Some families support education, others health care, still other cancer research, but at least one is putting its wealth and weight behind historic preservation in Indiana. A decade ago, the Efroymson family headed by Lori Efroymson-Aguilera, started a fund for historic preservation projects. The Central Indiana Community Foundation (CICF) program administers the program and funds initiatives statewide. Since 1998, projects have received 156 grants totaling about $2.6 million. Most of these funds have spurred further restoration.
Volunteers in Vallonia have worked for years to save a 1914 hotel, holding fundraisers and sending out flyers. A $13,000 grant from the Efroymson Family Fund gave the group the additional leverage they needed. Now they’re still having fish-fries but the hotel’s fate is secure. Family funds have also helped save the partially dilapidated 1828 Askren House in Indianapolis, allowing officials to repair the roof and masonry, and eventually sell it after restoration was complete. Other important structures have also been saved from demolition. “I can point to landmarks that would not be standing without Efroymson support,” says Historic Landmarks’ president Marsh Davis of the Efroymson Family Fund. So if you’re in Indiana and you’re trying to save a building, now you where to go.