Month: April 2015

At Your Leisure: Last Train to Indy

No passengers can be seen waiting in this 1970 photograph. (Image: Library of Congress) Passing the Romanesque Union Station may create conflicting emotions for some. It is gratifying to see an impressive historic building restored–especially since other places, like Columbus and Atlanta, demolished their grand old train stations. It is also frustrating to see what was once Indy’s entry point so hushed and underutilized. The railroad history of the building is substantial. The salvaging and restoration of the building is also an interesting chapter of the city’s story. Those efforts lead to the building’s status as a top attraction for...

Read More

Misc Monday: Preservation One Artifact at a Time

Ever wonder the worth of that old painting collecting dust in the depths of your attic? Or have you always had the feeling that your grandmother’s heirloom necklace is more valuable than the eye beholds? Historical significance is not always easy to perceive; it is something that people are trained to decipher, but once the true value is known, a simple object may become a most cherished possession. How to learn more about these underappreciated, historical artifacts? National Preservation Week runs from April 26 through May 2. Since 2010, the American Library Association has asked libraries across the country...

Read More

In The Park: Haughville Park

Welcome to Haughville Park!  This five-and-a-half acre park on the city’s west side opened in 1922.  Located at 520 North Belleview Place, Haughville Park is one of the park system’s most popular family destinations. The area now known as Haughville was settled in the 1830s, when entrepreneurs began to open general stores and saloons near the west landing of the newly constructed Washington Street Bridge.  The bridge eventually gave way to rail lines; rail lines brought iron foundries, meat packing plants, and other industry. Reliable, well-paying jobs in these factories attracted Irish, German, and Slovenian immigrants, and the neighborhood’s...

Read More

At Your Leisure: A Lost Roadside Beacon

The big green sign could once be seen by drivers exiting turn one at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. (Image: eBay) For anyone who may have grown up from the sixties through the eighties, childhood trips often meant a stopover at one of the many Holiday Inn hotels located across the country. The chain was envisioned by Kemmons Wilson in 1952, after encountering poor lodging choices during a family vacation, and essentially created the standardized hotel chain concept prevalent today. Until 1982, travelers could look for the giant green neon signs and be assured of consistency in  accommodations and services....

Read More

Then and Now: 19th and Delaware, Snowy

One wonders how the city of Indianapolis neighborhoods made it through snowy days 100 or so years ago. This photo at 19th and Delaware Streets (circa 1909) looks north into Morton Place and shows no evidence of plowing, while also obscuring the esplanades down the middle. But it does show (not all that clearly) the T. B. Laycock Mansion that used to stand on the northwest corner of Delaware and 19th Streets, and a snippet of the also long-gone home that once stood on the northeast corner. Hard to believe a mere 20 years earlier this strip of land...

Read More

At Your Leisure: Sorry, No Ladies Allowed

The long gone Ye Ark Saloon stood at 15 East Ohio Street, approximately where the Chase Tower lobby entrance is located today. (Image: Evan Finch) This past weekend, the nation’s eyes were focused on Indianapolis during the NCAA Men’s Final Four Basketball Championship.  Early reviews are glowing, and area merchants are boasting record revenues, even beating out the 2012 Super Bowl. This is a welcome sign after a week of controversy and heated dialogue in fear that some of our visitors and neighbors may not have felt so welcome. Thankfully, cooler heads appear to be prevailing, and we can continue...

Read More

Misc. Monday: Indy’s Most Famous Funeral Train

Abraham Lincoln was shot on Good Friday 1865, and died the following morning.  For three days, the fallen leader’s remains lay in state in the White House as a vast host of mourners filed past.  His funeral was held shortly after noon on April 19, 1865, with 600 guests, including General Grant, the President’s Cabinet, and Vice President Andrew Johnson seated in the candle-lit East Room. Sons Robert and Tad sat beside the casket, but the widowed Mary was too stricken to attend. After the funeral, a hearse drawn by six white horses brought the coffin to the U.S....

Read More

In the Park: Reverend Mozel Sanders Park

From Colonel Eli Lily to Mayor Thomas Taggart to basketball great Oscar Robertson, there is a lengthy list of people who have helped shape our city’s history.  Reverend Mozel Sanders left a particularly influential legacy of philanthropy and social justice.  Perhaps that’s why Indy Parks honored him by naming the twenty-five acre park at 1300 North Belmont Avenue for him. Mozel Sanders was born in East St. Louis, Illinois in 1924.  He grew up in Canton, Mississippi, during some of the most difficult years of the Jim Crow South era.  After completing school, Sanders enrolled in the Civilian Conservation...

Read More

At Your Leisure: Final Four Fun in the Wholesale District

Saint Elmo’s Steakhouse doesn’t look nearly as inviting covered in plywood and a tacky mansard roof during the very early nineties.  (Image: Library of Congress) The NCAA Final Four returns to Indianapolis this weekend in what is sure to be a fun-filled weekend for visitors and locals alike. Although Indy hosted the championship rounds in 1980 at Market Square Arena, the city didn’t become part of the regular rotation until 1991, as the NCAA moved toward placing the weekend’s events in massive football stadiums capable of holding crowds of 40,000 plus. This seventh installment features some familiar faces.  This...

Read More

Learned something new? Question answered? New connection made? Generally inspired or entertained? Love Indy more?

Please consider supporting this community asset.

Pin It on Pinterest