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The Spring, Emerson & Company Building has stood on North Third Street since 1878, just north of the Earl and Hatchers block (also a Clio entry). The four-story brick building was faced in stone sometime in the twentieth century. The first business to occupy the structure was a stationers known as Spring and Lingle, a printing firm that was established in 1845. The printing and book binding company outgrew the space and moved elsewhere in downtown Lafayette after 1885 and by 1892; the building was left vacant. A bowling alley and billiards hall occupied the Spring, Emerson & Company Building in 1899.

  • Bowling alley and billiards in Spring, Emerson & Co. Building in 1899 (14 N. Third St.; Sanborn Map Company p. 14)
  • Detail from title page of 1889 book printed by Spring, Emerson & Co. (Finding Lists of the Lafayette Public Library)
  • Spring, Emerson & Co. building vacant on 1892 Sanborn map (43 Third St., Sanborn Map Company p. 3)

The business that first occupied the new Spring, Emerson & Company Building in 1878 had been in business since 1845. The book binders and printers known as Spring and Lingle had become the Spring-Emerson Company in the 1880s after W.H. Emerson joined the firm in 1881. The four-story brick building contained printing machinery on the second floor in 1885, with a bindery on the third story and a stock room on the fourth floor; the building's address was 5 Third Street on the 1885 Sanborn map of town.

The printing business outgrew the space at the Spring, Emerson & Company Building and moved elsewhere downtown by 1892. The Spring, Emerson & Company Building was vacant on an 1892 fire insurance map of town (see the map clip below). One of the original partners, William F. Spring, was still associated with the printing company at the time of his death in 1890 at age sixty-six. Max A. Spring, William's son, became vice president of the company. The company moved again by 1892, to a location one-half block north of the Spring, Emerson & Company Building. The firm was described in a trade journal in 1893 as occupying "magnificent quarters at the corner of Third and Columbia streets" opposite the public square. The Spring, Emerson & Company Building contained a bowling alley and billiards hall by 1899 (see the map clip below).

The building is within the Downtown Lafayette Historic District, listed in the National Register in 1980. At that time, the structure was known as the CETA Building. The Italianate style building features pressed metal decorations, some of which date to the late 1870s. Most of the building has been converted into condominium apartments, now known as City Lofts. The ground floor commercial space was leased by Steel Edge Erectors, a local construction company; they have since moved to a town to the north.

Anonymous. Trade Items. The American Stationer, vol. 41(9):337 - 342. Published March 4th 1897. Google Books.

Anonymous. New Corporations. The American Stationer, vol. 41(22):874. Published June 3rd 1897. Google Books.

L.S.D. Lafayette [from our regular correspondent]. The American Stationer, vol. 33(7):322 - 324. Published February 16th 1893. Google Books.

Mohler, Harry. Kent Schuette. William Bula. NRHP Nomination Form for Downtown Lafayette Historic District. National Register. Washington, DC. National Park Service, 1980.

Sanborn Map Company. Sanborn Fire Insurance Map of Lafayette, Tippecanoe County, Indiana. New York, New York. 1885, 1892, and 1899.

SteelEDGE Erectors. Services, SteelEDGE Erectors. January 1st 2020. Accessed April 27th 2020.

Image Sources(Click to expand)

Google Books