Wednesday, February 15, 2012


Tharp Investments, which owns 5502 EastWashington Street, will be asking for permission to demolish the former Irvington Post Office and Hook's Drug Store. Tharp Investments has been responsible for the destruction of several historic buildings along Washington Street and Ritter Avenue over the years. The community has been able to thwart the company's desire for more demolition since Irvington is now a protected district. Most Irvington residents know the building for its most recent use as a blood plasma center. The corner has been the most unpopular in the neighborhood for decades. In 2002, the plasma center moved into a new building in the same block. Tharp Investments has done little to no maintenance on the vacant building for over a decade. The ravages of time are beginning to show.

Tharp Investments will appear before the Indianapolis Historic Preservation Commission on March 7, 2012, at 5:30PM to ask permission to demolish a piece of Irvington history. If you are concerned about this potentially staggering loss contact the Irvington Development Corporation, the Irvington Community Council, and plan to be present at the meeting to make your voice heard. More information will be forthcoming.


  1. I own a local business and when I inquired about renting this space I was told not to bother because the landlord is impossible to deal with. I'd love to see this building put to use, it has so much character!

  2. Thanks for this information. I agree with you! It could be a lovely building. What a shame that folks like you couldn't get ahold of the structure.

  3. I had also heard that Starbucks originally wanted this location (they usually go for a corner location on a morning traffic side) but that the owner was unreasonable so they picked a different location and built new. It's unfortunate that they couldn't have gone in there – I've seen Starbucks do some really cool stores in old historic buildings (like Alexandria in DC). If we keep tearing down these old buildings, we'll not only lose a valuable part of our historic heritage, but also lose much of the charm of Irvington.

  4. It is an impossible situation. The building is awesome but it is completely doomed. Parking is a huge issue and there are no spaces close by. I can imagine the plasma center parking lot is a massive turn off to potential tenets. The community was able to save it for a few extra years but now it just seems that the building is on its own small island with very limited uses. I’d rather that building crumble than have the plasma center use it for parking…I’m sure they can’t wait.

    1. The building is doomed only by the presence of the bloody Plasma Center - which Tharp has a million dollar lease on and that's the only reason it is still there. No one has taken a real stance against it yet. It needs to be moved by the Medical Facilities down Ritter. Tharp will ruin the corner if he is able. Walgreens had to lock up merchandise because of the Plasma Center.

  5. I think that Irvington needs to be proactive about this situation. Tharp investments does not care about the historical preservation of Irvington at all. If they did, the Plasma Center would not sit in the heart of it and be a safety issue to the school children and neighbors. I have had issues with the crackheads from that place for years. I want it moved up by the Hospital!!!!
    As long as Tharp is making money that is all that matters. I hate to see Irvington blend with the eastside instead of becoming an extension of downtown. It needs to be preserved and protected and only the historical comittees and the neighbors can keep it from being destroyed. I think he has an awful lot of nerve to attend a meeting to request to tear down an historical piece of real estate! How absurd is that? I can't be the only resident that sees the total absurdity of this situation.

  6. I agree that this situation is absurd. The building is in bad shape because the owner has allowed it to deteriorate. Now, he wants permission to tear it down because it has deteriorated? I hope that we get a strong showing of folks on March 7. I like your idea of being proactive. The rest of Washington Street is experiencing an absolute renaissance while this sad corner wastes away. We have been hostage to this company for decades. Thanks for everyone's thoughtful comments. I am so glad that we are a protected district. Tharp has been stopped once before from destroying a small cottage on Layman. Hopefully, we can rally to stop this predatory demolisher from striking again.