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The National Block, Wabash, IN

The first time I saw this building (below) it was in a quintessential Second Empire decay mode. I really assumed it would be demolished but someone took control of the situation and brought it back to it's original splendor. As usual, though, it is a bit less dramatic as a pristine restoration than it was , crumbling on the verge of abandon!


"At the time of it's construction in 1876, the National Block was the most ambitious building project the city of Wabash had ever seen. The project of local businessman, William R. Collins and the First National Bank of Wabash, the structure served as the headquarters of the bank, and also contained four ground-level shops, multiple offices, and an upper story hall. Since it's completion, the building has served multiple businesses, and organizations, including a bookstore, offices for the fire department, and the Royal Arcanum Lodge. The Second Empire style National Block is three stories with a rectangular plan. It's corner diagonal entrance is thought to be the first of it's kind in Wabash. Quite notable is the Mansard roof with two towers, eight dormers and multi-colored slate. In 1998, Wabash Marketplace Inc. completed a restoration of the building to it's current appearance."


In the background, the tower of the Wabash County Courthouse can be seen.


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Uploaded on October 2, 2010