New Historical Building Planned Downtown LaPorte

The La Porte County Public Library is pleased to announce that a new name has been chosen for the old telephone switchboard building at 807 Indiana Avenue that was donated to the library about 5 years ago for expansion. The Board of Trustees approved the name “LPCPL Exchange: Connecting People and Ideas” at its May 21 meeting.

“The new name pays tribute to the building’s history as a telephone exchange while communicating its new purpose as a place for the community to come together and share ideas,” said library director Fonda Owens.

Architectural plans by Fort Wayne-based MKM architecture + design include three levels of flexible and multi-use space suitable for a variety of community meetings, classes and events, along with specialized areas for artisans and makers. 

  • Main level: Collaboration space, video and recording studios, meeting rooms. 
  • Upper level: Maker space areas, including fiber arts, woodworking, digital fabrication and 3-D printing; program space; a large meeting room. 
  • Lower level:  Staff offices, storage space. 

The goal is to begin construction by July, with the buildout completed in 2021. Historic aspects of the building will be preserved, including the arch-shaped south-facing windows that had been bricked in, and the original “TELEPHONE” sign over the main street-level entry. The interior will boast an industrial look featuring exposed ductwork, overhead garage door, polished concrete floors, and existing concrete columns, while incorporating contemporary design, colorful wayfinding graphics and the latest technology. The building will also be ADA-accessible.

Please watch laportelibrary.org and follow our social media accounts for up-to-date information.

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Sue Baxter