Crusader Staff Report
After a successful debut last year, the historic walking tour through Gary returns in 2018 with a broader focus. The open house and tours will include walks through the Horace Mann and Morningside neighborhoods.
The Gary Redevelopment Commission, which is coordinating the tours, is still determining which structures to include in the June and July events.
Robyn Robb, an AmeriCorps volunteer working with the Gary Planning and Redevelopment Department to organize the event, said in one news report that the tour aims to change the conversation around Gary from blight and abandonment to possibilities for the future and investment.
Robb said the tour seeks to restore the pride in Gary and encourage a new vision for the city’s future.
Guests must make a reservation to join the tour, which last year included the former post office, Gary State Bank, and City Methodist Church.
“We want to build on the successes of the inaugural tour and make it a sustainable, recurring event, encouraging people to explore and appreciate downtown and other neighborhoods,” said Sarah Kobetis, Gary’s deputy director for planning.
Since March 1, city officials have been on a crowdfunding campaign to raise $17,000 for the tours. About $5,000 has been received in donations from the Indiana American Water, Barnes & Thornburg and the Legacy Foundation Knight Donor Advised Fund.
Last year, a similar effort raised $9,250. The city then received a $7,500 matching grant from Patronicity and the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority.
Anyone wishing to donate can make tax-deductible donations to www.tinyurl.com/preservegary, or send a check to the Legacy Foundation, care of Gary Preservation Tour, at 1000 E. 80th Place, Suite 402N, in Merrillville.