2515 North Broadway

For those of us who are both sentimental and care for the aesthetics of Indianapolis, we’d be hard-pressed to consider buying anything but an older home.

Older homes get a bad rap—deemed ‘hard to care for,’ ‘require lots of maintenance,’ ‘are drafty’ and ‘just old’—as if mere age renders a building undesirable. Based on personal experience, it is not age, but home ownership in general that’s a never-ending, time and money sucking monolith. No domicile can go sans updates and fixes for decades without having the infrastructural breakdowns. (You have to go to the doctor every now and then, right?) Truth be told, most materials used in the construction of older homes are superior, durable and have already proven their ability to stand the test of time. Newer construction is often cheap, flimsy and of inferior quality. So, in reality, if the older homes are properly cared for and maintained, they are just as good, if not, better than that which is constructed today.

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New staircase elements, original layout

Unfortunately, many of the older homes in Indianapolis have been tortured to within an inch of their lives, making it little wonder that the lazy or shall we say less creative problem solvers would rather just bust out a bulldozer. If the proliferation of vinyl villages and the ability of some to discard a former home like a used tissue (moving on to something brand new) continues, the core of the city will likewise continue to struggle with what to do with mistreated existing housing stock.


Finished 3rd floor suite

What to do when a house has been carved up, maimed, altered in every way, original elements stripped and interior character eviscerated? Sure, you could knock it down or you could figure out a way to give it a new lease on life. Retaining what is left in 2013 is particularly important in an area where much of the original housing stock has already been lost. Take for example: 2515 North Broadway—a 100+ year old home that had been carved into apartments and stripped of its original interior craftsmanship. In its nearby surroundings: a few historic homes, some newer, and a number of vacant lots awaiting redevelopment. Solution for this home: retain the historic look of the exterior, while recreating a new single family home interior. It took a lot of gumption (and a larger skill set) to create a new home inside the shell of an old one. Much of King Park Area is experiencing a renaissance, and this home is one of the success stories.

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One of the 2nd floor rooms

And rather than saying ‘there used to be a house here,’ we can say ‘a hero once lived in this home.’  Earl Barcus, a bugler for Battery A, 158th Field Artillery, Rainbow Division was killed in action during World War I. His parents continued to live in this home, while his mortal remains were laid to rest at Crown Hill.

Now what was old, is brand-new and the future heroes or other stories are yet to be written by the next family to make this a home again. And though the former families may not have touched these exact walls, the floor plan they knew has been mostly retained, while renewed.

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Dining Room

This home is listed by HI sponsor Larry Gregerson after being saved and reinvented by HI sponsor Axia Urban. Click here for full details and better/ more photos.