When the brick edifice at 302 Ferry, now known as the MacDonald-Underwood building, was constructed (1884-1885) it was used as a grain mill by the LaFayette Milling Co. Today more that a decade after its last business moved out, it stands as one of the community's most unique renovation projects. Now where flour was once ground, flour is being made into pizza dough. Banking is being done; and several local firms, led by MacDonald Classified Services, call it home.
For many years, things didn't look so good for the old Lafayette Milling Company building. The Kirby Risk Company aquired the building in 1940 and used it until 1981 when they outgrew the site. The building suffered abused from the weather. Rain had worn holes in the roof and had rotted the floors. No one wanted to see the handsome building torn down, but no one had a good use for it either. But Craig Graham and Pat MacDonald, two Lafayette businessmen, needed more space for their businesses and felt the urge to work magic on the old building. With the help of a third partner, R. W. Byrd, they bought the building and poured $2.5 million into its rebirth.
Vast brick walls and tall arched windows provide unparalleled ambiance for modern offices filled with antiques and computers. Massive foot thick oak beams and cast iron joists, the building's support system, are left in full view, contrasting with sleek walls that carve out contemporary working spaces. New woodwork mirrors the beveled chamfer cut of ancient timbers. Keystones on the stair rails and newel posts echo the shape of the steeply pitched roof. Antique stained glass windows salvaged from demolished churches and memorabilia such as wooden pulley wheel covers from the old mill's past, mix happily with the fine framed art that decorates the walls.
In the basement, oak timbers line the ceiling of a restaurant with a cozy hideaway atmosphere.
In a loft tucked under the high pitched roof, the highly textured roof's wooden infrastructure offer visual stimulation to the team of artists who use the space.
From the roof patio, one finds a fantastic view of the Wabash valley.
|Legal Description of the Property|
|156-06000-0459||parts of 69, 70, 71 original city plat|