Dawn Olsen

Dawn Olsen is a Midwestern nomad addicted to ChapStick, parallel sentences, books, and old buildings. She was born in Iowa and grew up in the Omaha-Council Bluffs metro area. After graduating from Purdue University, she took a job as an editorial assistant for the Indiana General Assembly and sub sequently transplanted herself to Indianapolis. She lives in the Holy Rosary district in an old brick building with a 90-foot smokestack. She shares creative non-fiction and photos on her blog, Candidly Clyde.

All posts by Dawn Olsen

Written by:
December 15, 2013

I had been thinking about the Horner-Terrill home all day. At work, I had been distracted— I’d allowed my mind to wander across the city, from downtown to the corner of Emerson and Brookville. The home was still on my […]

Sunday Prayers: Being an Urban Pioneer, Being the Change

Written by:
August 18, 2013, 4 Comments

I was blind at first. Blind and choked by mold. It coated the walls—as black, as slick as oil—and it left me with heavy, heaving lungs. I couldn ...

Sunday Prayers: Dear Katherine …

Written by:
August 11, 2013, 6 Comments

Dear Katherine, I hope this letter finds you. It was difficult to track you down. In fact, it was practically impossible. The directories listed you a ...

Sunday Prayers: 131 N. Gladstone

Written by:
August 4, 2013, No comments

I’m in the heart of Tuxedo Park, trying to remember what “Indianapolis Architecture” told me. My copy of the book, which is split-ri ...

  • Sunday Prayers: Dearborn Building
    July 28, 2013, 4 Comments

    “Cheery” is a word I would use to describe a front-yard flower garden, not an abandoned building. But when it comes to the property at the corner of 10th and Dearborn, it’s hard to attach another description. The plywood board ...

  • The Multi-Family Italianate on Olive
    July 21, 2013, 6 Comments

    You don’t even notice the house at first. It’s the lush, green thicket that catches your eye. The overgrown bushes, the heavy vines. The path to the alleyway that has been devoured by grass. Once your eyes have woven through th ...

  • Sunday Prayers: 2015 N. Senate Ave.
    July 7, 2013, 13 Comments

     We meet again, plywood. Once more you grace the windows of an aged Victorian. Though you mark a property as uninhabited, you blend into the beige paint. I hardly notice you. No, I pay heed to the home’s sweet, simple […]

  • Sunday Prayers: The Gladden-Stempfel House
    June 30, 2013, 2 Comments

    The wooden giant on the corner of 16th and Park has always intrigued me. Its curved windows draw my eyes up and around to each detail. The modillions, the columns, the arch on the second floor, even the “cornerstone” in […]

  • Sunday Prayers: Rivoli Theatre
    June 16, 2013, 21 Comments

    Downtown Indianapolis. Noon. At most tables, the lunchtime chatter was of clients, projects and “the kids.” But at our table—which was crowded with soup, a sandwich and notebooks—there was talk of an empty, dilapidated property. One ...