Month: November 2011

Visit the Oldest Public Library Branch in the City, Englewood’s East Washington Branch

2822 East Washington Street library, “Indianapolis Public Library” “Branch No. 3” claims the distinction of being the oldest Indianapolis public library building still being used for its original purpose. The building is one of the famed “Carnegie Library” series, made possible by multi-millionaire, Andrew Carnegie. Carnegie is widely known as a steel magnate of the Victorian era, chose to grant money for the construction of libraries, which yielded over 2,500 libraries worldwide. The East Washington branch library was granted funds in 1909, and was designed by the architecture firm of Foltz and Parker. The library was dedicated and opened...

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WTH Weds: Double Door Double Take

You’ll have to pardon the slight blur with this image.  I’d like to blame it on my shaky old hands but to be honest, I was laughing so hard I’m surprised it turned out this good. Why bother with opening windows when you can just walk straight out of them?...

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Building Language: Monitor

Monitor on Lone Hall, Arsenal Technical High School Monitor. A monitor is a raised section found straddling the ridge of a roof. The monitor commonly imitates the roof form of the primary structure, but includes full-length windows on its vertical walls. Monitors might be found on the roof above a larger interior space, which can provide additional light and ventilation. The windows typically include openings or louvers to allow ventilation, in addition to providing additional sunlight into the space below. The first example of a monitor is found on the roof of Lone Hall (1922) on the campus of...

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Ladies Lounge: First Woman of Indianapolis Bar Association- Adele Ida Storck

Adele Ida Storck, First Woman to be admitted to the Indianapolis Bar Association A holiday dedication to two ladies who dare: Jennifer L. Jones,  and Erin Albert–you know why. If you are a female attorney in Indianapolis, have you ever reflected on the ladies who paved the way in your industry before you? Think of being the first to do cut a path where there was none, and the guts that took. As with much of the local culture, an import from Germany forged a new path in Indianapolis. The first woman admitted to the Indianapolis Bar Association, Adele...

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Sunday Prayers: Calvin Fletcher Jr. House on Penn

Since someone was recently inquiring about this gem on Penn, Sunday Prayers for a bit of love and TLC for 1031 North Pennsylvania, former home of Dr. Calvin I. Fletcher and Mrs. Nellie Webb Fletcher.  Dr. & Mrs. Fletcher belonged to the Art Association of Indianapolis, Contemporary Club and Das Deutsche Haus. Dr. Fletcher was also a member of the Columbia Club and the Country Club and Mrs. Fletcher was a member of the Propylaeum. And while I like Arvey paper, I’d think even the proprietors must see how incongruous it looks having the startling blue commercial structure next...

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Sunday Adverts: A full page of Fountain Square

Can’t recall when I found this and don’t know the exact date, but clearly, it’s around Thanksgiving 1922.  Which stand out most to you? The next time you’re in Fountain Square, look in the window at Koehring & Sons (next door to Revolucion). They’ve been in business since 1885 in Fountain Square and have a stove inside that looks remarkably like those in these...

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10 Reasons Fountain Square Would Be My Next Indianapolis Neighborhood…

Fountain Square is the closest thing to a preserved microcosm of historic Indianapolis we have–a mix of neighborhood serving commercial, surrounded on all sides by plenty of residential options. Who wouldn’t love having a home (preferably historic, of course) within walking distance of all the amazing offerings of the area? This one isn’t about fancy big mansions or captains of industry. It started as a predominantly German area and then Irish and Italian also–so a strong work ethic and slightly European feel shaped the area. If I’d had the first clue or known anyone when I arrived from Los...

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Then and Now: Empire Theatre, 126 Wabash Street

With three active burlesque troupes in Indianapolis, we seem be to in the midst of a burlesque revival. While the average person equates burlesque with strippers, the art form started in the late 17th century as a form of parody with humorous dramatic, musical, or literary works mocking and caricaturing more serious works. By the 1860s burlesque came to America and during the height of popularity (1890s through the 1940s) the popular performances were often presented in a variety show format in clubs and theaters. The shows featured bawdy humor, two-person acts, comedians, musical acts, and seductive dances and...

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WTH Weds: Good Lord!

Yikes!  What in the name of baby Jesus made them think this was a good idea? This year, I’m sure thankful that I don’t live...

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Building Language: Colonial Revival

Colonial Revival. Found prominently across Indianapolis residential architecture, the Colonial Revival is an early twentieth century style that draws upon Colonial architectural influences (the Georgian and Adam styles, not known to Indianapolis). The Colonial Revival can include a range of details, so we will touch on some, not all, of those today. Colonial Revivals range from one to three stories in height, with structural walls of brick or wood siding.  The Colonial Revival is distinguished by a prominent front entrance, typically with an entry porch with columns supporting a pedimented roof. The door itself can include sidelights and a...

