The building in question is actually two storefronts, which at some point in history were combined into one, and no photos can be located of the righthand storefront.
At 250 E. Main Street, the historic building that most recently housed Babb’s Upholstery and at one time was Harris’s, is going through another rebirth in its approximately 100-year life.
Stella’s Brick Oven Pizzeria and Bistro will soon take its place at the location as the newest addition to the ever-growing downtown district.
But first, owners Doug and Laurie Gottschalk are restoring the building to its original design — which, interestingly enough, is a mystery.
The building in question is actually two storefronts, and at some point in history were combined into one. Despite working with state preservation specialists, the local Main Street Batesville organization, and the Old Independence Regional Museum, no photos can be located of the right-hand storefront. Photos are usually readily available of most all downtown properties, but in the few that were located, the right-hand building is obstructed by parade floats, etc., or just out of view of the camera.
The building(s) is currently covered over in aluminum, by means of a ‘slipcover’, a method used mid-century to try to make old buildings look more modern.
The building is suspected to be stucco or brick underneath the slipcover, although stone is a possibility as well, “so removal of the metal slipcover will be imperative to determine what materials exist and what restoration will need to be done,” the Gottschalks informed the city’s Historic District Commission (HDC), the approval authority on any changes to downtown commercial buildings.
The HDC approved the removal of the current metal slipcover to further investigate the situation, and commended the Gottchalks on their thorough research of restoration standards to ensure the building is properly restored to its original state.
“We love Main Street and we want to honor these two separate facades as they are intended to be,” the owner explained of the project, which on the exterior will once again be two separate storefronts, but on the interior, will function as one large space for the pizzeria.
They have also found a supplier of original “vitro lit glass” — a type of decorative tile found on several downtown buildings, including this one. They have ordered replacement glass that will perfectly match the originals, now broken.
The project is being completed by M&A Jones Construction Company.
Once open, the Gottschalks plan to serve Neapolitan style pizza — arguably the first type of pizza made in Italy. Neapolitan style pizza eventually gave rise to American adaptations of the pizza made by Italian immigrants to the United States in the early 20th century.
Also offered will be classic Italian desserts such as pizzelles and a gelato bar.
Work is currently in progress on the building. We will post updates as they unravel!
Each year the Batesville Preservation Association (BPA) selects a small number of property owners to honor for their part in preserving unique architectural assets in the city.
At a ceremony held at The Royal on Main, a new luxury hotel downtown and the recipient of one if its 2019 preservation awards, the board of the BPA announced the full list of honorees for the year.
They are as follows:
(Recognizing long-term preservation of significant buildings)
Sleep Star Lite Building 147 South Broad Street
Built in 1929
Mission Style, reminiscent of Spanish Colonial buildings in the American southwest, with prominent feature of terra cotta tile
“We took him (the state expert) by and he said ‘that is the ultimate in Mission Style’,” Dr. Terrell Tebbetts said of the award committee’s review of the property. “They have maintained the terra cotta tile at the top, and they still have the paneled wood below the show windows.”
Owner Rodney Hall commented that the building was owned by the notable Hale family prior to his purchase of the property in 1974.
Stanley Wood Chevrolet Dealership Building 290 S. Central Avenue
Built in 1930
Mission style, reminiscent of the Spanish Colonial buildings with brickwork in a basket-weave pattern
“A couple of years ago a church approached us, and they’re using the building now,” owner Scott Wood updated. “They’ve done a lot of work to make the building better than it was and keep it going, and we hope they’re going to be there a long time. It seems to be working well for them, and they enjoy having a location that is downtown.”
“The building has been in the Wood family since 1939, so 80 years,” Myra Wood added.
The Stalker House 1580 E. Main Street
Batesville’s fullest example in Batesville of the Mid-Century International Style
“This one is a house I’d long, long admired… Scott and Stephen Stalker and sister Suzanne Magouyrk all grew up in the house, and Scott and his wife live there today,” Dr. Tebbetts said, adding that the home was a Freeman Mobley house.
