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Courtesy of the Indiana Album, photo loaned by Joan Hostetler

Courtesy of the Indiana Album, ca. 1915 glass lantern slide loaned by Joan Hostetler

The Union Laundry Company building, on the corner of Lexington Avenue and Pine Street, was built in 1911 on the old site of Fulmer’s Livery Stables. Otherwise known as the Union Cooperative Laundry, this two-story building was specially built to house the modern laundry equipment on the first floor, ironing and presses on the second floor, and roof-top water purifying tanks. With concern for their workers’ well being, the facilities including restrooms with showers, a men’s smoking room, and a basement lunchroom for their 25 male and 50 female employees.

Polk's Indianapolis City Directory, 1914

Polk’s Indianapolis City Directory, 1914

 

Courtesy of the Indiana Historical Society, Bass Photo Company #219962

Courtesy of the Indiana Historical Society, Bass Photo Company #219962

By 1915, the business was named Sterling Laundry Company and retained that name for many decades (at least through the 1950s). It was eventually purchased by Mechanics Laundry. This image shows the building in 1931.

Courtesy of Indiana Landmarks, Indiana Historic Architecture Slide Collection

Courtesy of Indiana Landmarks, Indiana Historic Architecture Slide Collection

Broadstreet Development began restoring the building as lofts in the 1980s and the project was completed by Building Restoration Services in the early 1990s. This slide shows the project under construction in 1982.

Google Street View, July 2009

Google Street View, July 2009

Today, Union Laundry Lofts contains twenty-seven condos. The building is located in Fletcher Place Neighborhood.

2 responses to “Indianapolis Then and Now: Union Laundry Company / Union Laundry Lofts, 735 Lexington Avenue”

  1. Norm Morford says:

    Neat re-use of a very good old building in a neat area.

  2. Jeffrey Congdon says:

    It is interesting to note that the Union Laundry had phone numbers for the New Telephone and the old. The new was actually “The New Telephone Company” and the old was “The Central Union Company”. My office at 152 E 22nd St is the only extant building for The New Telephone Company”. As you drive by my building you will notice a diamond limestone logo on the building that has the initials NTCO.

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