Today, Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett, Indianapolis Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Lewis Ferebee, and Purdue University President Mitch Daniels took turns standing at a podium a few yards from East Washington Street. Behind them, a Purdue University backdrop partially obscured the boarded up front entrance to the long-vacant PR Mallory building.
The 125,000-square-foot main building, was built by General Electric in 1921 on the site of the former Wonderland Amusement park, which had been leveled by fire in 1911. Having never occupied it, GE sold the building at Washington and Grey Streets to P.R. Mallory and Co. Inc. in 1924. Over the next fifty-odd years, Mallory would produced batteries at the site until the company was sold off in pieces. Today, the metal and welding product producer CMW Inc., which occupies an addition south of the original building, is the last remnant of Mallory still in operation on site.
The main building, and four smaller buildings on site, are owned by Southeast Neighborhood Development Inc. which had been simultaneously seeking redevelopment opportunities for the P.R. Mallory building while also seeking to help protect it by adding it to the National Register of Historic Places.
The placement of the Purdue Polytechnic High School within the Mallory building will help preserve and revitalize an underused historic asset on Indianapolis’ near Eastside. However, more importantly, it will help anchor the continued resurgence of Englewood and the surrounding neighborhoods, will provide an advanced technology based education for area children, and create a direct path towards college enrollment.