Audio: “Elektron Building” featuring Tom Castaldi. Courtesy of WBNI-Fort Wayne.
Robert S. Walters, a partner in the firm of Barrett and McNagny’s, bought the Elektron building (also known as the Standard Building) in 1982. The Romanesque Revival building, designed by Wing and Mahurin, originally had fireplaces, high ceilings, skylights, and wood moldings and trim when it was built in 1893.
During renovation, original plaster ceiling tiles were found and were used to make molds to replicate the tiles. Fireplaces were covered, light shafts shut and a sixth floor with a conference center was added. Also added was a health center in the basement and a two story atrium with an Italian marble floor.
Duplicate doors of the originals were installed and the fireplaces that were kept have mantels and marble around them that are almost exactly like the originals. Connecting all of the floors together is the wainscoting, which is formed from vinyl and reflects the “beaded board” look that was common in the 1890s. The ambiance of the building is enhanced by time period wall sconces.
After two years of decorating and construction, Barrett and McNagny’s moved into the building in 1987.
Photos from the files of ARCH Inc.
Margolis, Jay. “Law firm restores Elektron’s glory.” The Journal Gazette. Feb. 28, 1988.