Alert to save the home from demolition.
The Humbert home at 337 E. Market St. is now designated as a single-site historic district through the Historic Preservation Review Board, which established guidelines to preserve the historic integrity of the home from future alterations. The homeowner will be required to get a permit before any proposed demolition, additions or new construction, color change or alterations to the exterior appearance, including everything from windows to fences, according to the guidelines.
“This particular project and property is a classic example of the city working alongside Huntington Alert, the historic preservation advocacy group, to save this property,” Community Development and Redevelopment director Bryn Keplinger said at the Feb. 12 Common Council meeting. “This has been done to similar properties for decades.”
The designation makes the Humbert home the 26th property to be preserved by the Historic Preservation Board.
Keplinger said the two-story, Italianate-style home has seen several add-ons and uses over the years, siince it was built in 1880 by George Washington Humbert Sr. The property has been used as a medical office and most recently as a senior center through the Huntington Township Trustees Office.
“In 2014, the property began the foreclosure process and was actually in limbo, with the prior owner being evicted and the mortgage company not taking the property back into their name,” Keplinger said. “The city, being ever-so vigilent, issued an order of enforcement on the property for various unsafe violations. It then proceeded to contact Alert about stepping in and helping to save the property from the wrecking ball.”
Keplinger said the City worked cooperatively with Huntington Alert in 2015 to help Alert become the receiver of the property, which lead to Alert eventually foreclosing on the property in 2018 to become the owner of the property. .
“Thanks to countless volunteer hours along with Indiana Landmarks and support from the city, this property has indeed been saved,” Keplinger said.
Recently, the home received a new roof, masonry repairs, new boilers, radiators, landscaping, plaster repair, framing, painting and drywall to turn it from a duplex into a single-family home.
The character-defining features of the Italianate style include the massed low-pitch roof, the copula, brick masonry and intricate stone details, along with the historic wood windows, cornices and doors.
Keplinger said the preservation plan includes an appeal process where deviations from the guidelines could be permitted under special circumstances.