Sunday, September 26th, 2021

Arts Center in UB Block scheduled to open soon

Posted: Friday, August 2, 2019

The Arts Center will be home to classes for fledgling artists along with studio and gallery space for practicing artists, explains Katy Strass, who stepped in as Arts Center director in March. The downtown area near the Arts Center, west of the building, will be brightened by murals.

The center is a joint project of Pathfinder Services, the City of Huntington and the AP Development Group, the Indianapolis-based real estate development company that is overseeing the rehabilitation of the UB Block on Franklin Street across from the Huntington County Courthouse. The Arts Center will have space on the first two floors of the UB Block. The building will also include 37 market rate apartments.

Gallery and exhibit space will allow local artists to display and sell their work. Local artists will also be able to rent private studios.

The $8.5 million rehabilitation of the UB Block began in the spring of 2018. The block is made up of three buildings, two that originally belonged to a fraternal organization known as the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, and the third serving as home to the United Brethren Church’s publishing business.

The first IOOF building was constructed in 1889, and the other two buildings followed in 1915. UB Publishing eventually grew into all three buildings, but ceased operations in 1981. The buildings deteriorated and, by 2013, were targeted for demolition.

A community campaign to save the building was successful, and local, state, federal and Regional Cities’ monies were secured to help fund the project.

A tour of the building is planned for Saturday, August 17 from 2 to 5 p.m. Tickets are $5 for members of Indiana Landmarks, and $10 for the general public. For more information contact Indiana Landmarks at (317) 639-4534.

The photo shows the newly installed large new storefront windows on the first floor of the building.