The Indiana Landmarks has listed the Courtyard Inn and row houses on its 2018 Top 10 Endangered list.
The five buildings—four connected—that form the shuttered Courtyard Inn represent the earliest links to the Ohio River flatboat industry that put Rising Sun on the map. Shadrach Hathaway replaced his two-story log structure in 1827 with a brick building at the corner of Front and Fourth streets that he operated as a general store. In the 1830s, Pinckney James and Able C. Pepper constructed row houses adjacent to the mercantile, filling out the block facing the river.
The early structures help establish the visual character of the town. For many years, the buildings operated as an inn and popular restaurant that contributed to the town’s resurgence. In the stone-walled basement, adapted as a bar and banquet room, a long-collapsed tunnel to the river served as an intriguing centerpiece. The inn closed and revitalization has stalled in Rising Sun. Most of the inn’s vacant buildings suffer accelerating deterioration.
“The landmarks need a preservation-minded buyer, or several. Sold separately, the structures could return to residential use, although many bemoan the loss of the restaurant and pub that was popular with locals, tourists and casino visitors alike,” the organization’s website states.
The full 10 Most Endangered in 2018 includes one site repeating from last year’s list and nine new entries:
Cannelton Historic District, Cannelton
Commandant’s Row at Indiana Veterans’ Home, West Lafayette
The Courtyard Inn, Rising Sun
Cravenhurst Barn, Madison
Marion National Bank Building, Marion (repeat entry from 2017 list)
Muncie Fieldhouse, Muncie
North Christian Church, Columbus
Old Masonic Hall, Knightstown
Rocky Edge, Terre Haute
Saint Joseph’s College campus, Rensselaer