Indiana Cotton Mill History

Indiana Cotton Mill
Historic photo of the Indiana Cotton Mill

In 1998, at the request of local community leaders including the Perry County Chamber of Commerce, Lincoln Hills Development Corporation (LHDC) became involved in efforts to preserve the Indiana Cotton Mill.  In 1999, LHDC purchased the mill, and adjoining property, and transferred the property to its subsidiary, Cotton Mill Apartments, Inc. and began efforts to preserve, rehabilitate and convert the mill into 70 units of affordable rental housing.

After over 3 years of painstaking efforts, LHDC – with the assistance of numerous partners, investors and supporters – was successful in preserving this National Historic Landmark for the enjoyment of future generations.  At the time LHDC became involved in the project, the Indiana Cotton Mill was ranked the #1 Most Endangered Historic Landmark in the state by the Historic Landmarks Foundation of Indiana.

LHDC has won numerous awards for its work in preserving and restoring the Indiana Cotton Mill, including:

The Governor’s Award for Excellence in Affordable Housing
Presented by :  Indiana Housing Finance Authority

Community Impact Award
Presented by:  Perry-Spencer Step Ahead Council

Judge’s Special Award of Excellence
Presented by:  The Associated Builders and Contractors of Indiana

Indiana Cotton Mill
Indiana Cotton Mill in 2000 (Before)

Honorable Mention for Indiana Achievement Award in Innovation
Presented by:  The Sycamore Foundation

Regional Historic Preservation Award
Presented by:  Historic Landmarks Foundation of Indiana

Project of the Year Award
Presented by:  Indiana Association for Community Economic Development

National Preservation Award
Presented by:  National Trust for Historic Preservation

Outstanding Adaptive Reuse Award
Presented by:  Indiana Department of Natural Resources/Division of Historic Preservation and Archeology


Indiana Cotton Mill in 2003 at the completion of the renovation project.
Indiana Cotton Mill in 2003 at the completion of the renovation project.

National Trust Honors LHDC for Mill Project
October 27, 2003

The accolades keep coming for Lincoln Hills Development Corporation (LHDC) and the Indiana Cotton Mill. On October 2, 2003 the National Trust for Historic Preservation recognized Lincoln Hills Development Corporation, and others who partnered in the mill’s restoration, with its National Preservation Honor Award. LHDC Executive Director, Larry K. Kleeman, and Deputy Director, Gary Zellers, were in Denver, CO to accept the award during the National Trust’s annual conference. LHDC’s was one of only 21 national awards presented by the National Trust this year, in recognition of its successful efforts to preserve, rehabilitate and convert the mill into seventy (70) units of affordable rental housing.

“The Indiana Cotton Mill illustrates how the restoration of historic structures can revitalize economic viability to communities and provide safe affordable housing for residents,” said Richard Moe, president of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. “The folks who worked on this project have not only brought new life to the historic mill, they have revitalized the entire Cannelton community.” Co-nominees honored with LHDC and the City of Cannelton were Spencer County Bank, Geneva Capital Group, Bloomfield State Bank, Alliant Asset Management, Perry County Community Foundation, Federal Home Loan Bank of Indianapolis, Build Indiana Fund, Indiana Department of Commerce, Neighborhood Assistance Program, Indiana Housing Finance Authority, Indiana Department of Natural Resources, National Park Service, Midwest Regional Office, Brandt Construction Inc., Ratio Architects Inc., and Pioneer Development Services Inc.

LHDC Executive Director, Larry K. Kleeman, said  “on behalf of our board of directors and staff, and our many partners on the project, I am honored to accept this award. To the best of my knowledge, this is the first national award that LHDC has ever received in recognition of the important work that we do.”