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IFA > Indiana Brownfields > About Brownfields > Green redevelopment in Ligonier: Former Essex Wire site Green redevelopment in Ligonier: Former Essex Wire site

Building materials from the former Essex Wire site in Ligonier in the process of being recycled.Green is the color in another northern Indiana community! Right in step with U.S. EPA’s Reuse/Recycle Initiative, the Town of Ligonier is in the process of recycling materials from demolition of buildings on the four-acre former Essex Wire brownfield site, which is planned for redevelopment as a river park and possibly the future home of a fire station. As a part of tearing down the three-story building built in 1846, the historic bricks and beams will be salvaged. By recycling valuable construction and demolition materials, only an estimated 5-10 percent of the building materials will go to a landfill. This is a great example of how thinking “green” can bring cost savings, new jobs, and community enhancement.

This small town gets big praises for its unconventional efforts as the project to recycle materials from the former Essex Wire building has been nominated for a national award from America in Bloom, a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting nationwide beautification programs and both personal and community involvement through the use of flowers, plants, trees and other environmental and lifestyle enhancements, and to providing educational programs and resources to that end. The award will be announced in Columbus, Ohio, on October 2. 

The cooperative nature of this brownfield endeavor is demonstrated by the federal, state, and local funding that has been leveraged for the project. Federal and state brownfield funds paid for the cost of demolition, site investigation, and asbestos removal. The Indiana Brownfields Program provided $75,000 in Stipulated Assessment Building materials from the former Essex Wire site in Ligonier in the process of being recycled.Grants and $100,000 in Remediation Grants and technical oversight to facilitate the successful, sustainable redevelopment of the site, and the Ligonier Redevelopment Commission provided the balance of demolition costs. For more information about this project, please contact Lynette Schrowe at 317-234-4861 or lschrowe@ifa.in.gov. Building materials from the former Essex Wire site in Ligonier in the process of being recycled.

What makes the Essex Wire deconstruction "green?"

  • 100 tons of reusable material per week – sold
  • 1.6 million bricks – sold and reused at:
    • an historic church
    • a light house on the Great Lakes
    • multi-million dollar homes in six states
  • Broken brick – utilized as landscaping material
  • Hard rock maple floor (milled 10-20 years in 1800s) – reused for hand-made banjos and fiddles with very deep rich sound
  • Oak posts – reused by furniture manufacturers across the U.S.
  • Unusable wood – mulched instead of discarded
  • 300 tons of steel, copper, aluminum, and brass – recycled
  • Conserved materials – approximately 5-10% of the building materials will go to a landfill
  • Employment sustainability –  deconstruction employed 30 local people

Project Highlights

A former Studebaker facility has been redeveloped into a new transfer/recycling station in South Bend, referred to as Green Tech Recycling (Green Tech). This is a great example of how thinking green for the environment can bring cost savings, new jobs, and community enrichment.

After a long industrial past, the former Studebaker Plant 8 facility sat vacant for 12 years. Mother Earth LLC (Mother Earth) then acquired the property in 2005 and invested $4 million for its demolition, remediation, and redevelopment. The Indiana Brownfields Program provided $45,123 in assessment and remediation grants to Saint Joseph County for the project, and the City of South Bend provided $67,000 in funding from a brownfield assessment grant that it received from the U.S. EPA.