United Hebrew Congregation Terre Haute is preparing for guests this weekend, as Temple Israel makes its debut on the Farrington’s Grove Holiday Tour, 2-6 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 4.
The bi-annual tour marks the 40th anniversary of Farrington’s Grove Historical District, founded in 1976 under the sponsorship of the Terre Haute Redevelopment Department to promote preservation and improvement of the neighborhood’s historic homes.
Attorney and state senator James Farrington founded the community in 1841. The eight sites on the tour date from 1860 to 1928 and include a variety of architectural styles.
The Neo-Classical Temple Israel at 540 S 6th St., designed by Simeon B. Eisendrath of Chicago and built in 1911, is one of the newer buildings on the tour. The Italianate Vigo County Historical Museum at 540 S. 6th St., dating to about 1868, is the oldest.
Kaylynn Sanders of Farrington’s Grove Historical District met Betsy Frank about a year ago at a Temple open house. Betsy advised Sanders the congregation is seeking to become more involved in the community and Sanders extended an invitation to join the tour.
Betsy Frank advised Kaylynn Sanders the congregation is seeking to become more involved in the community and Sanders extended an invitation to join the tour.
“This is the biggest home tour we’ve had in my memory. The hard part is convincing people to open their homes. We have some real treasures from the neighborhood on the tour this year. We consider the Temple one of them.” Sanders says.
Though the Temple will likely be the only site on the tour lacking Christmas decorations, “it’s beautiful as it is,” Sanders says.
Sanders expects 100-300 visitors for the event, depending on weather. She and husband Dan moved into their Queen Anne-style 1893 home at 800 S. Sixth St., included in this year’s tour, in 2000, and have since taken a great interest in the community.
“We have quite a bit of blight in Farrington’s Grove. We’re surrounded by properties that need help. It’s a fight that’s going to take a long time to win but we’re really beginning to see some progress,” she says.
“We have some real treasures from the neighborhood on the tour this year. We consider the Temple one of them.”
“There are more young people moving in — people who re watching HGTV and are interested in doing an old house renovation. A lot of people could have chosen to live somewhere less challenging but they have chosen to take on the challenge right here in the city.”
The historical district has expanded its efforts through a new organization called Farrington Renaissance, which includes Farrington’s Grove Historical District board members, representatives from Indiana State University and community leaders.
“The Farrington Renaissance group has an objective to obtain blighted property, fix it up and sell it to a single-family owner and use the profits to buy another piece of property,” Sanders says.
Renovation on the first donated property, a Queen Anne/Shingle-style home at 1132 S. 7th at Cruft, has begun. That home will be featured on the tour as an example of residents’ commitment to save their community.
“A lot of people could have chosen to live somewhere less challenging but they have chosen to take on the challenge right here in the city.”
That history is worth saving. “A lot of these homes have the original carriage houses. You can see the old posts with the rings where horses were tied up,” Sanders says. “This could be one of the showplace historic districts someday.”
Visitors can purchase $10 tour tickets at Vigo County Historical Museum or during the tour at any of the sites.
Addresses on the Farrington’s Grove Holiday Tour include:
- Temple Israel, 540 S. Sixth St., Neo-classical style, built in 1911.
- Lenderman, 615 S. Sixth St., Free Classic style, built in 1905.
- Sanders residence, 800 S. Sixth St., Queen Anne style, built in 1893.
- Lenderman-Red Brick Real Estate LLC, 805 S. Sixth St., Italianate style, built circa 1860.
- Matt Woolley residence, 903 S. Center St., Queen Anne/Romanesque Revival style, built in 1897.
- Paul and Krissy Jungers residence, 1200 S. Sixth St., Georgian or Colonial Revival style, built in 1928.
- Vigo County Historical Museum, 1411 S. Sixth St., Italianate style, built circa 1868 (closes at 5 p.m.).
- Renaissance remodel, 1132 S. Seventh St., Queen Anne/Shingle style, built in 1890.