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Every once in a while, you’ll be wandering around a part of the city that isn’t in your regular regimen and stumble across or rediscover a building, park, site, marker, or some other bright ray of gleaming history that improves your day. This place always grabs my attention–usually from the vantage point of the highway–the former Horace Mann School Number 13.

It’s been converted into condos, as you can see from the sign (below). Turns out it was built circa 1873 and designed by Edwin F. May, who also designed the Exposition Building that used to sit at 19th and Alabama Streets (before the State Fair was moved to its current home in 1892, and the Exposition Building was bulldozed to create Morton Place). May also designed the Indiana State Capitol (finished by Adolph Scherrer).

Brick Italianates are not as profuse as they once were in Indianapolis, but glad to see this one in Holy-Rosary Neighborhood on the south side is still around and was preserved after it discontinued use as a school in the early 1970’s. What a delight to run into this today–walking distance to Fountain Square and even better, my favorite Turkish restaurant!

Do you know anyone who attended school here? Charming neighborhood and more exploration of the area is in my upcoming calendar!

19 responses to “Friday Favorite: Horace Mann School, School 13”

  1. Jim says:

    Sad little sign for such a distinguished building.

  2. Tom Davis says:

    This is one of several historic buildings that Stenz Construction converted into condos or apartments in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

  3. ken williams says:

    This beautiful building is the first thing I see each morning when I get my paper from the front yard. This view keeps me going all day long untill I look next door to my neighbors home which is falling down. When Stenz was doing this building and removing the black boards from some of the class rooms they found older black boards beneath that had writing and pictures in color. Some of the writings were in German and some of the drawings were of the Christmas season.

  4. Glenn Cooper says:

    Me, my 2 brothers and sister attended this school in in 1945. We lived in a run down apartment building on McCarthy street.

  5. Sharon Butsch Freeland says:

    My relative, Emma Goepper, was the principal of IPS Horace Mann School 13. The Indianapolis Public School system was the only employer she ever had, her entire working life. Emma started her career in the early 1880s as a twenty-something. She taught at the grade school level, first at School 9 and later at School 45. Emma was principal of School 45 from 1914 to 1916, before her final assignment as principal of School 13 from 1917 to 1921. She retired in 1921, at the age of 60, and died in 1935, at the age of 74. Emma’s mother, Susanna Butsch Goepper, was the sister of my great-grandfather, Peter Butsch. I think that makes Emma Goepper my first cousin, three times removed.

  6. Debby Orff says:

    I attended this school from Kindergarten in 1957 to 6th grade graduation.
    What a wonderful building it was back then. Lots of great memories!

    Thank you for doing this web site.

  7. mike herkless says:

    I also started my school carrier in 1957. I left the next year in 1st grade. I don’t remember what my address was but it was a couple of blocks north of the school.

  8. Rhonda (maiden name Tolbert) Francis says:

    Attended 1st thru 6th grade. The principal was Mr. Norris and later Mrs. Wheeler. Believe I started in 1957 also. Best friends were Lucinda Wechsler and the Hyatt twins, Margie and Peggy. Some of my teachers were: Miss. Kelly-1st, Miss. Ball-2nd and 3rd, Mrs. Whalen-4th, Mr. Smock-5th and Mrs. Smith-6th. And who could forget Mr. Stublefield who taught us to play musical instruments. Which we received from Arthur’s Music Store in Fountain Square.
    Would love to hear from old class mates.
    Have been trying to find Connie Sue Johnson that lived on Prospect street.

  9. Doug Purtee says:

    I attended School 13 beginning in 1948, then moved to Johnson County in 1951. Highlight of my attendance at Horace Mann was the day in September 1948 when Roy Rogers, Trigger, and the Pioneers of the Purple Sage put on a show for the entire school in the yard on the north side of the school. A photo of Roy on Trigger was on the front page of The Indianapolis News.

  10. Cathy Teter says:

    I attended School 13, I have a lot of memories from there. The principal Mrs. Wheeler. The milk and cracker breaks in the morning, with chocolate milk and graham crackers on Wednesday’s. Funny the things you remember, LOL!

  11. Clyde McAfams says:

    I am one of 13 children most of our family attended School 13 from 1934 to 1954 we lived I in the 800 block of Noble Street. Many fond memories good teachers and many good friends.

  12. Debbie Lee Cooper says:

    I went to #13 from the 2nd grade with Mrs Ball…3rd grade with I can remember …seems like 4th grade was Miss Holcome and the 5th grade was Mr Smock and then we moved….

