Author: Tiffany Benedict Browne

5 Fave Things My Neighborhood Taught Me About Life

Looking from Herron-Morton Place to Old Northside I arrived from California 10 years ago with a list of attributes my dream house would have, scribbled in a small moleskin notebook. I left my native state for two reasons: one- a break-up with the love of my life at the time and two: LA housing prices were never going to permit me to edge my way into the housing market, despite a well-paying job. First thing I learned: dreams come true in Indianapolis. I always wanted a historic home, since falling in love with the Hotel Del Coronado at age 15....

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HI Indy Lovers- Changes Afoot at HI

  Hi there HI loves~ Want to know what the heck is going on here on the HI-Line? Last week, our server had a power outage that had all sites they host down for almost 48 hours. I think we can all agree that technology is grand. When it works. This week, there was some malware that was able to penetrate the site, causing it to go down again for the best part of a day. We don’t want these sort of interruptions as long as the site is still up, so we made the big decision to change...

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Friday Favorite: Woodruff Place Home Tour

One week from tomorrow, one of Indy’s keystone historic neighborhoods throws open many a door of hospitality, showcasing the beauty and variety of Woodruff Place. Saturday, June 29 and Sunday, June 30 from 12-5, see one of seven homes, three gardens and the restored old Town Hall in the Woodruff Place semi-anual Home and Garden Tour. Dear Woodruff, always a go-to destination for visitors to Indianapolis–showing variety of style, scale and levels of restoration. Remnants of yesteryear: fountains, statues, a petite gazebo–all tickle the imagination. Originally purchased and platted in the early 1870’s, the park-like neighborhood was the vision...

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Friday Favorite: The Name Game

Following the trail of any one person’s life can be fascinating and addictive. You can follow a physical trail: where  a person lived, traveled or worked; A person’s social contributions: clubs, community involvement and the like; or, the work life–especially for men, if exploring worlds of 100+ years ago. Ever liked the game “Concentration?” You have to memorize where a bunch of face-down cards are turned over, two at a time, seeking to find two alike. Like connecting the dots, but with lots more memorization. A fun history game for those who know a bit about the city and...

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Then & Now: 1841 N. Delaware Street

The Milnor sisters in 1909 Attics, storage trunks and second hand shops throughout Indianapolis and the world over have little gems like this awaiting discovery. The provenance of and labels on old photos are key in determining where photo were taken. This photo once belonged to a young lady who attended Tudor Hall and lived on Delaware Street. Surprisingly, not at the home in the background of this photograph. Finding the last names of various young ladies throughout the photo album who lived on Delaware Street, it made sense that some of the photos might have been snapped on...

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Friday Favorite: Indy the Patriotic

It’s no secret that in Indy, we love, honor and respect our military. It’s a great source of pride. Most Indy residents can at least tell visitors that Indy is second only to Washington DC in the number of public memorials to the heroes who have served, protected and fought for our freedom. Beyond the memorials though, visiting the final resting place of these brave men and women can be a moving experience when you take the time to think about how this place came about. One of Indy’s most beautiful locations is home to the Crown Hill National...

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Friday Favorites: HI Love

“Love makes the world go round,” so the old saying goes. It was also the main point of the HI pitch last night at the Build Indy event. Kudos to Formstack for putting on such an evening–filled with an interesting selection of ten organizations and businesses with a passion for making Indy better. So what does HI have to do with Love? How about EVERYTHING? One does not work 15+ hours a day and go deeply into debt to produce something they don’t love. The question I posed to last night’s crowd: “When you’re in love, what is wrong in...

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En Vogue When Gatsby Hit Shelves

All fashion talk of late is centered around the release of the new Baz Luhrmann version of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby.  The book was released on April 10, 1925, so why not take a look at the fashions of Vogue for the month this classic book first appeared? Within the same issue, our very own Indianapolis Marmon was advertised as “a successful car for successful people.” “Open cars $3165. Closed cars, $3295 to $3975” Above, latest fashion of April 1925 by Vionnet. And Evening gowns…  Lots of geometry, and lining that matches the dress… and florals… Any of...

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Friday Favorite: Local Love

Surely you’ve noticed: each year, there are more Indy-focused, Indy-promoting, Indy-loving entities populating  the grid. It’s awesome watching, but even more thrilling to be considered part of that movement. We’re having a great time growing people’s passion for the city–“seven days a week of falling in love with Indy through its history,” is how we roll. It’s extra exciting when you get to time-share an online billboard with other businesses and organizations you admire, respect or just found out you need to know. That being said, thank you to the kind soul or souls who nominated HI for the “Build...

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Friday Favorite: Classy Vintage Address

Lockerbie Street Cruising historic neighborhoods allows for many fanciful discoveries. One of the features of most every building is its number. Indianapolis started numbering buildings fairly early in its development, but because there wasn’t an efficient system in place at the start, and buildings would crop up in between two close numbers, 1/2 numbers were introduced. And there were at most, typically 50 numbers to a block. In 1898, the city implemented a 100-numbers to a block system, and for some reason, altered the numbers again (in some, but not all places) in 1911. In the never-ending quest for...

