The Terre Haute couple with a knack for restoring old buildings is taking on yet another project.
Al Ruckriegel and David Adams are responsible for the restoration on the iconic Ohio Building, as well as the creation of the Lofts at Haute Maison.
With the economic impact the couple has already had, downtown officials and residents are eager to see what businesses and tenants the restored 119 S. 7th Street building will attract.
Danna Andreas, owner of Ciao Bella Salon, has been working next to the 119 building for two years.
She says she’s happy to see new life in a once empty building.
“Being downtown and seeing how people are finally restoring some of the old buildings and not tearing them down and making new construction, it’s good for the economy,” she said. “That people in Terre Haute are putting money back in to Terre Haute and cleaning up what we already have.”
Ruckriegel and Adams were inspired to take on 119 after finishing work at Haute Maison.
Ruckriegal says the two wanted to bring more beauty to the 7th Street block.
“We wanted this whole area, because of that building being so nicely done,” he said. “We wanted this building to be a part of that area project.”
The couple hope to open five lofts, retail space and a garage to residents by fall of 2020.
“Al and I are very proud to restore these old buildings and bring them back to life and it’s really what we enjoy to do,” said Adams.
Built in 1904, 119 has seen the evolution of automation with Terre Haute’s first auto dealer, John S. Cox.
“They actually built automobiles,” explained Adams. “In the ’30s this was part of the first rental car business.”
The two have a track record for keeping the bones of a structure alive, and in 116 they plan to sow off several Carnegie Steel beams.
“We knew there was a large steel beam under the canopy that we just took off and it’s gorgeous and it’s gonna be part of the exterior,” said Ruckriegel.
City officials are optimistic this growth will inspire others to invest in downtown.
“When people like Al and Dave that are well respected and great business men,” explained Terre Haute Chamber of Commerce Director of Membership and Communication Katie Shane. “When they invest in our community and our downtown it gives people confidence to do the same.”
119 is currently in the demolition phase, and the couple hopes to have blueprints for the project by October.