Month: November 2012

Indianapolis Then and Now: Hasselman-Fahnley House and the Indianapolis Athletic Club, 350 N. Meridian Street

Courtesy of the Indiana Historical Society, Bass Photo Company #74372 The yard sign for the Indianapolis Athletic Club hints at the fate of the Hasselman-Fahnley house at the southwest corner of Meridian and Vermont Streets. This limestone Italian Renaissance house was constructed for the Hasselman family in the early 1860s. It stood among the mansions on prestigious North Meridian Street just three blocks north of Circle Street, now Monument Circle. Across the street stood University Park, making it a prized residential location.  The William H. Bass Company documented the home in 1921 just prior to its demolition. Lewis W....

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Building Language: Dormer Windows

Dormer windows on the Ovid Butler House (1306 N Park Avenue) Dormer Windows. A dormer window is a window that projects out from a sloping roof, vertically placed, featuring its own structure with sides and a roof. The dormer window may feature a small gabled end over the window depending on its design and structure. A dormer window can provide light into an otherwise unlit attic space found within. Dormers will often take the same design and roof as the rest of the structure, but some examples may use different ornament to act as a contrasting feature. The dormer...

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Indianapolis Collected: Out of the darkness and into the Circle of Lights

When his second son was born in April 1913, Greek immigrant Pantelis L. Cafouros was hard-pressed to find a way to top the fireworks that had literally heralded the arrival of his first-born son in August 1911.  As per the custom in his native Greece, a gleeful Cafouros had fired 21 “bombs” from the roof of his restaurant on West Maryland Street, thrilling thousands of Indianapolis residents who watched the 10-minute display of pyrotechnics.  Cafouros was just as delighted with the birth of his second son some 20 months later, declaring himself to be “the happiest man in Indianapolis.” But...

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Kickstart Your Family Tree: Newspapers

Up to this point, we’ve been focusing on the basic facts (the names, dates, and places) of our ancestors’ lives. But our relatives were more than just names and dates. They were real people with individual stories to tell. It’s time we started digging deeper to discover those stories. While it may be more difficult, there are many ways to learn about our ancestors’ characters and personalities.  Today we’re going to talk about one of those ways: newspapers. About Newspapers Just as they do today, newspapers of yesteryear reported the daily happenings of a community. This includes national and...

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Indianapolis Then and Now: The Ayres Clock Cherub

Courtesy of the Indiana Historical Society, L. S. Ayres and Company Records, 22 November 1947 The L. S. Ayres cherub, one of the city’s most beloved little sculptures, makes its appearance every Thanksgiving eve and looks out over shoppers until Christmas. The sculpture has its roots in drawings created for the 1946 catalog of L. S. Ayres, the city’s premier department store. Advertising artist Virginia Holmes used angel illustrations to fill space in the somewhat sparse, post-war catalog and they became a hit. With their 75th anniversary approaching in 1947, the store commissioned sculptor and Herron School of Art...

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Room With a View: Stutz to Stutz

Lots of unique views from various corners of The Stutz and such a fantastic adaptive use, I daresay one of the best in the city. Want to know more about its place in Indy auto history? The Stutz and other auto history stories are sprinkled throughout HI. When is the last time you visited? Got any friends or businesses you love there? Some faves of mine: Colored Threads, IndyHub, Remenschneider & Associates and photographers: Faith Blackwell and Molly Connor...

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Building Language: Frieze

Frieze on the Indiana World War Memorial Frieze. A frieze is another architectural term with roots in classical architecture. A frieze is a horizontal band, often decorative or ornamental in nature, located along the top of an exterior or interior wall. Classically speaking, the frieze would be part of the entablature, which is the architectural features found above the columns, which also included a cornice – the top molding of the classical order. However, a frieze can be generally applied to a horizontal band of ornament found in many locations on a historic building. Some friezes may feature some...

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What’s in a Name: Nowland Avenue

Nowland Avenue Location: near Spades Park, near east side Named For: Matthias Nowland, original settler of Indianapolis; and John H.B. Nowland, Indianapolis author and historian Matthias Nowland was one of the original settlers Indianapolis, arriving in 1820. His son, John H.B. Nowland was one of the foremost experts on Indianapolis history and was the author of Early Reminiscences of Indianapolis and Prominent Citizens of 1876, two of the most cited books on Indianapolis. His father, Phillips Nowland, established and edited the Manchester (England) Chronicle, who counted Thomas Paine as a frequent contributor. Phillips was very sympathetic to the cause...

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Made in Indianapolis

1912 American Scout Perhaps the most frequent question about the city’s auto history is: “How many cars were made in Indianapolis?”  Before answering that question, a word of caution about automotive lists: Compiling lists about the automotive genesis is an imprecise art.  There is no single source of information for the American automobiles’ progression.  Some reference works are fairly complete regarding makes, manufacturers, cities and dates.  These same works may miss some instances where a manufacturer’s model is built in a plant other than that company’s main places of business.  For example Ford Motor Company made cars in Indianapolis from 1914 –...

