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Indiana city’s ornate ex-library to become luxury apartments

February 27, 2021 GMT

MICHIGAN CITY, Ind. (AP) — A northern Indiana city’s ornate former library building will be transformed into luxury apartments under plans drafted by a developer who’s lined up an investor for the project.

Mike Conner with @properties said the project will revive the original Michigan City Library, a blue limestone building that opened in 1897 in the city’s downtown. The landmark building was designed by Reed & Stern, the same architecture firm that designed New York City’s Grand Central Station.

“To me there is not a more beautiful, architecturally significant property in all of Michigan City,” Conner told The (Northwest Indiana) Times.

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The building boasts a neoclassical facade, a grand staircase, a marble interior, a columned portico and marble-clad fireplace. It also features 2-foot-tall Tiffany-style stained glass windows depicting the Shakespeare characters Ophelia, Portia and Rosalind.

The library closed in 1977 and was replaced that year by the city’s current library, an architectural landmark of its own designed by the world-renowned architect Helmut Jahn.

The original library was sold to the Blank family in 1978 to keep the grand building with opulent chamber rooms open as a public space.

It then became the Blank Center for the Arts, until that center closed in 2002 in the city that’s located along Lake Michigan about 50 miles (80 kilometers) east of Chicago.