The Elkhart County, Indiana Courthouse in Elkhart (1915-1972-)

Lots of Hoosier cities are home to prominent intersections. One of the most famous is 96th Street and Hague Road just east of I-69! Elkhart -which flourished for much of the 20th century thanks to the musical instrument and RV industries- had its own landmark junction downtown: for about 45 years, the corner of 2nd and High signified the city’s prosperity and promise. 

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The Pierre Moran Mall in Elkhart: Resting -and Rusting- in Pieces

Filled with empty storefronts and deserted hallways, dead malls are a haunting reminder of a bygone era of retail. Recently, they’ve have been blowing up my social media feeds as prime locations for urban explorers to go investigate as eerie relics of the past. But what about zombie malls- establishments that have risen from the grave under new guise to continue on long after their original demise? Elkhart’s old Pierre Moran Mall is one. Known as Woodland Crossing since 2006, portions of the mall rest -and rust- in pieces. 

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The Elkhart County, Indiana Courthouse in Elkhart (1971-)

A couple of years ago, I joined the Facebook group I Grew Up in Elkhart, IN because, well, I sort of did. My dad moved to the area in the late 1990s to take a marketing job with the musical instruments conglomerate Conn-Selmer, so I grew up there for two-day biweekly periods from the age of seven or so up through my sophomore year of high school when I lived with him. I’m probably the least qualified member of that group given that it took me two decades to learn that there’s a courthouse in downtown Elkhart, but I joined it nonetheless.

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The Elkhart County, Indiana Courthouse (1871/1905-)

I think I’ve made it clear by now that Indiana has an embarrassment of impressive county courthouses, and most of the best have stood for more than a century. But there was one structure that so dominated its surrounding square that county officials decided to tone it down for the sake of the city’s skyline. Trust me- this was not a common frame of mind during Indiana’s courthouse building boom. Let’s travel up north to Goshen to take a closer look at the building that bucked the trend, as well as its unique surroundings.

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