Indiana Landmarks recognize Gayle Cook with preservation award

Indiana Landmarks recognize Gayle Cook with preservation award

Bill Cook bought the old Brown School building in Washington Township in the winter of 1984. It was to be the headquarters for the Star of Indiana Drum and Bugle Corps, to which he had donated $1 million to help found that year. 

Inside the gym of the school, murals representing four “special facets” of Bloomington and Monroe County were found rolled up. These were the missing pieces to one of the first renovation projects he and his wife, Gayle, had taken on, and they had spent years trying to track down the paintings.

“We never knew what we were getting into,” Gayle said on a recent afternoon last month.

Gayle was called for jury duty a decade before Bill bought the old school building. When she walked into the Monroe County Courthouse in the mid-1970s, she saw a building on the verge of being torn down. She has a special affinity for the building’s dome, but at that time the architectural element was not visible, and the murals were in bad shape.

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