January 14, 2016
North Manchester, IN–A building that has stood on the campus of Peabody Retirement Community since 1939 has been given new life—a tradition restored. Craig House has been renovated for the enjoyment of its residents and guests, thanks to a generous gift to the Peabody Home Foundation. Now, on any given day, you might find Peabody residents and visiting families sipping wine, nibbling cheese, and enjoying the beautifully renovated gathering place.
“The new Craig House is a great example of Peabody’s evolution,” said Rod Craft, Executive Director. “Space is available for residents to use for parties and functions, and it also serves as a place for guests to stay overnight. And all funds generated by renting the space are reinvested in activities for residents.”
Craig House was built 76 years ago by founder Thomas Peabody as a private residence for the community’s superintendent and family. The vision for the historic structure changed 36 years ago when the man who would have a lasting impact on the community—and for whom the house was later named—arrived at Peabody.
Reverend Richard (Dick) and Ruth Craig and their three children, Chris, Caroline, and Peter joined Peabody in February 1979. Under Dick’s visionary leadership, Peabody expanded from residential and health care services for older adults to include independent living with the construction of the Lindsay Place Garden Homes and The Villages Apartments. The couple, Dick and Ruth Craig, also had big plans for the building that was once the superintendent’s private residence.
Until then, the building had been unavailable for residents on campus, but Dick and Ruth saw the place as a home to all who live at Peabody. Ruth began to organize open house receptions, frequently inviting guests who lived at Peabody to visit.
So, when Dick Craig retired in 1993, the Peabody Board of Trustees named the building Craig House in his honor and converted to a common space for residents and an overnight quarters for guests. For more than 20 years, it enjoyed wide use, but by 2014, results of loving use began to show, and residents stopped frequenting the building.
The year 2015 kicked off with a generous financial gift to the Peabody Home Foundation by Chris Craig, the son of Dick Craig, to completely renovate Craig House. Renovation efforts were designed to restore beauty and tradition to the building and to bring the space into the modern age.
Today, according to The Foundation, Craig House stands ready for 2016 with a new upstairs master guest suite—created by combining what was once the superintendent’s master bedroom and an adjoining bedroom to create rental accommodations for overnight guests. Downstairs, new hardwood floors were installed; the kitchen and bathroom were updated; and the décor was improved, including the purchase of more contemporary, comfortable furniture. When funding permits, two additional bedrooms and a bathroom across the hall are awaiting conversion into a second suite.
Peabody’s current caretaker, Executive Director Rod Craft, sees the new Craig House as a fantastic example of what happens when you take an asset that was important to the community’s growth and finding ways to make it valuable for residents now and in the future.
It seems fitting that Chris Craig would carry on his parents’ vision to see Craig House restored to earlier glory—with residents enjoying wine and cheese in the living room and guest families staying in the upstairs guest quarters. A tradition restored. Dick and Ruth Craig would be proud.
About Peabody Retirement Community
On 33 acres of tranquil and pristine beauty in North Manchester, Indiana, Peabody is a continuing care retirement community offering a complete range of residential and healthcare lifestyle options including independent living, assisted living, rehabilitation, skilled nursing, and memory care. Here, the lives of senior adults are enriched through recreation, education, and culture in an atmosphere of grace, compassion, and respect. To learn more, call (260) 982-8616, toll-free (800) 545-6220, or visit PeabodyRC.org.
About Peabody Home Foundation
The Peabody Home Foundation was established in 1980 to support the work of Peabody Retirement Community. Renovation and transformation of Craig House is just one example of how the Peabody Home Foundation, through the devoted support of its donors, impacts every element of resident life. To learn more about the Foundation, visit PeabodyHF.org or call (800) 545-6220.