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Date:  April 13, 2009
Media Contact:
Lauren Hammond

Carmel Redevelopment Commission Preserves Legacy of Historic Town Landmarks with Commemorative Plaques
by Erin K. Witt

April 23, 2009

CARMEL, IND. – As the future face of the Carmel Arts & Design District emerges from construction dust, a joint effort by the Carmel Arts Council and the Carmel Redevelopment Commission is honoring another landmark of Old Town Carmel’s past.

On Friday, May 1, at 6 p.m., a new marker will be unveiled at Two West Main, current home of Serendipity Tea Room by Occasions Divine. The newest addition to the growing collection of historic plaques displayed in the Arts & Design District will be commemorated after the conclusion of May Day Tea, a fundraiser for the Carmel Clay Historical Society hosted by Serendipity.

Two West Main was selected for its long and colorful community history. The location dates back to 1829, when French fur trader John Brouillet used the site as a trading post to serve the indigenous American Indians. A house on that site burned down in the 1913 Carmel business fire.  The current building was completed in 1923 to house Citizens State Bank. The building was leased by Tottelban Drug Store in the 1930s, until the business — and its busy soda fountain — was purchased by John Brown and renamed Brown’s Drug Store in 1938. The downtown hotspot would remain at Two West Main until 1954.

The building was used by Union State Bank until 1972, when it became home to several insurance agencies until its purchase by Mr. and Mrs. Curtis Butcher in 1985. The building was restored to its former glory in 1996, when the Butchers remodeled the first floor using marble and mosaic floors, installed chandeliers from the L.S. Ayres Tea Room, exposed detailed moldings and added the 100-year-old double doors from the old Morrison Opera House in downtown Indianapolis.

Two West Main is a location that’s not only beautiful, but full of memories for many Old Town Carmel residents,” said Doreen Squire-Ficara, executive director of the Carmel Arts Council and author of all historical plaques. “With so many new architectural changes underway in the District, we feel it’s increasingly important to preserve the landmarks that made our community great.”

The plaque erected at Two West Main joins markers recognizing Carmel’s First Library, the Carmel Theater, Carmel’s First Silent Film Theater and Carmel's First Doctor’s Office. A sixth plaque will be unveiled on Friday, May 22, during the Indy 500 Gallery Walk. In the future, walking tours of these and other historical sites will be made available to visitors in the Carmel Arts & Design District.  
For more information on the May Day Tea at Serendipity and festivities preceding the plaque unveiling at Two West Main, visit http://www.carmelclayhistory.org/maydaytea.htm. Or, to learn more about the Carmel Arts & Design District and its galleries, eateries and merchants, visit www.carmelartsanddesign.com or call 317.571.ARTS.

The Carmel Arts & Design District is the Midwest’s newest, premier setting for the arts and design industry. Already it has attracted well over 100 businesses, including art galleries, antique dealers, furniture and interior design showrooms, even a race track design company! There are restaurants, boutiques, creative service providers, and an eclectic variety of specialty retail stores. And the list of merchants continues to grow.

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