105 E. Sycamore - The Maas Building
Known as “Kokomo’s First Skyscraper,” the Maas Building was built to house a saloon owned by businessman Jacob Maas, a native of Bavaria,
Germany. The proprietor of what was considered one of Kokomo’s most colorful “watering holes,” Maas had the first summer beer garden in town, which contained rare birds, deer and alligators. Legends also claim it had a caged bear that loved beer! The original exterior was done in terra cotta, a clay tile often used for architectural decoration during the period. Its appearance of hand-tooled ornamentation is Eastlake in style, the only example still standing in the area. It is one of two buildings on this block that “grew”, with the beer garden filled in with more structure to provide larger retail space on the first floor and house offices on the second. The last retail tenant in the Maas Building was Wolfcale’s, a purveyor of luggage and leather goods that closed in the late 1980s.
The building has undergone uninspired changes in its appearance but, fortunately, the terra cotta and limestone detailing remains.
Notable Design: Romanesque Revival
Year Built: 1888