One of the oldest standing White Castle buildings is this little place, located at the corner of Ft Wayne, Walnut and Delaware. Though no longer a restaurant, the building looks nearly identical to when it was built in 1927.
According to the recent National Register Nomination submitted in March 2011, this building is the third oldest White Castle building still standing in the country, and the two older ones are not as architecturally well preserved. It is one of the few still standing built in white enameled brick, used before the switch to porcelain steel as the exterior material. The restaurant also had the distinction of having been the White Castle in the longest operation in the same building, from opening in August 6, 1927 to closing April 30, 1979.
The White Castle at or near the end of its restaurant life, 1979. The old phone booths and sign no longer remain however. (IUPUI/IL collection, more photos here)
The interior no longer has any resemblance to a restaurant due to a 1983 remodeling converting it to office space. However, the remodeling has meant that the building has remained occupied and in good maintenance since, preserving this little piece of American restaurant history.
Ever eat at this White Castle?
That is cool! Was just looking for the earliest still standing White Castle and stumbled on this. I’ve always loved the early White Castle buildings and it’s cool to see that some still survive. Good to see, too, that it will, hopefully, continue to stand for more time to come. Such a cute little building!
This White Castle was an easy walk from Central Library on St. Clair. Happy to see the building still stands. I’ll have six White Castles, a large fry, and a big orange drink, please.
I was 18 years old… an elderly woman sat next to me at White Castle (burgers were 12 cents) near downtown Indianapolis in 1967. She spoke to me at length about the importance and meaning of ecumenicity. This is the place. It was late Sunday morning. I was waiting for the Central Library to open. Later that day, I was accosted at knife-point on the steps of the library. He was a young man, and I spoke to him with compassion; he walked away.
Yes I’ve eaten there. My Dad took me there when I was kid a few times. When he was a kid, he and his brother and sister attended School #2 which was right across the street from the White Castle. When something unusual happened so his mother couldn’t be at home to prepare lunch for them she’d give them money, so they could eat there. It didn’t happen often, so it was very special. Buying lunch there was one of his first memories of spending money with his brother and sister when they were by themselves without adult supervision. He and his brother started in the first grade in 1929 and they both went to Tech in 1937. His sister had started first grade at #2 in 1927. (Dad was very sick the year he should have been starting school, so he ended up starting late and being in the same grade as his younger brother.)
What an interesting story. Thank you for sharing, Sandra.
Have you ever found photos of diners in Indianapolis from the 1920s-1950s? Especially the one at 6 West Michigan that was there from 1927-1951.
I haven’t, but there’s always a chance someone else following this may. Good luck.
I’ve been there back in the early 1970s worked on East New York St. & went there on my lunch hour.