If you’ve ever been on North Delaware Street, across the street from the Harrison Center for the Arts, you might notice the B&B that looks like an old-fashioned fortress/ castle. Immediately south of that imposing brick building is a parking lot for one of the tall vintage apartment buildings south of it, but it used to be home to an impressive three-story Queen Anne!

Thank goodness there are a lot of trees to somewhat obscure the asphalt now taking up the space of a gorgeous home…

and Now:

The home that stood here belonged to the William M. Jillson Family and the head of household served as President, treasurer and general manager of Knight & Jillson Company,  a gas supply house on Pennsylvania Street at Chesapeake. The family lived in the “Wedding Cake House” just a few blocks south of here before migrating north.

Where Knight & Jillson stood, now under the giant Pacers property



3 responses to “Indianapolis Then & Now: 1424 Delaware, Old Northside”

  1. basil berchekas jr says:

    Need to stay in touch with this one! And continue to receive comments! More to come, obviously!

  2. Sharon Butsch Freeland says:

    I can shed a little light (although not a lot) on the history of this property. The daughter of William Malcolm Jillson and Mary Clippinger Jillson, whose name was Anne Louise Jillson, married my Butsch-descended cousin, John Peter Frenzel II. Because of that connection, I have recorded a few details on the Jillsons in my family tree files.
    The house number of the Jillson residence was 1424 N. Delaware Street when the home was built, then changed to 1428 N. Delaware Street about 1910, then changed again to 1448 N. Delaware Street sometime in the 1920s.
    I believe there were originally at least three single-family homes in between The Propylaeum at 1410 N. Delaware Street and The Villa Inn and Restaurant at 1456 N. Delaware Street. Today the only structure on those three lots is the Zender-owned apartments, The Marleigh, at 1434 N. Delaware Street. The Marleigh was built about 1930. There were two homes north of the The Marleigh at one time, on what is now its parking lot.
    Although the driveway curb cuts to the two homes formerly located there are now gone, there are still two short strips of perpendicular sidewalk remaining, leading from the curb through the tree lawn and intersecting the continuous sidewalk that’s parallel to the street. When the homes were still standing, these strips of sidewalk would have lined up to the walkways to the front doors of the residences.
    William and Mary Jillson died in 1918, less than three months apart. Their son (and Anne Jillson Frenzel’s brother), Douglas Clippinger Jillson, continued to live in the family home at 1448 N. Delaware Street for many years after his parents’ deaths. Douglas Jillson was still living there in 1942, at the time he filled out his WWII Draft Registration card. He must have sold the house sometime in the late 1940s, as there were 8 apartments listed for that address in the city directories of the 1950s and 1960s. The Jillson residence must have been converted to some sort of boarding house in its final years.
    The address of 1448 N. Delaware Street disappeared from city directories in the early 1970s. Apparently, that is when the Jillsons’ home was demolished, and the land became a parking lot for The Marleigh.

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