Clarksville Moves Forward with Condemnation of Historic Colgate Plant

CLARKSVILLE, IN (June 8, 2022) –The Town Council of Clarksville, Indiana, passed a resolution Tuesday night, allowing Town staff and attorneys to move forward with condemnation for the abandoned Colgate plant located at 1410 South Clark Boulevard. Known in the region for the prominent Colgate clock, the site once housed the State of Indiana’s first prison, and has been acknowledged on the National Register of Historic Places.

The Town plans to use eminent domain against Clarks Landing Enterprise Investments LLC to acquire, protect, and reuse the historic site. The sites once housed Colgate-Palmolive plant but has sat mostly empty since the company relocated in 2008. In 2011, it was purchased by Boston  Development Group LLC. In 2014, the property was transferred to Clarks Landing Enterprise Investments LLC, a company controlled by the same ownership group as Boston Development. After unanimously approving the resolution, members of the Clarksville Town Council released a joint statement regarding the decision:

“Since the historic prison site more commonly known as “Colgate” was acquired more than 11 years ago, we have witnessed the depreciation and degradation of one of the Town’s most iconic historic sites. The former prison and reformatory has been recognized by the National Park Service on the National Register of Historic Places, which includes notable examples such as the Benjamin Harrison Presidential Site in Indianapolis, the Corydon Capitol State Historic Site in Corydon, and the Culbertson Mansion State Historic Site in New Albany. Instead of being saved and celebrated like these other Indiana landmarks, we have instead been forced to bear witness as the site becomes more dilapidated and blighted with each passing year.

Once touted as the key driver for multiple redevelopment plans in South Clarksville, these buildings now serve only as eyesores. The Clarksville Redevelopment Commission has made multiple attempts to negotiate incentive packages with current ownership to help develop the site, including master plans and new infrastructure (roads, utilities, etc.), and we have waited with patient anticipation for the restoration and development to occur. After 11 years, our excitement has understandably diminished.

We did not make this decision lightly. Condemnation is always used as a last resort, and we have exhausted all other options. If we allowed for the site to continue to degrade for another 11 years it would likely require demolition. We want to preserve and enjoy our history, we do not want to see it relegated solely to pictures and stories. Given the circumstances, the Town of Clarksville needs to take control and protect this property for future generations. We are looking forward to moving ahead with acquisition and saving this property for all Clarksville citizens, Southern Indiana residents, and for all within the Greater Louisville Metro Area.”

Hon. Ryan Ramsey, President (District 3)
Hon. Karen Henderson, Vice-President (At-Large)
Hon. John Gilkey, Secretary (District 2)
Hon. Tim Hauber (District 1)
Hon. Michael ‘Mike’ Mustain (District 4)
Hon. A.D. Stonecipher (District 5)
Hon. Jennifer Voignier (At-Large)

Due to the legal nature of the condemnation process, the Town of Clarksville and its staff will have no further comment at this time. More information will be released when possible.