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Metamora aqueduct is a top architectural site

The Indiana Architectural Foundationhas named the historic Duck Creek Aqueduct in Metamoraamong its 50 most significant architectural sites.

By DARRELL SMITH - dsmith@newsexaminer.com

A Whitewater Valley treasure is being recognized as one of the 50 significant architectural buildings and sites in the state by the Indiana Architectural Foundation.

The Duck Creek Aqueduct in Metamora made the list. It takes the Whitewater Canal over Duck Creek and is believed to be the only operating wooden aqueduct in the United States. Constructed in 1843, the aqueduct earned honors as a National Historic Civil Engineering Landmark in 1992 and National Historic Landmark in 2014.

“Our goal is to showcase Indiana’s architectural history,” said Dan Brueggert, president of Indiana Architectural Foundation. “We hope people will not only want to learn about it, but also visit the public buildings to see just what makes them so special.”

The Whitewater Canal State Historic Site includes the aqueduct. Site manager Jay Dishman had not heard the news until notified Thursday by the Connersville News-Examiner.

The Indiana State Museum, which owns the Canal Historic Site, closed the structure in 2016. It reopened in 2017 as the museum made plans for repairs. During that winter, contractors made those repairs, delayed by flood waters, but it reopened last spring.

Dishman said “It was an OK year,” on the Ben Franklin III Canal Boat that takes passengers through the aqueduct on a portion of the old canal.

“We had some nice crowds through the year,” he said. “It was nice to have the canal flowing and active all the way through.”

There will be no major projects at the historic site this year, Dishman said. The State Museum is considering adding some new exhibits inside the grist mill, but that has not been approved yet.

The aqueduct is included in the database along with such notable locations as Hinkle Fieldhouse, Indiana State Capitol, West Baden Springs Hotel, Soldiers and Sailors Monument as well as some newer sites like the Indiana State Museum building.

The list includes sites that are connected to historically significant people or events, are the work of renowned architects/designers, use novel building technologies or materials or are a prime example of a particular architectural style.

The Indiana Architectural Foundation will continue to add historic buildings to the list. The entire list can be found at www.architectureindiana.com.