Muncie mayor halts demolition of historic mansion

File photo of J.C. Johnson House
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Muncie's mayor has granted a reprieve to a historic fire-damaged mansion the central Indiana city had slated for demolition.

Mayor Dennis Tyler had faced pressure from his staff to proceed with demolition of the J.C. Johnson House. His predecessor had earmarked $22,000 in federal funds to raze the 1890s brick and limestone residence, which was left roofless and exposed to the elements by a 2007 fire.

The home built by Civil War veteran and Muncie businessman J.C. Johnson is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

But Muncie's historic preservation officer Bill Morgan says it will cost an estimated $70,000 to replace the home's roof and stabilize it.

He tells the Star Press the roofless, damp mansion has become a "huge historic sponge."

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