Month: February 2012

WTH Weds: Watch Out Queen-Annes, There’s an Usurper to the Throne!

While lost on our way to the Spades Park Library, we came across what was once a Queen-Anne duplex on Newman Street in Windsor Park. The original architectural details have been “upgraded” with arched windows, a bulwark retaining wall, and a tumor-tower that no doubt gives delightful vantage over the N I-65/70 Split and downtown. The attempts to fortify this home into a castle will appeal to those wishing to be lord over this east side neighborhood. The rehabilitation (in the loosest possible term) removed delicate Victorian detailing and has morphed the home into a hodge podge of bungalow-esque...

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Room With a View: Woodstock Club

For those who haven’t been…The Woodstock Club is across the street from the Indianapolis Museum of Art and is surrounded by plenty of green…and a pool…and a parking lot (not shown). The Woodstock Club is on land originally owned by the Indianapolis Country Club. Find more on its early history on the Woodstock website. View from the front...

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Building Language: Colonnade

Colonnade. A colonnade is a series of columns, spaced evenly apart in a straight line, which supports a roof or entablature (the “stuff” found above the columns). Although colonnades may date from Greek and Roman classical architecture, they are employed in a variety of ways in American architecture. The term portico describes a porch with a roof typically supported by a colonnade. The Indianapolis-Marion County Central Library (40 East Saint Clair Street) features a wonderful Neo-Classical design that includes several archetypical classical features. The Central Library, completed in 1916 and designed by architect Paul Phillipe Cret, features a strong...

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Ladies Lounge: What would we wear to the Oscars if they’d been in Indianapolis in February

1956 No Doubt there would have been a lot more long sleeves, for a start. Some of those ladies looked chilly at yesterday’s Oscars, even in California, but had they been in Indianapolis, outerwear would have been non-negotiable. And taking inspiration from this week’s Sunday Ads, let’s look at a few more fur styles of the past–movie star appropriate– for those without issues against fur. Times have certainly changed–there are some great faux furs available now. However you feel about it, before the advent of insulating manufactured materials, fur was one of the best way to keep warm…and still...

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Sunday Prayers: Peter Pan Lives on Central

  Refusing to accept that people are uninterested in history, it might be fair to nickname me a bit of a “Peter Pan.” I am convinced the more people learn of their heritage, the richer their lives–you just have to find the bits that have meaning to you and connect to them. Whether it’s a place you pass every day or where you had one remarkable conversation, places have meaning. And the longer a building is around, the more layered it becomes with stories, significance and shared slivers of people’s lives.  See if you haven’t lost count of how...

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Sunday Ads: Indianapolis Furriers of Yesteryear

For those who find the fashion parade of the annual Academy Awards of interest, you know tonight is the night of the 84th Oscars. And for those of you with a rich dream life, perhaps you’ve considered how that event would be different if it were held in Indianapolis at this time of year…or maybe that’s just me. This inspired the question: “What would be done in the event of cold weather?”  Being far more earth conscious in 2012–at least among the glitterati–no doubt many would opt not to wear fur. Of course others certainly would. With all that...

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Indianapolis Collected: Postcards from the Great Flood of 1913

Entire city blocks submerged in water. Families trapped in their attics, calling out frantically for help. Children forced to abandon their dogs when rescuers finally arrived, and as the waters began to recede, a star-studded benefit to help rebuild the city. It may sound like a scene from post-Katrina New Orleans, but the year was 1913 and the place was Indianapolis. The torrential downpour started on Easter Sunday, and did not let up for five days.  By the time the skies began clearing over Indianapolis, more than 7,000 families had lost their homes and at least 25 people had...

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Friday Favorite: Gothic Revival, 1925 North Central Avenue

**update**This was originally titled as French Gothic, but after Tim Jensen’s comment, we have reconfirmed with our resident Architectural Historian, Raina Regan that it is indeed a Gothic Revival. So, replacing French Gothic with the appropriate term. ** Central is another one of those streets that doesn’t get it’s due notice for some lovely bits of architecture. How many Gothic Revival Cottages do we have left in this town? Well, I’m not sure, but I know I love this one. If you’ve got others to alert us all to, please leave a comment! Have a fab Friday!...

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Indianapolis Then and Now: Swain Sanatorium 608 Middle Drive, Woodruff Place

A research project is never finished as new materials constantly come to light. After writing about Dr. Rachel Swain’s Sanatorium last April, I found a booklet about the hospital.  The fragile, sixteen-page booklet is carefully preserved at the Indiana State Library. It supplements what we already know about the sanatorium’s purpose and conception. Although it is undated, I believe the pamphlet was published shortly after the new home was built in 1898 since the old address of “73 Woodruff Place” is used (a large address renumbering project occurred in 1898 and after that time the sanatorium was listed as...

