Would you save historic Noblesville grain elevator?

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By Lindy Thackston

NOBLESVILLE, IN (June 16, 2015) - If you live in Hamilton County, you're probably familiar with the old grain elevator in Noblesville.

It's about to be torn down, but some residents are calling for demolition to be put on hold.

"It could be anything or it might not be worth saving, but I just think we should talk about it before it’s too late," said Emily Compton, Noblesville Preservation Alliance. "It could be restaurants, apartments, condos, shops, bars, anything. It may be ugly now, but it’s iconic for our town."

The Noblesville Preservation Alliance, Hamilton County Historical Society, and the Hamilton County Area Neighborhood Development are three of the groups hoping to look for an alternative to completely tearing down the major piece of Noblesville history.

It's the last mill in the old milling town. It was built in the early 1900's. You can see downtown Indianapolis from the top of the structure.

"We are the Millers," said Dottie Young, Hamilton County Historical Society. "The people that built that mill, the Jenkins family, they gave money for the first basketball uniforms for the team and so we became the Millers."

"We have this mentality, well we don’t know what to do with it, let’s just tear it down, instead of thinking about how we can remake that or rethink it or get outside the box of what’s always been done and do something different," she said.

It was full of grain until a couple months ago, but that was the final harvest.

The North Central Co-Op (NCC) now owns it and plans to tear it down. The silos are already being torn down.

"Visually I love the concrete silos but I’m just going to have to cut that out of my memory bank, just let it go," said Compton. "The other structure, the oldest part, if it goes, it’s a loss of potential."

Compton and Young say the NCC seems open to talking about different options. The NCC declined to comment to FOX 59.

"People talk about how they used to play baseball in the open field that was there and people who live in the neighborhood, they've looked at that and heard that hum their whole life and it just seems so sad to me because from anywhere you are in town, you can see that and it’s going to change the entire landscape and now it’s going to be nothing," said Young.

"It could be a lot of things. Give us time to figure out what to do with it."

"The City Council just passed a riverfront development district," said Compton. "This sits just on the outside of that. It would be a lot better to me to have a building redeveloped that shows where we are instead of just something generic."

The next step is to get everyone interested in talking about alternatives to tearing it down all together. Contact the Noblesville Preservation Alliance by clicking here or the Hamilton County Historical Society by calling 317-770-0775 if you want to get involved.

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