The city is replete with buildings like this–loaded with potential,  sad and forlorn–a fading shadow of a former, glorious, incarnation.

The namesake of this building is from its first owner, Joseph Allen Minturn (6/20/1861- 4/3/1943), an active Indianapolis resident, involved in clubs–he helped found the Indiana Chapter of the Mayflower Society, once presided as president of the Marion Club and belonged to the Service Club, Mystic Lodge No. 398 and Scottish Rite; politics–he was elected to the Indiana House of Representatives in 1901 and later ran for a senate seat; and other pursuits–art, engineering, and law. Minturn moved to Indianapolis from Ohio at age 15 and learned the machines trade at Nordyke and Marmon. In the 1880s, he passionately pursued art–carving wood blocks, and rubbing elbows with the earliest “who’s who” of Indianapolis artists. The below sketch shows a young William Forsyth at the easel and James Whitcomb Riley in front of John Love. John Love was one of the city’s earliest artists and the first half of the “Love and Gookins” Indiana School of Art fame.

Minturn went on to be a successful patent attorney, and in 1892 formed half of the Hellgren and Minturn architectural firm that built the Surgical Institute on Capitol Avenue. The other half being Mr. R. W. Hellgren of Chicago. The two opened a (short-lived) business together in the old Sentinel Building.

1892 newspaper ad for Minturn’s Business as a Patent Attorney

Is it possible the firm of Hellgren & Minturn built these apartments? We may never know.

The Minturn Apartments, front 22nd and with an unobstructed view to Capitol Street, advertised flats to be ready for occupancy by December 1, 1905 with 8 flats with five large rooms and bath in each.

1898 Sanborn map, IUPUI Library

November 1913 classifieds advertised a Minturn resident selling furnishings: “For Sale: Mahogany furniture and kitchen cabinet, Quick Meal gasoline stove; all half price- 145 W. 22nd, Flat B, The Minturn.”

In May 1918, you could have rented a three room flat at the Minturn for $19 per month.

One odd note, possibly for exploring another day, was the divorce Mr. Minturn survived.

His ex-wife Leona went on to be embroiled in the story of a stolen child she claimed was her own. Bizarre plot twists have been around longer than this historic architecture.

Mr. Minturn at the end of his life.


14 responses to “Minturn Apartments, 22nd & Capitol”

  1. Jim says:

    I can imagine this building making a nice small-business headquarters.

  2. Shelley says:

    Thank you for this. I have always been curious about this building, from my days living inFall Creek, but was never able to find information on my own. Who owns it now?

  3. George Starkey says:

    Sadly, this building is being demolished today. They are starting at the backside and demoing towards 22nd Street.

  4. Tiffany Benedict Browne says:


  5. George Starkey says:

    I’m very tempted to salvage a brick from it. The marquee on the front of the building, however, is above my lifting ability.

  6. Tiffany Benedict Browne says:

    I hope that is saved at least.

  7. Cristina Talucci says:

    Just drove past this building, I think yesterday or the day before, since 65 is closed and we’ve been taking new routes downtown. My bf read the “Minturn” aloud and we wondered why it said that while we waited at the light. Love seeing these old buildings around town. Seems like Indianapolis is more concerned with building new modern-looking buildings than preserving it’s history.

  8. Edward Parrish says:

    I have been taking a different traffic pattern as well. I stopped a took a picture of the building face. There is a fence in the way, but access on the east side allows for “brick salvaging”. Beyond that, I had no idea that “HI” existed. This is an awesome site! There is so much beauty and history in Indianapolis. You just have to pause and look.

  9. Jeff says:

    My great-grandmother lived in this building for many years. I spent a lot of time there as a kid. I remember it well.

  10. Tiffany Benedict Browne says:

    How interesting! Please tell us more! And do you have any photos? What were the apartments like inside and around what year did your great grandmother live there? Thanks for sharing!

  11. chris says:

    where are some other similar buildings that need some TLC

  12. Jinx Dawson says:

    My great-grandfather built this building…

  13. Tiffany Benedict Browne says:

    No way! I’m still ticked every time I pass that empty lot.
    This is Joseph, correct? Recently found he did a number of patent jobs for early Indy bicycle guys.

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