Preservation group sues historic commission


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Pendleton - A local group of preservationists have taken their issues with a decision by the Pendleton Historic Preservation Commission to Madison County court in hopes of saving an old, empty schoolhouse.

Historic Fall Creek, Pendleton Settlement Inc. filed suit, requesting a judicial review of the HPC’s  2-1 decision Aug. 20 to allow the demolition of the structure — the former Pendleton Middle School — by granting South Madison Community School Corp. a Certificate of Appropriateness.

The certificate allows the school district to demolish the building known to many as “the highrise,” located at 301 East St. The building was constructed in 1936 with federal New Deal monies and previously served as Pendleton High School. It has been unused for several years.

Historic Fall Creek, Pendleton Settlement Inc. President Kevin Kenyon said the group’s board did not agree with the decision to tear the building down.

“It’s not really a lawsuit, it’s just questioning the process that was used to arrive at the decision to tear down the building,” Kenyon said. “We do not agree with the decision and, as a board, decided to support this claim.”

HPC President Robert Jones, who was one of the two members who voted to grant the certificate, said attorneys have advised the board not to discuss the lawsuit.

 

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