By Stephanie Gadlin, Special to the Gary Crusader
Gary resident, Tyrell Anderson has been honored by the National Trust’s “40 Under 40: People Saving Places” program for his efforts to restore and preserve local communities.
Anderson, an avid green urbanism volunteer in his community, photographer, husband, and father, is president and founder of Decay Devils Inc., a three-year-old nonprofit organization. Its mission is to educate the general public about the historic and social importance of abandoned architectural structures, as well as to seek out and secure funding to restore and preserve abandoned historic structures through local communities and the world.
Anderson graduated from Purdue University Lafayette with a bachelor’s degree in Industrial Technology, and works for the U.S. Steel Corporation. He also currently sits on The Gary Public Library’s administrative board. The Decay Devils is a leader of the movement in restoring unoccupied historical buildings and landmarks around the world. It hopes to reinstate a sense of pride and beauty in neglected areas by making repairs and blending the old relics with modern-day infrastructures. It expects to create multiple revenue streams off of these refurbished places to further the restoration and preservation of other historical sites.
One of Anderson’s flag ship projects is the Gary Union Station, built in 1910 and located between the elevated lines of the Lake Shore and Michigan Southern Railway and Baltimore and Ohio Railroad. According to Decay Devils, through the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation Donor Advised Fund from the Legacy Foundation, the organization was able to preserve the historic site by creating “an aesthetically-pleasing exterior and a safe, park like area for the public to use.”
On Saturday, May 5th at 9 a.m., the Decay Devils will hold a spring clean up event at Union Station, at 4th and Broadway.
The 40 Under 40: People Saving Places program honors movers and shakers—all age 40 and under—from a variety of backgrounds and industries. “These innovators are expanding our view of what it means to save places and tell America’s full history,” the organization noted.
All honorees were chosen by the National Trust for their significant impact on historic preservation and related fields such as architecture, community activism, storytelling, and business, as well as for their contributions to the public’s understanding of why places matter.