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Friday Favorite: Decorative Iron

One of the things I miss most when encountering brand new commercial buildings is the lack of little surprises and details like those found on iron front  façades. This example, found on Massachusetts Avenue never fails to captivate. Can’t help wondering how many people have walked under these arches or stopped to admire the detail at the top of the columns. What architectural elements captivate...

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Ladies Lounge: 1942 Suit, HP Wasson

Evidently, the second floor of Wasson’s was abuzz with these suits less than a year after the United States entered into WWII. This, from October 1942 says: “All along the fashion front- the word is moire! Quick as a flash, Wasson’s presents a little moire masterpiece! A two-piece suit full of gentle detail, twinkling with huge glitter buttons, tuned to the times want to be  your loveliest for HIM! And last but not least–attractively low-priced.” Wondering if it was hard to go on fussing about a new suit or shopping when family members were away fighting for the country?...

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Friday Favorite: Your Birthday

The western astrological chart has been around since at least 2000 years BC and continues to fascinate many, while it is wholly disregarded by others. “One of the few remaining philosophies to maintain a holistic perspective, astrology teaches us that everything is interconnected.” says The Power of Birthdays, Stars and Numbers. “No person stands alone, for all people are part of shifting and dynamic relationships with other people, and each of these people is involved in shifting and dynamic relationships with the cycles of the cosmos.” Well, as one of my favorite speakers, Tony Robbins, says: “Nothing has any meaning except the meaning I give it.” So, if that is what you glean from your zodiac sign or horoscope, super. I’ve often wondered how the 12 signs ended up decorating the lower part of the Indianapolis Central Library’s (original) front facade, designed by Paul Philippe Cret, but I would like to think it has something to do with how connected we all are. For fun, let’s look at the archetypes and roles associated with each sign. Which are you and does it represent you at all? Or does the description of another sign resonate more? (again, from  The Power of Birthdays, Stars and Numbers by Saffi Crawford and Geraldine Sullivan) Capricorn: the Father, he Authority Figure, ,the Worker, the Disciplinarian, the Traditionalist Aquarius: the Humanitarian, the Detached Observer, the Inventor,...

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Friday Favorite: Richard Dale Owen

Richard Dale Owen was born in New Lanark, Scotland, died in New Harmony, Indiana and a sculpture of him stands inside the Indiana Statehouse. Why? His varied career included a tenure as State Geologist of Indiana, a member of the Indiana University faculty and the first president of Purdue University. So how did he end up in the State Capitol? In February 1862, Indiana Governor Oliver P. Morton named Owen commandant of Camp Morton, which had become a prisoner of war camp. “Combining strength and gentleness, he was a good disciplinarian and at the same time tempered his rulings with...

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Ladies Lounge: Glamour For an Indy Woman, Born 1913

Does the sight of a baby ever prompt you to wonder what the world will look like for that child when he or she is decades older? Or maybe when they are your age? Think of what they’ll experience: the buildings, fashions, transportation and other components of daily life?  So what if we ask ourselves this question from the vantage point of 100 years ago? That’s what came to mind in looking at a couple of glamorous gowns advertised in Indianapolis of yesteryear. The first, advertised by the William H. Block Company, features a Hattie Carnegie design from 1943–would...

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Friday Favorite: Gothic Chapel, Crown Hill

Built in 1875, you can’t help but stare when  you come across the Gothic Chapel on a drive through Crown Hill. Originally named the Gothic Vault Made of  Indiana limestone Architect: D.H. Bohlen (buried at Crown Hill) who also designed City Market and Tomlinson Halll Cost $38,922.25 to build James  Whitcomb Riley’s mortal remains rested here for over a year before he was buried on the highest point in Crown Hill in 1917. When did you last visit Crown Hill and what are some of your favorite parts? The building has had restorations in 1971, and in 2004-05  ...

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Friday Favorite: George McGinnis

With basketball being all the local talk these days, it seemed a good time to feature a beloved home-grown favorite.   Turns out my mom sat next to George McGinnis in her Government class at George Washington High School, so thanks to a “real hip gal,”  (as George called mom in her yearbook) for providing this look back at some high school photos of one of Indy’s all-time favorite basketball players. After George Washington High School, McGinnis went on to play at Indiana University and eventually for the Pacers. It’s rare for the success of high school athletics to...

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Road Trip: Vintage Fashion in Pattern

“Want to write about fashion from a historical perspective…?” Pattern  Editor-in-Chief, Polina Osherov queried this past fall. If you weren’t aware, Indy has an emerging interest in fashion and Pattern is an organization dedicated to “Uniting and growing creators and consumers of fashion in Indianapolis.” They have also just published their third issue of Pattern Paper. Upon learning the current issue’s overall theme was ‘transit,’ I knew just the angle to share: how the location of Indy’s beloved retail palaces was based on access and proximity to transportation (Beep beep, toot toot). William H. Block moved his business from a...

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Friday Favorite: The Smallest of Details

Momentarily evoking the dining room scene in James Cameron’s 1997 film “Titanic,” this spoon on display in the Athenaeum here in Indianapolis, is representative of an era that cared about the smallest of details. Scrutinize the remaining relics of all those years ago: from spoon to door hinge to decorative architectural trim–the smallest of details were grand. The task of keeping real silverware clean ensures that most no one in modern America continues to use the stuff. Often sold off at yard sales and second hand stores, you will frequently find initials or names engraved in the handle of...

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