PEP pays homage to local structural masterpieces with new book, “Historic Architecture of La Porte, Indiana”

People Engaged in Preservation, La Porte’s not-for-profit historic preservation organization, has released the book, “Historic Architecture of La Porte, Indiana: The First 20 Years of the Candlelight Tour.” Come and celebrate the book’s release, purchase a copy, and chat with PEP members on Saturday, May 19, from 1-3 p.m. at the La Porte County Historical Society Museum.  

Light refreshments will be served. There is no charge to attend.

The book, at a cost of $30, is a 400-plus-page, professional-quality softcover that includes the 106 histories of every historic home, church and commercial building featured in PEP’s renowned Christmas Candlelight Tour of Historic Homes. PEP originally started the tour as a fundraiser in 1996 and over time it became a regional tourist draw. The most recent tour was held in 2016.

PEP President Dottie Rosenbaum said: “We are thrilled to be able to announce the release of our book, the culmination of well over a year’s worth of hard work and effort on the part of our membership, overseen by our editor, Michele Sirugo Barber, as well as a committee consisting of PEP members Elzbieta Bilderback, Robert Boklund, Don Bowman, Christa Lazarz, Bethany Mieczkowski, Dottie Rosenbaum, Michael Rosenbaum, Tom Rosenbaum, Pam Ruminski, Timothy Stabosz, Peter Steele, and Lizz Ward. Additional invaluable research and support were provided by La Porte County Historian Fern Eddy Schultz.”  

The book was primarily funded by a $10,000 grant awarded to PEP by the Indiana Historical Society, along with required local matching funds raised by PEP, including a tourism grant obtained through the City of La Porte Mayor’s Office.

In addition to being a comprehensive research work of the histories of all of structures on the first 20 years of the Candlelight Tour, the book also includes the original pen-and-ink renderings of all 106 structures by local artist and charter PEP member Don Bowman.

“It should be noted that in the earlier years of the Candlelight Tour, our tour booklets included fairly short house histories,” Rosenbaum said. “Consequently, our members took the time to re-research a large number of these histories to provide a more detailed account that is similar to what tour-goers have come to expect in our more recent tour booklets. We believe that this book will stand the test of time and provide an outstanding reference work to lovers of La Porte’s history, its prominent historic homes, the families who built and lived in them, and the businesses that sustained them. In addition, the book will serve as a field guide for tourists and researchers alike, making it not just a useful reference work and coffee-table book, but a treasured keepsake as well.”

PEP has donated copies of the book to numerous regional libraries, schools, museums and repositories so the historical information is as widely available as possible.

For those not able to attend the May 19 event, these local businesses will be offering the book for sale for the same $30 price starting May 21: Coachman Antique Mall, CO-OP Shoppes, Judee’s, La Porte County Historical Society Museum, Plain & Fancy Antiques, Temple News Agency, Town & Country Florist, and Up Towne Shoppes. In Michigan City, the book will be available at The Antique Market and the La Porte County Convention and Visitors Bureau.

For those living outside La Porte County, mail orders may be placed by sending a check or money order for $40 (includes $10 for shipping and handling) payable to People Engaged in Preservation, P.O. Box 853, LaPorte, IN 46352.

People Engaged in Preservation is a La Porte-based not-for-profit organization whose mission is to promote and pursue the preservation of La Porte’s historic architecture through education, community service, hands-on restoration, promotion of local historic designation, and financial support of worthy preservation projects. The group believes that preservation of La Porte’s historic architecture contributes to maintaining quality of life, enhancing community pride, and advancing economic development.

For more information on PEP, visit

4 Responses to “PEP pays homage to local structural masterpieces with new book, “Historic Architecture of La Porte, Indiana””

  1. Jeff

    May 15. 2018

    I find it hard to believe these were the colors of these homes back in the day.

    Reply to this comment
  2. Tim Stabosz

    May 16. 2018

    Well, being that 4 of the 6 photos on the front cover are brick homes, those are EXACTLY the colors those houses were…then and now. (Obviously not the case with the other two clapboard houses.)

    Reply to this comment

    May 17. 2018

    I think they all look fantastic. Thanks to all of the owners for their hard work in preserving these beautiful homes and history of LaPorte.
    Even as a kid I was in aw just looking at these houses along Indaina and Michigan Avenues.
    Fantastic job Folks!

    Reply to this comment
  4. Robbie Masterson

    May 22. 2018

    I got a copy of the book yesterday and have not been able to put it down. A very good book and for the price of $30.00 you cant go wrong. GREAT JOB

    Reply to this comment

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