  13. e. Lee says:

    I started at Horace Mann in 1952 (kindergarten) – through 6th grade. My favorite teacher was Ms. Sue French…4th grade. She will never know how much I adored her and how she impacted my life. God bless her. Great school and beautiful building.

  14. Rod Johnson says:

    I attended this fine school from kindergarten I the 6th grade who could forget the milk lunch and the holiday plays and Mrs Wheeler I was a traffic guard and she took us to Fox’s.skateing ring I grew up with Jack Sandlin and Jackie Malone.and the rest of the gang

  15. gene humphrey says:

    I started at School 13 in 1942 and went thru 6th grade. Miss Russell was the principal when I started but she was replaced by Mrs. Cora Rentschler in two or three years . Mrs. Rentschler was the principal when Roy Rogers visited. Mr. Kimnitz was our custodian. The teachers I remember are Miss Nay, Miss Ruth M. Ault, Miss Furnish, Miss Anna Edgeworth, Miss Dorcas Proctor, Miss Sarah Farr who became Mrs. Wager (pronounced with a hard g) while I was there. Those are all I remember right now. We also had our milk and crackers every day. The milkman would deliver the milk and leave it inside the north door for us.

    I was Captain of the traffic boys during 6th grade. We would line up on the staircase at the second floor and then go to our respective duty corners when I rang the chimes which were on the second floor. And on and on and on.

  16. gene humphrey says:

    A little more from Gene Humphrey

    When my wife’s mother attended School 13, 20 years before I did, it was an eighth grade school. She lived at 1013 high Street when she attended 13 and I lived at 917 High Street when I and my sister attended. During WWII we would assemble occasionally in the central hall on the ground floor and sing patriotic songs: Anchors Aweigh, Off We Go Into The Wild Blue Yonder, As The Caissons Go Rolling Along, etc. We would bring in our dimes to buy savings stamps to paste in a folder and when we finished filling the folder it could be traded in for a $25.00 War Bond.

  17. gene humphrey says:

    I now recall that Miss Nay’s first name was Alberta. She was our first grade teacher. One afternoon, just before we left school for the day, she asked for our attention. Ronald B****** then stood on a chair and became the first of us to recite the alphabet. What a challenge to the rest of us.

    Each year before our Christmas break the student body staged a play about the Nativity for all our parents to attend. It was always a packed auditorium. Three boys would be dressed as the magi and they would enter the central aisle at the rear of the auditorium and slowly follow the star to Bethlehem (the stage) while singing WE THREE KINGS OF ORIENT ARE. Each of the boys sang solo when it came time to describe his individual gift. The star they followed was courtesy of a special projector which showed a star which moved slowly from the rear to the front of the auditorium on the ceiling at the pace the magi were walking. Fortunately, the magi and the star always reached Bethlehem just as the song ended.

    The wintertime trips outdoors to go to the restrooms above the boiler room were always a special treat also.

    Each May, before school was out in June, a piano would be rolled outside into the school yard and we would all march out to piano music. Unfortunately, I don’t remember what else we did on that day.

    One of the perks of being a traffic boy was when it was raining as school let out in the afternoon, the school had long, yellow slickers and matching rain hats for us to use so we wouldn’t get drenched while we were standing at our duty corners. The raincoats were kept stored at the school for us to wear on those rainy days.

    There was another activity that occurred each time 6A students would graduate. We would have a program containing skits about what each of the students wanted to be when he/she grew up. The skits were all intended to be humorous and some of them were actually about what the student had expressed as a goal. Of course, some of them were news to the student but it was all in fun.

  18. K. King says:

    I had the pleasure of living there for a few years as a “Charter” tenant upon the completion of the renovation into apartments/condos circa ’87 or so.

    Lovely building top-to-bottom. I explored the entire premises discreetly, as it was essentially empty for the first several months.

    My kitchen retained the original hardwood flooring. The high ceiling in my primary living room retained the original pressed tin design as well.

    Great place … downtown was fun with Union Station and the clubs there …
    too bad it pre-dated the real downtown renaissance.

  19. gaye g dickey says:

    Hi Gene, just wanted to tell you Ms. Nay was my first grade teacher too. I remember her being so kind, and at that time I thought she was up in age. I had forgotten about the restrooms being outside, but memory refreshed and hated restrooms being outside. My brother is two years older than me, and he was in the annual Christmas program. He sang a Christmas in Spanish. Also remember the May Day celebration. Hated the air raid drills.
    Just enjoyed your post and especially seeing mention of Miss Nay.
    I graduating high school in 1961.
    My brother is Ed Shearls and my name is Gaye Shearls.

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