Goodbye, and thanks for all the cockroaches

Dateline: Wed 14 May 2014

It's soon to be last call for the old Indianapolis Star and News building at 307 N. Pennsylvania. The party/tour will take place Thursday Aug. 21 from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Former employees and other Gannett refugees are invited to attend the event, which will start off on the 6th floor.  

The news operation will then take itself to the former Nordstrom building, and the process of tearing down and turning the old newspaper digs into an apartment/retail complex will begin.

One friend tells me that siblings and former owners Myrta and Russ Pulliam will lead tours of the building, which obviously is directed towards those of us who once worked there. If you want to go, you must send an email to

RSVP is required.

Oh, so formal for what was once such a chaotic operation -- gathering news, printing it and making money to boot. Not that any of US ever cared about the latter.

Facebook followers of the Great Hoosier Daily (aka the News) have been enjoying nostalgic newsroom photos posted by former News shooter John Marshall Flora, which brings up a No. 1 concern: what becomes of the archives at the paper? I'm talking about photo negatives and everything else that was housed in the "morgue" -- the repository for clippings, pictures, and all good things.

I'm going to try to get an answer to that, and if anyone knows, please speak up.

As a pile of bricks, the Star News plant is nothing much to write about. It is not an architectural gem, although the Star's Tony Cook reported that the building has housed the state's largest newspaper for more than 100 years.

But newspaper people know the real lure is in looking the other way, as writing coach Don Fry of the Poynter Institute used to suggest -- in this case backwards in time. Many of us have happy and sometimes intense memories of our labors of love and other labors there.

I am serious about the cockroaches, and I hope nobody takes offense -- newspapers and cockroaches, after all, have a long history -- look to Don Marquis' "Archy and Mehitabel" for a tale of incipient tension. At various times, ours grew so large as to fit (one at a time) into a match box. But that's another tale, for another time.

Predicting a good turnout for "30."






Matt Stone [unverified] said:

I never worked at the Star. But when Y-Press left the Children's Museum, the Star let us into the old space for the News. Shortly after I graduated high school, Y-Press moved to the third floor of the Star building. Maybe it was because of its age, but I always found the building difficult to navigate. It took me quite a few tries before I was able to read the News destination without getting lost.

2014-05-14 10:44:32

duke young [unverified] said:

I belong to a club which once included the late Bo Conner.
About 2 years ago, he introduced a guest who had my last name - Young. Can't remember his first name. Bo said that this gentleman, a former photog for the the Star/News was archiving all of the Central Newspapers photos. I had lunch with Lyle not long after and mentioned this. I can't remember his reaction but I'll bet it was his characteristic harrrrumph.

2014-05-14 11:15:49

Anonymous [unverified] said:

The photos are being scanned and will go to the new building with us. We will still have a "morgue" in a much nicer, secured, temperature-controlled archive area.

2014-05-14 13:40:09

Timmy in Indy [unverified] said:

"The news operation will then take itself to the former Nordstrom building..."

Yikes! I guess they might get first hand coverage then if this turns out to be anything significant:

2014-05-14 17:16:51

Lynn Hopper [unverified] said:

Duke is thinking of The Mighty Joe Young,who does not give up easily!

2014-05-15 11:11:58

Dawn Mitchell [unverified] said:

I can assure all that the beloved archives of microfilm, clippings and photos are being treated with respect in ways that only a few can comprehend – they're not being chucked into a dumpster. In fact, the archives will have a secure location in the new digs. Between Cathy Knapp and myself, we have over 70 years of work in the archives and are putting that experience to good use with the Retro Indy page that not only preserves the work of our former journalists and photographers but celebrates it. And to clarify, Joe Young is not archiving our photos.

2014-05-15 13:31:26

ruthholl [Member] said:

Thanks to Dawn Mitchell and anonymous for reassuring us about the archives. That is very good news.

2014-05-16 06:33:42

Cheap Apartments In Boston [unverified] said:

Good respond in return of this matter with real arguments and telling all concerning that.

2014-05-18 08:14:15

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