Going, going...almost gone
Every day, all year long, Indiana Landmarks works to revitalize historic structures that give our communities visible connections to their past and lend irreplaceable visual character to the streetscape. Once a year, we announce the 10 Most Endangered, a list of historic places on the brink of extinction and too important to lose.
Our 2018 entries include a college campus, an eccentric estate, an unusual barn, a basketball palace, and more. These places shape lives, and when they’re gone, they leave a void that can’t be filled.
One of the endangered structures is the Cravenhurst Barn at 1340 Michigan Road in Madison.
The Loyal Order of Moose property in Madison has an enviable pedigree. Railroad entrepreneur John Brough built the house around 1850 and sold it soon after on his way to becoming governor of Ohio. J.F.D. Lanier—a name famous for his role in shaping Madison and for the house now operated as a museum by the state of Indiana—bought it and passed it on to his daughter Drusilla Cravens. The family kept it until 1938.
The Moose bought the property in 1941 and altered the house to suit their needs. They didn’t need the Cadillac of a barn—a slate-roofed stone and wood structure with elegant arched entrances—and it has declined to a perilous state. The 1906 bank barn has an internal silo, collapsing now, and feeding chutes to main and lower levels from the grain storage floor above.
The Moose can’t afford to repair the failing roof, masonry, and siding, although member Louis Shields has almost single-handedly shored up failing timbers. With restoration, the barn would make an attractive meeting and wedding venue, but the rescue needs to come soon.