Bricks from leveled Armory are in demand

The Elkhart Armory has been leveled and bricks are in high demand.
Posted on Aug. 27, 2013 at 1:00 a.m. | Updated on Aug. 27, 2013 at 6:38 p.m.

ELKHART — The Elkhart Armory has been leveled, but plenty of interest remains in obtaining some of the bricks from the downtown landmark.

Last week, Linda Trovatore and her 84-year-old mother, Nancy Miller, came to watch for a few minutes as crews continued efforts to demolish of the Elkhart Armory.

Trovatore brought along a request.

She wanted some bricks — 50 actually — that she wanted to use for the construction of a walkway at her Elkhart home. She wanted to take home a little history, she said.

While her mother sat in the car across the street last week, Trovatore ambled over to talk with Eric Zell, who is overseeing the demolition project.

Zell smiled upon hearing the request and Trovatore soon knew the answer.

No bricks today. Or tomorrow.

Trovatore is one of many wanting a piece of history.

By the third day of the project, Zell estimated he had turned down more than 100 requests while monitoring activity at the site just north of McDonald’s on North Main Street.

But Zell said the city of Elkhart plans to save a few hundred bricks and will distribute them at a later time.

The bricks are currently owned by the demolition crew, Indiana Earth Inc. of Osceola, which is expected to transport a truckload of bricks to the city in the next week or so, according to Denny Correll, the city’s brownfield coordinator.

A date for distribution has not been set yet, Correll said.

Trovatore said it was heart-wrenching to watch the demolition. She remembers when she and her mom used to shop for groceries when it was an A&P.

“It was so many things to us. We had to watch it come down. It’s kind of teary,” she said.

As of late Monday afternoon, the only part of the building still intact was the east wall that faces the Elkhart River.

By Tuesday afternoon, that was demolished as well.

The demolition crew will now focus on removing debris, much of which will be recycled.

The contract with the city requires work on the site be completed by Sept. 20. In the meantime, the city will begin looking to redevelop the property.

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