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Joint adventure

The old Corydon Republican newspaper office, former Corydon National Bank and Quilters Garden building on the square in Corydon is undergoing another change.
Marcus Burgher III and his son, Marcus Burgher IV, plan to move their law office on East Chestnut Street at considerable expense to the old newspaper office and bank building on Elm Street. The location looks on to the southeast corner of the town square.
The move is not something the Burghers took on lightly or quickly. They are leaving a good location and comfortable two-story law office building that the elder Burgher purchased in 1984. They wanted to increase the size of their office, give the secretaries more private space, and eliminate a long, steep stairway to the second floor lawyers’ offices that’s difficult for some clients.
The Burghers looked at a couple of other properties around Corydon but found what they wanted just around the corner in the building owned by Larry Bennett. They signed the purchase agreement in January. The Burghers liked the idea of staying downtown to be close to other businesses around the Harrison County Court House and the historic First State Capitol, said Burgher IV, who added that ‘I hate to see an old downtown die.’
They figure that their restoration project will be a big plus for downtown revitalization and show support for the ‘big commitment’ county government made when it restored the county courthouse and continues extensive remodeling of the old county jail building.
‘They’re not gonna leave,’ said Burgher IV.
The newspaper and bank building will provide lots of first-floor space (2,800 square feet) and the option of creating a second floor in the back with 1,200 more square feet for storage should they want or need it. There’s room for employee parking in the rear.
The 30-by-90-foot space has been gutted and concrete floors poured last month where printing presses once stood. The building is being completely remodeled by Bob Bowsman Construction. Burgher IV figures the restoration itself will run between $250,000 and $300,000 and should be done before the end of the year.
The law office will have a definite historic look and feel. Burgher IV said they may strip the paint off the brick and sandstone pillars and leave it. The old concrete bank vault with a massive door and round ceiling will be restored and kept in the office. New doors and windows will be installed in the front. Some of the windows will be stained glass and may contain the names and dates of previous businesses.
There may also be display cases of some of the historic items they have come across in the building, like pointed light bulbs from the early 1900s, lead type from the Linotype machines, a check register from the 1880s, old discount and interest rate books found in the attic.
The Corydon Republican office was once located where Abigail’s Griffin Building Antique Mall is located now on Beaver Street. It moved to the Elm Street location in 1913.
Burgher IV said the office will have four offices on the first floor, areas for two secretaries and a kitchen.
‘It was a big commitment, but the more we talked about it, the more we wanted to do it,’ Burgher IV said.
Sean Hawkins, community development manager for the Harrison County Convention and Visitors Bureau, said Monday, ‘It’s a sign that the downtown is a good investment and a good place to do business, and, most importantly, we hope that the improvements that the Burghers make snowball to the properties to the north and south.’