The forgotten history of Purdue Polytechnic High School Englewood campus building


Front of the Mallory building under first stages of construction


The building Purdue Polytechnic High School and Paramount Elementary School resides in, (the Mallory building as it was once called) were all once used for something way different. P. R. Mallory and Co Inc was a US producer of dry cell batteries’ electronic components including electrolytic capacitors, resistance welding electrodes, and audible warning devices. The company was founded in 1916 by Philip Rogers Mallory, and initially manufactured tungsten wire for lamp filaments. In 1924 the company moved its headquarters to 3029 East Washington Street in Indianapolis, Indiana, and had several divisions with another manufacturing plant in Greencastle, Indiana. subsets of the Mallory company such as Mallory Controls and Mallory Distributor Products had a manufacturing plant in Frankfort, Indiana, and a plant in Indianapolis.

The original P.R. Mallory Building was first constructed in the 1920s on a site formerly home to Washington Park (1900-1905), the original home of the Indianapolis Indians, and Wonderland Amusement Park, which inhabited the campus for five years immediately following the baseball team’s relocation.

The P.R. Mallory Company soon took over the expansive site, which served as the Company’s headquarters for over 50 years. Specializing in electronics, electrochemistry, and metallurgy, the visionary team invented and patented several household items we still use today, including radios, washing machines, refrigerators, cars, and even the Duracell battery.

And after 30 years of vacancy, the modern-day P.R. Mallory’s transformation called for the renovation of two buildings we know all too well, the main 120,000-square-foot administration building and the 70,000- square-foot Bunker Building. The main building is now home to our wonderful school Purdue Polytechnic High School and the basement, of course, houses Paramount School of Excellence. The Bunker Building now houses Uplift Produce, a hydroponic growing operation, and Purdue Robotics are moved into the space along with it. A large sign was created and placed on the side of the building, providing fast facts and a brief history of the building’s buried past, emphasizing the idea that everyone who walks through its doors becomes a piece of its history.