The W. E. Mick Building, also known as the Aquilina Apartments, was a brick structure built in 1910-11 on the northwest corner of Central Avenue and East 30th Street. Realtor and developer William E. Mick hired architect William H. Albersmeier to design the mixed commercial and residential building with five storefronts on the first floor and four second-floor apartments. The flats were large for the era with four and five rooms. The corner location was the site of a drug store for many decades, including Merrill and Alford Drug Store (1910s) and Koehler Pharmacy (late 1910s until at least the 1980s). (Indianapolis Star, November 20, 1910)
When this accident scene was documented by the Indianapolis Fire Department in the mid 1960s (1964 or later based on the Ford Galaxie car to the left), the busy Koehler Drugs intersection was also home to the Air Liner Sandwich Shop, a Pure Oil Company gas station, a Westinghouse appliance store, Frances Shoppe dresses, and Raysey Interiors. After John P. Koehler’s death in 1954, the pharmacy was owned by Joseph Felsher at least until the 1980s. In the 1970s the area was also home to Ted’s Union 76 Service Station, Poro Barber and Beauty College, the Seven Star Baptist Church, and the Mini Record Shop. For a closer view, zoom in on the IMCPL image. (IMCPL Digital Collections, Indianapolis Firefighters Museum Collection)
Today, this intersection hardly has any presence with empty lots on three of the corners. If my memory is correct, a fire broke-out in the Mick Building/Aquilina Apartments in the late 1990s and the charred shell was demolished around 2000. The surviving brick building houses the Unleavened Bread Café, offering soul food meals (breakfast and lunch only), while also hosting occasional bible study classes and church groups. Committed residents of the Mapleton-Fall Creek Neighborhood are working along with the Mapleton-Fall Creek Develoment Corporation to rebuild and revitalize the area.
As always, I love hearing your memories of these neighborhoods and especially would like to find snapshots of this intersection or any other area of Indianapolis.
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