14,000 Gallons


Mystery tends to wrap itself around old, abandoned buildings. We wonder what they were built for, who occupied them, and how they could be repurposed in the future. We find ourselves stuck on the antiquated features that were so cutting edge at the time of their construction: horse- shaped hitching posts, towering, brick smokestacks, and in the case of the Tinker Flats, a 14,000 gallon wooden, water tank. The tank itself was lost to time, as many of these fixtures are, but the fascination remains, and with that, a desire to preserve what is left.

Tinker Flats has taken many forms in its time–once, as a manufacturer of bank furniture, then a recycling plant, a cabinet company, and now as Tinker House. Tinker House houses an event space as well as a coffee shop, IT company, and distillery–a multi-purpose building for a diverse neighborhood.

It appears now as if the building was never even abandoned, as if hard times never hit. We sometimes have to risk losing these historical treasures before we can truly appreciate them, and understand why we must support them. That is true on Monon 16 as a whole. There is so much history worth preserving within the buildings, the businesses, and especially the people.


Tinker House displays its name proudly in painted letters that pay homage to the signage of  businesses which came before. After sitting empty for so many years, and losing its 14,000 gallon crown, this strange building on the corner of 16th and Lewis lives again.