Sunday, December 8th, 2019

Center adds touches to the historic building

Posted: Wednesday, November 21, 2018

By Sydni Fife, Intern, Town & Country Flowers
Huntington University Broadcast Major

From a glamorous hotel in the 1920s to an affordable retirement facility today, the LaFontaine Center in downtown Huntington is adding to its already extensive history of renovations.

Originally built in 1925, the historic building was a high-end hotel that had guests such as Henry Ford and Amelia Earhart. Through collaborating with the Historic Landmarks Foundation of Indiana, decades later the LaFontaine Center is a part of the Retirement Housing Foundation, a non-profit organization that “provides housing and services for older adults, persons with disabilities, and low-income families.” The facility is considered an “affordable senior living community.” This means that it has been designed for persons over the age of 62 who meet an income requirement as well as persons over the age of 18 who are mobility impaired. www.lafontainecenter.org.

Recently, the LaFontaine Center has been making changes to improve the visual appearance of the facility such as painting bathrooms and adding potted plants and a flower arrangement to the lobby decor. Although the building has gone through several changes over time, it still has the grand staircase leading up to the fountain in the lobby as well as the ballroom and other aspects of the Grand Hotel it once was.

Shannon Zuercher, the secretary of the historic preservation organization Huntington Alert, believes that continuing to preserve and utilize parts of the past is important in creating Huntington’s identity.

“Historic preservation plays a key role in providing a ‘sense of place’ here in Huntington, distinguishing Huntington from other communities,” says Zuercher. “Places like the Sunken Gardens, the LaFontaine Center, and now the UB-IOOF Building have all undergone preservation efforts that residents of Huntington take pride in.”

Shown in the photo is a bouquet of flowers that were placed in the lobby of the LaFontaine Center by Jeannie Myers, owner of Town & Country Flowers.