Hotel in Washington Damaged By Fire
Story Created: Jul 10, 2007 at 2:56 PM EDT
WASHINGTON, Ind. — Fire damaged a nearly 130-year-old
hotel early Tuesday, forcing city officials to rethink
redevelopment plans for the run-down structure that
will now need to be demolished.
No one was injured in the fire at the long-vacant
Meredith House Hotel in downtown Washington. The three-story
building, constructed around 1880, is listed on the
National Register of Historic Places as part of the
city's commercial historic district but had fallen
Fire Chief Dave Chapman said firefighters worked
to protect other buildings on the block because they
knew the Meredith House would be heavily damaged from
the fire, which was spotted by a police officer about
2 a.m. Firefighters did not go inside the building
because of the already-existing dangerous conditions.
Chapman said the fire was regarded as suspicious
as investigators searched for what could have started
the fire as building had no working utilities.
Charles Selby, executive director of the Daviess
County Chamber of Commerce, was scheduled to visit
Indianapolis Tuesday to meet with architects and developers
to discuss plans for restoring the building in the
city about 50 miles north of Evansville.
"It's a loss of a historical treasure, and it
would have been a major portion of our downtown redevelopment,"
Selby said. "We're not going to give up."
Chapman said the structure is unstable and that officials
were planning to tear the building down. Selby said
developers may still be interested in the city's downtown
but may have to find another building.
In 2006, the hotel was listed as endangered by the
Historic Landmarks Foundation of Indiana.