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Sunday Adverts: Stouts Shoes, 1898

Hard to believe Indy has a retail shop that has continuously served the citizenry for over 125 years. Long gone are the cobblers, and few and far between are the shoe repairers, but long may a beloved treasure of a shoe store remain. What makes it special? The Baldwin Flyer has entertained children for decades and before Ripley, there have been other birds and even a monkey… These days, customer  loyalty seems less and less, but when reminded of Stout’s long and illustrious history, you think it actually is important to support the long-standing...

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Sunday Prayer: Some Good for Guilford?

With apologies for the hiatus… Couple weeks ago I went on a random wander about the city as I am sometimes wont to do. If you want to really get to know the city, I highly recommend it. This onetime simple gem on Guilford in the 2000’s caught my eye and invited my imagination to wander and ponder. Who originally lived here, I wondered? What hopes and dreams moved in with the first owners and how many decades ago did it all disappear? And what is going to happen to this guy? There are a number of homes much...

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Kickstart Your Family Tree: Obituaries

Over the last couple of weeks we’ve discussed several sources of information pertaining to an individual’s death. If you’ve been unsuccessful in your attempts to find either a death record or a burial record, then obituaries are another source that may provide you with a date of death for your ancestor. If your search has been fruitful, then the obituary may provide more information about your ancestor than either other source was able to offer. Either way, finding your ancestor’s obituary is the next logical step in your journey towards discovering your family tree. About Obituaries Obituaries are written...

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Flats Lost and Saved: The Lower Canal

Before the Canal District we know of today, the one filled with contemporary art, public spaces, statues, and monuments, the canal functioned primarily for businesses – water supply, waste removal – along downtown’s west side. The original lower central canal, begun in 1835, took up parts of Missouri Street, in an area inhabited generally by commercial businesses and warehouses. Along the canal in 1902, two apartment flats were constructed, the Emelie and the Eugenia. The area right off of the canal contained mostly homes in the 1910’s; with the popularity of the automobile, large chunks of real estate morphed...

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Friday Favorite: St. Mary’s Catholic Church

No matter your religion, surely you marvel at many of the ecclesiastical structures throughout Indianapolis–especially the historic ones. This one is a touchstone for many who pick up groceries at what is now a Marsh grocery store. If this is one of your favorites or you just want to help protect the future of this piece of architectural art, there is an Art auction/ fundraiser TONIGHT 11/16/12 6pm at the Athenaeum to raise money for the roof! This church was built circa 1910 at 317 North New Jersey. Designed by architect Hermann Gaul, who modeled it after the Cathedral in...

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Heritage Steward: Libby Cierzniak

NAME: Libby Cierzniak TITLE: In my day job, I’m an attorney and a lobbyist. But in my free time, I write the Indianapolis Collected articles for HI and serve on the board of the Old Northside Neighborhood Association. SINCE? I’m a late bloomer in the historic preservation arena. Even though I decided I wanted to move to the Old Northside in 1980, it took me 22 years to get here. I’ve been contributing to HI for about a year and a half. ORIGINALLY FROM? Kokomo YOU WORK HOW MANY HOURS WEEKLY? I don’t really how much time I spend...

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Indianapolis Then and Now: West Washington Street

Courtesy of the Indiana Album: Pat Ruegamer Collection Washington Street has historically been the main commercial corridor in Indianapolis. These photographs show changes in the busy block between Illinois and Meridian Streets. In the 1890s the north side of the street housed stately three- and four-story Italianate and Second Empire structures, but by 2006 was home to the twenty-three story Conrad Hotel. Between 1885 and 1893 this transfer car stood on W. Washington St. about fifty feet east of Illinois Street. Passengers wanting to change from one line to another had to wait in this stationary car in the...

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Room With a View: Walker Theatre to Downtown

You won’t see this view very often! With thanks to Madame Walker Theatre Center for sharing, we hope you will come visit, get acquainted or reacquainted with the Madame Walker Theatre sometime this week. There are a number of fun events happening, including (as previously mentioned) tonight’s IndyTalks event “Re-imagining the Future of Indiana Avenue.” As a hint to Hi readers, and as you might guess, my portion will include looking to the past to inform the future. Can’t wait to hear what everyone will propose! Hope to see you there...

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Building Language: Coping

Coping. The architectural term coping refers to the top course of masonry used to “cap” the top of an exterior wall. Coping is commonly sloped or curved to help divert water away from the building. Splayed coping refers to a coping that slopes only in one direction, while saddle-backed coping is sloped on both sides of a common ridge. Coping is frequently found whenever there is a parapet wall, serving to visually complete the parapet design. On parapet walls, the coping regularly uses a contrasting building material, for example, if the exterior walls are brick, the coping will be limestone....

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