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FROM GRANT COUNTY JAIL TO CASTLE APARTMENTS--THE TRANSITION

The Castle is the former Grant County jail and sheriff’s residence.  The facility was designed by the Columbus, Ohio architecture firm of Clarence Richards, Joel McCarty, and George Bulford in the early 1900’s.  Unlike any other Victorian jail building in Indiana, the Grant County Jail was built in the English Tudor style (complete with turrets in the corners), while the sheriff’s residence is a Queen Anne form with English Tudor details.

The entire exterior of the building is brick with limestone accents and serves to unite the residence and jail into a continuous whole.  The jail was constructed in 1903-1904 and used as a jail until 1981.  Throughout the 1980’s and 1990’s, the facility was rapidly falling into a state of disrepair as the facility had lost a part of its roof over the former jail area.  The site was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1990.  Because of the disrepair and the difficulty of finding an appropriate reuse, the Historic Landmarks Foundation of Indiana placed the jail on its “Ten Most Endangered” list in the State of Indiana.

The Research Group, Inc. (RGI) a not for profit corporation based in Lafayette, Indiana purchased the property in 1998.  RGI proposed to transform the former Grant County Jail into a section 42 low and moderate income housing development.  RGI transformed the facility with the help of the Grant County Commissioners, the City of Marion, a local bank, the Franklin Capital Group, and the Indiana Housing Finance Authority.

The facility was completed in December 2000 and consisted of twelve 2-bedroom apartments, eleven 1-bedroom apartments, and 1 efficiency apartment.

The architecture firm responsible for the redevelopment design was H. L. Mohler & Associates, P.C., based in Lafayette, Indiana.  The jail cells from the basic structural system was used for the apartment layout in compliance with the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation.  Approximately 50% of the steel walls were incorporated into drywall to provide bedrooms and closets.

A total of $980,390 of Section 42 housing tax credits and approximately $300,000 in federal tax credits were combined with $550,000 in private money to finance the $1,830,390 project.

Main Street Marion gave the project its stakeholder award for the adaptive reuse of an existing downtown building in 2000.  Main Street Marion, Grant County Commissioner’s, and the Mayor of Marion in 2001 (William Henry) nominated the Castle Apartments project for the National Trust/HUD Secretary’s Award for Excellence in Historic Preservation in 2001.

The owner of the property did fall behind on mortgage payments and real estate taxes within 7 years of opening.  The current owners acquired the property in November 2007.

The facility now consists of 11 2-bedroom units; 11 1-bedroom units; 1 studio unit, and one office space.  We have two washers and two dryers which may be utilized by our guests at no charge.

The facility consists of two interconnected buildings, one is the former jail while one is the former sheriff’s quarters.  The bars have now been removed from the windows of the former jail area.  All units have been completely remodeled with new carpet, fresh paint, new stoves, new refrigerators, and heating systems.  Each unit has a full kitchen with built-in dishwasher.  We have also added a 16-camera video surveillance system located inside and outside of our facility.

We are located in the heart of Marion, Indiana in the downtown district.  We are located within three blocks of the new YMCA facility which opened in August 2008.  We are located within walking distance of four local restaurants.  One local restaurant will even deliver depending on the time of day.  We are one block away from the mayor’s office and the city’s public transportation system hub.  We are within two blocks of the city’s river walkway.  The river walkway winds over two miles along the river to the city’s Matter Park.

We are locally owned and operated.  For Greg Kitts, one of our owners, please call 661-6970.