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Ladies Lounge: Catharine Merrill, Butler University’s First Lady

  Catharine Merrill, by T. C. Steele, 1890–photo of a younger CM is available at the Indiana Historical Society A few weeks ago, one of my girlfriends was tweeting stats from a documentary she was watching: “By age 17, 78% of girls are unhappy with their bodies;” “Women spend more in their lifetime on beauty products than their education.” Yikes. These and other jarring reminders–with statistics and interviews from an array of inspiring women–were part of the tweet stream, and I started retweeting. Ever the walker versus the talker, said friend, Erin Albert, took what started as a flippant...

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Sunday Prayers: Demo List House on Woodlawn

Was wandering around Fountain Square and other parts east of the Mile Square earlier this week (more  foreshadowing: got an upcoming article about why my next house in Indianapolis would be in Fountain Square) and found this beauty at 1715 Woodlawn with the foreboding “Rebuild Indy” signs out front.  A quick glance might indeed make most people dismiss this little charmer out of hand, but looking a little more closely…Check out some of the gorgeous details on this cottage. If you’ve ever seen any of the early photos of Lockerbie Square homes, you’d know that this house is in...

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Sunday Adverts: Butler College and Bobbs-Merrill

Butler College, 1910, Irvington Foreshadowing on a Sunday… Having visited the current Butler University campus twice this week: once for the public introduction to Local Stake, a new way of connecting local entrepreneurs and investors (of every level) and then for a screening of Miss Representation, a documentary that benefits all viewers. I chanced upon a portrait on my way into the Local Stake meeting that returned to mind after viewing Miss Representation. It was of Catharine Merrill, daughter of Samuel Merrill (as in Bobbs-Merrill company) and the subject of Ladies Lounge tomorrow. Tune in...

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Indianapolis Collected: To Market, To Market

It was a sad day for Indianapolis when Mrs. Herd threw in the trowel. “North Meridian May Lose Its Only Truck Garden,” the Star headline read on September 27, 1953. “Mrs. Emma Becker Herd, 3947 N. Meridian Street, is planning to sell her property and…retire from the growing and selling of vegetables and fruit.” Area residents were stunned by the news. Mrs. Herd’s truck garden was a tradition in the neighborhood that is now known as Meridian-Kessler. The first seeds were planted by her mother-in-law in 1892 when the large house at 40th and Meridian was still in the...

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Favorite Friday: Talbott Avenue Double

There are lots of doubles similar to this one, but the new paint job has me stopping and staring every time I pass this one. Throw the autumn leaves in front and I’m swooning! Sometimes a paint job can really make a house jump out at you, and even though this isn’t an in-your-face color palette, it’s classy and clean looking. Love...

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Then and Now: Grand Hotel and Circle Centre Mall

The Grand Hotel, on the southeast corner of Maryland and Illinois Streets, was built in the 1850s as the Mason Hotel. After a large remodeling project in 1875-76, the high-class establishment was known as the Grand Hotel. The hotel became a gathering spot for local and visiting Democrats after party leader, and future mayor, Thomas Taggart purchased the hotel in the early 1890s. Today the site is an entrance to the Circle Centre Mall. The Grand Hotel was a six-story Second Empire style building with a mansard roof. The facility hosted many banquets and conferences and featured dining rooms,...

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WTH Weds: Not Fit for Anyone

I’m a Haughville fan.  Several of my favorite local restaurants are over in that general direction. Nice people. Strong community.  Over the years, they’ve been dealt a pretty bad hand.  But, they’re making a pretty serious comeback. This week’s WTH comes straight outta Haughville on King Ave and is a fine example of….commercial meets residential meets industrial meets more industrial meets OH GOOD LORD MAKE THE PAIN STOP!!!! Maybe it’s just the election day hangover but I think this place should become the new Mayor’s Mansion.  You can bet your sweet bippy we’d get this abandoned housing problem worked out...

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Ladies Lounge: Past, Present, Future- Ladies, Where we Heading?

Admittedly, this one’s a wee bit late. Ok, a full day. But there were some issues relating to my favorite gentleman that had me a little distracted. (And if you must know, it was my dad.) I got lost reading about a number of amazing and inspiring women of early Indianapolis on Sunday, and was consequently paralyzed by the choices. In moving towards creating an exciting future– go figure– I usually turn to the past. In preparation for a screening this Thursday of  “Miss Representation,” a documentary about female roles in the media and workplace, I must consider accomplished...

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