A landmark in town

I love old postcards and this one is a beauty! It shows the Ben Hur Building in downtown Crawfordsville not long after it was finished. The Montgomery County Interim Report of Indiana Historic Sites and Structures Inventory lists the date for this neo-classical building as 1911.  The Ben Hur Building was a real center of commerce for much of the 20th century. Many Wabash alums were tenants with their offices in this premiere business address. Lawyers, doctors and accountants were especially plentiful. Meetings of the Wabash Board of Trustees were sometimes held here. It was a beehive of activity and just inside the revolving door was a little lunch counter where the office workers could get a drink and a sandwich or some candy. The large windows on the street level showcased the offerings of the Schloot Furniture Company.

This elegant old building now sits empty waiting for its next incarnation. Who knows, maybe one day it will shine again!

Beth Swift
Wabash College
  1. Beth –

    Your blog brought back fond memories of a more prosperous day for this C’ville landmark. As a kid , that was where I went to the dentist (Bushong), family doctor (Kirtley and Millis), various specialists, and to see my Dad (Wernle & Ristine). The elevator was operated by a kind gentleman who tolerated kids, and the snack counter in the lobby had gum and candy bars for 5 cents. The building did not have central air. In high school, my first part-time job was there in the Dental Arts lab operated by Don Yano.

    Also enjoyed photos of Thad on the Glee Club trip and of Yandes, which still had a dirt floor in the basement when I first saw it. Growing up on the edge of the campus had its benefits. I drove my go-kart around the cinder track that circled the football field – it was barely fast enough to outrun the angry custodians!


    Dick Ristine

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