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WTH Weds: Commercial Building

I love little neighborhood commercial buildings. As other readers have pointed out as well, we used to have these quaint neighborhood serving buildings just about every few blocks throughout the city. I am a little envious of those neighborhoods who do have awesome neighborhood serving commercial space in walking distance (darn you, Fall Creek Place–I wish Salon Orange Moon and Goose the Market were across the street from me!) But as neighborhoods declined, these buildings suffered greatly. This one in Mapleton-Fall Creek elicits the pinched forehead stare from me every single time. Who knows how or why these buildings...

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Room With a View: Old Saint Vincent Hospital on Fall Creek

I was fortunate to attend the HUNI (Historic Urban Neighborhoods of Indianapolis) meeting on Saturday, which included a brief tour of Ivy Tech’s recently expanded site and what is left of  Saint Vincent Hospital–that front footprint. This is a sentimental favorite and I, for one, am thrilled that at least the front footprint remains. As I peered out the window, I wondered if my grandmother had done the same when my mother was born. Where was the delivery/ nursery sections of the hospital then? How many people had some approximation of this as their last view of the outside...

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Building Language: Egg-and-dart

Egg-and-dart. This week’s Building Language term explores the extensive terminology associated with classical architecture. Egg-and-dart is a form of ornament standard in classical inspired architecture, including the vastly popular Beaux Arts and Classical Revival styles in Indianapolis. Egg-and-dart consists of two elements: first, the echinus, which is a type of circular molding with an egg-like form, and second, a groove and raised border, which surrounds each echinus. The tops of the “eggs” or echinus are then trimmed at the top of each band. Egg-and-dart is typically used on classical cornices or friezes as a small band of ornament. Egg-and-dart...

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Sunday Ads: 16th & Meridian Long Before the Golden Arches

Always love chancing upon old adverts that show one of our long-gone buildings, as is the case with this residence-turned-funeral-home, formerly at 1639 North Meridian, (in 1913, home to the John F. Wild family). In April 1928, this stood on what is now part of the Micky D’s block. Yes, golden arches now in place of a large Victorian. Love the lamp-post too. Isn’t it interesting how many funeral homes were fashioned of these large old...

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Historic Indianapolis Neighborhoods

Detail of Naplab’s amazing Indianapolis neighborhoods map, 46″ x 48″ Indianapolis is one of those places where you ask where someone is from or where they live, the response is the name of a neighborhood or side of town. Consider this map your personal decoder ring.   One of the coolest maps you will ever see of historic and other neighborhoods of Indianapolis by our friends at Naplab – copies are still available. And while we plan to add more substance to this list in the near future, you may want to start with the Historic Urban Neighborhoods of...

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Indianapolis Then and Now: Briggs Flats, 550 Fletcher Avenue

People gather to look at the fire-damaged Briggs Flats in this August 30, 1948 photograph. The brick, Romanesque Revival apartment building was constructed at 546-552 Fletcher Avenue in 1893. It featured an arched porch and terra cotta ornamentation along the gable. (Indianapolis Fire Department Collection) The building was repaired after the 1948 fire, but by the 1970s it was abandoned and became a victim of arson and vandalism. (Indiana Landmarks, 1982) After being stabilized and marketed for over a decade, the apartment building was restored in 1997 as low-to-moderate-income housing by Southeast Neighborhood Development, Concord Community Development, and Indiana...

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WTH Weds: Poor Doors…

Chanced upon this little gem north of Fall Creek . You can surely still tell that this poor doorway is confused and has been altered from its original incarnation. Other than that… If you are interested in authoring WTH Wednesday, please pick any of our former WTH features and send what you would have written with it; or you can also submit an original photo and accompanying...

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Building Language: Juliet Balcony

Juliet Balcony. So, in honor of Valentine’s Day, I wracked my brain of architectural knowledge, consulted architectural dictionaries, and conferred with my architectural minded friends to determine the best architectural term with some connotation with love. Although it may be a bit of a stretch, I think today’s choice is a fitting selection. The Juliet balcony is designed for placement in front of tall window or door openings, typically on a multi-story building. The Juliet balcony may only slightly protrude from the wall, giving the false impression of an actual balcony. The Juliet balcony acts as a visual and...

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Ladies Lounge: Pinteresting

It’s frustrating when finding vintage Indianapolis ads or other ephemera we’d love to acquire to share with the fine readers of HistoricIndianapolis.com –so what a delight to find somewhat of a solution until we are funded: Pinterest.com (many thanks again to our friend and HI advocate, www.yuspie.com) We’ve taken the leap and plunge, diving head first into curating boards on pinterest relevant to Historic Indianapolis. Please feel free to peruse all the boards, but as today’s substitution for a longer post, enjoy our Indianapolis Fashion board.  What will you find there? Expect pieces of Indianapolis past as relates to...

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