“We haven’t done a lot to the outside. We remodeled the inside after we bought it after Dad passed in 2009,” Scott Stalker said, adding that his family plans to complete some exterior upkeep projects in the coming year. “We’re not going to do anything really different, but we’re going to update the paint and roof,” he described, recalling, “Suzanne was 3 and I was 2 when we moved into the house.”
The Musgrave House, owned by Karl and Terry Kemp 733 Vine Street
Ranch Style home with sleek, International style influence
“We were driving around the residential neighborhood when the state expert, Paul, noticed the Musgrave house on Vine Street. The Kemps own that and they had just put a new coat of paint on it,” Dr. Tebbetts said. “He said it’s a ranch style house, but that clean stucco surface makes it a very different type of ranch house than you normally see — more International Style. So it’s a Ranch Style with International influence. The Kemps have it now and they’ve done a wonderful job with it.”
“When we first bought the house and moved in, there was carpet all through it, and of course I knew Terry was just dying to see underneath the carpet,” Dan Kemp said. “We knew there were wood floors, but she really wanted to know what they looked like, so I guess really it was the first day, we pulled every stitch of carpet out of the house. The floors were in great shape…Mrs. Musgrave, we had been told, wanted to be able to take up the carpet if she didn’t like it. So we didn’t even have to re-finish them.”
Lyon College’s Highland House 2030 Bearette (the corner of Gwyn and Bearette)
Remodeled in the Georgian style by the Hathcock family in the 1960s
(Recognizing extensive restoration and renovation of historic buildings)
The Carly Dahl and Dustyn Bork Residence 1141 E. College
An interior renovation of the Craftsman-style McMahan Bungalow. The couple recently rebuilt the kitchen, remodeled and added baths, and installed drywall throughout the house, all while respecting and preserving the original elements of the house.
“This was the MacMahan House, and she moved to be with her daughter, and Carly and Dustyn Bork bought the house,” Dr. Tebbetts said of the recent project. “They have done a paint job on the outside, but what they’ve done on the inside is a total (rehabilitation).”
“We refinished the floors — they were beautiful, hardwood floors — and we updated (the layout) so that it went from a 4-bedroom/1-bath to a 3-bedroom/2.5-bath,” Dustyn Bork described. “We tried to keep as much of that 1921 Bungalow Arts & Crafts style because we’re big fans. There’s a lot of interesting trim, even on the ceiling, so a lot of nice architectural detail that we wanted to bring back to life.”
The Ned Metcalf Residence 679 E. Boswell Street
Remodeled at one point in the past in the Craftsman Style, owner Ned Metcalf recently completed a total restoration of the interior
The Royal on Main 187 E. Main Street
A Nineteenth-Century commercial building with a façade remodel in the Midcentury Modern style in the 1950s, the building has housed the Sterling Store and a furniture store in recent years. This year, owners Stan and Shanna Fretwell completed an adaptive reuse remodel for mixed use, with commercial space on the lower floor facing Main and suite rentals at the rear and on the second floor. The building has already received both Merit and Honor awards in the past, but was given the Special Recognition Award in honor of the hotel reuse adaptation.
“The Maxfield Building has already received Honor Award and Merit Award in the past, so we’ve run out of awards to give it!” Dr. Tebbetts explained. “But now, Stan and Shanna have done such an amazing job with this building, so occasionally the Awards Committee will give out a Special Recognition Award and this year voted to give one to the Maxfield Building, now The Royal on Main.”
“We kept everything original that we could, and re-used as much material as could, but also inside of that, we have modern amenities as well,” Stan Fretwell said. “It was a lot of late night working for a year and a half — Danny Dozier and I were working buddies, him working in the park and me working in here and we’d meet out back.”
“And a lot of the rooms are named after people who historically were connected to the building,” Shanna explained.