Our History and Vision

Reflecting on and preserving the past while looking ahead to the future

The History of the Ironblock

The Ironblock was built in 1876 for Hiram H. Bradly (1828-1894), Joseph Etherton Hillis (1840-1904) and Elwood Avery (1845-1922). Bradly’s drug store occupied the south storefront while Hillis & Avery’s grocery store occupied the north storefront. The Ironblock building, as it was named in 1876, was the largest metal-fronted building built in Frankfort’s downtown during the nineteenth century.

The Clinton County Chamber of Commerce purchased the building in February of 2016 with the vision of bringing back life to a highly visible corner of our county seat and saving a building doomed for demolition due to the neglect of care over the years. The original name of the building “Iron Block” was removed from its facade sometime during the 1920s. The building has been home to many businesses including Freedman’s, which had been a long time staple in downtown Frankfort’s thriving retail era.

Here We Grow Together

It is the vision of the Clinton County Chamber to completely rehab the Ironblock and restore its historic significance to our downtown. It is also the vision of the Chamber to move beyond mere brick and mortar to see the human impact the Ironblock Engagement & Innovation Hub can make in the lives of entrepreneurs, locally and regionally, in offering them space to grow their business ideas. There are over forty coworking facilities now in the state of Indiana with over 2,000 nationwide. The coworking idea is not new. In fact, artists around the world have been modeling this same concept since the 1600s. Recently there has been a surge of interest in sharing space to save money and also share ideas regarding business and innovation. The Ironblock Engagement & Innovation Hub is a place where people from all ages and backgrounds can affordably come to foster and grow their business.

“Iron sharpens iron so a friend sharpens another friend”.
Proverbs 27:17

It is the Ironblock’s desire to give opportunity to all who seek to be sharpened as well as allowing folks to use their skills and talents to sharpen others.

Upcoming Changes

 

Both the Ironblock and the Chamber of Commerce offices will be undergoing a series of extensive remodeling changes in the near future to provide for a more user-friendly experience for our Ironblock membership. Below is a mockup of the proposed plans to the floor layout for both the Ironblock and the Chamber. We’re very excited about these changes and believe they will prove very beneficial for our members. Stay tuned for additional updates!