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Every time I pass this, I think about what the ground floor, in particular, looked like originally. Indiana Historical Society has a few old pics of the Prather Masonic Temple, opened in 1921. (The IHS collection includes some interior shots as well).

Looks like Binkley’s Drug Store formerly occupied the ground floor, and I dunno about you, but I’m a fan of street level visual appeal, not tons of painted plywood. Would be fabulous to see those windows opened back up! Your thoughts?

13 responses to “Sunday Prayers: Prather Masonic Temple, 42nd & College”

  1. basil berchekas jr says:

    I agree 100%. Street level commercial, even office activity makes the corner vibrant and “alive”, and an expression of faith in the immediate neighborhood by those investors “who make a difference”…

  2. Sharon Butsch Freeland says:

    I was intrigued by the 1921 Bass photo showing the name Binkley on its awning, as the only Binkley Drugs of which I was aware was the one located at College Avenue and Kessler Boulevard. Turns out Binkley’s Broad Ripple location was the final (but the longest lived) of Charles E. Binkley’s drugstores. His first store was on E. 25th Street, just east of Central Avenue around 1910.

    Then in 1915, Binkley went into partnership with a James E. New, in a brand new building on the southeast corner of 42nd and College Avenue, i.e., diagonal from the Calvin Prather Masonic Lodge. An article about the new building appeared in The Indianapolis Star on October 24, 1915 (http://tinyurl.com/BinkleyNewDrugs ).

    When the Calvin Prather Masonic Lodge was built, Binkley & New Drugs moved to 4202 N. College Avenue. If you look closely at the awning in the Bass photo, you can see that it says Binkley & New.

    Standard Grocery moved into 4173 College after the pharmacists vacated it in 1921. Sadly, the building that was on the southeast corner is now gone. Today it’s the parking lot for IFD Station 31. Don’t know what became of James New after 1921, but by 1930, Charles Binkley had moved to 5902 N. College Avenue sans a partner, and 4202 College had become a Hook’s Drugs.

    Back to the Calvin Prather Masonic Lodge . . . One of my sisters was a member of Job’s Daughters, and her bethel met in this building until the mid-’70s. The architect of the Calvin Prather Masonic Lodge was John P. Parrish, who designed a number of Masonic lodges around Indiana, as well as the armory at Stout Field. Parrish was also the architect of the 1922 Broad Ripple Firehouse (http://tinyurl.com/BRFirehouse ), which was placed on the National Register of HIstoric Places in 2011.

    The area around 42nd and College holds many childhood memories for me. My grandparents’ final home in their senior years was just south of the commercial building that gave way to the IFD Station 31. My uncle worked at the Uptown Theatre when he was a teenager and young man. Relatives operated a small Mom ‘n Pop grocery store on the southwest corner, now the site of the College Avenue Public Library.

    It would be wonderful to see this building restored.

  3. Sharon Butsch Freeland says:

    Tiffany, Sorry my post is a little hard to read. When I typed my comments, I put spaces between the paragraphs (before the words Then, When, Standard, Back, The, and It). When I submitted my post, however, the spaces did not survive the upload. Are you able to insert spaces between the paragraphs in this post? Is there a technique for creating a blank space between paragraphs that I can use in the future? Thanks, Sharon

  4. Tiffany Benedict Berkson says:

    If there is some other way to do it, I don’t know about out, because on the back end, the paragraphs are there. ??? Sorry.

  5. George Starkey says:

    Sharon- can you tell me more about the grocery in the building on the southwest corner? I’ve lived in the area for most of the last 40 years, and remember it as The Hatherleigh building (as the neighborhood subdivision to the north on Broadway is also) My memories of it begin in the early 1970s, when it was fairly run down and a used furniture store occupied it. After that, it was pretty much abandoned and really fell into disrepair. there were a few add-on structures to the south of it on College, one of which was a tavern. Since I didn’t venture around them, I don’t recall what else was there.Beyond that was a VFW post, then residential. It’s all gone now, having made way for the College Avenue Branch library.

    I’ve searched for photos of the Hatherleigh, but to no avail.

    There is life in the Prather building, aside from the church that resides there- the wonderful pretzel shop!

  6. Sharon Butsch Freeland says:

    Well, what do you know! In rereading “Sunday Prayers” and clicking on both Tiffany’s links and my own links, I discovered some information I hadn’t noticed before. This time, when I read the 1915 IndyStar article about the Walker Building at 4173 N. College Avenue, a detail I’d overlooked when I read it the first time “clicked” with me. A grocer named Jefferson Stewart was mentioned as occupying the new building along with Binkley and New’s Drug Store.

    Jefferson Stewart was the older brother of my great-grandmother, Centennial (Stewart) Tomlinson. I only vaguely remember “Uncle Jeff,” who died in 1957 at the age of 90, when I was 10 years old. I knew from oral family history that Jeff had had a grocery on Mass Ave and a stand in the City Market, but I never knew that for a while he also operated a grocery at 42nd and College.

    I love the serendipity of stumbling upon facts about my relatives’ lives while looking up something on someone else.

  7. Sharon Butsch Freeland says:

    George ~

    Interestingly, the commercial building called The Hatherleigh that was formerly on the southwest corner of E. 42nd Street and N. College Avenue was not actually on land that had a Hatherleigh legal description. The legal description for that corner, which is now the I-MCPL College Avenue Library Branch, was (and still is!) Washington Heights Addition.

    Since you’ve lived in the area for 40 years, you probably already know this, but in case you don’t . . . The Hatherleigh Addition runs from the north side of East 42nd Street to the south side of East 44th Street and from the east side of Central Avenue to the west side of College Avenue. To add to the confusion about the commercial building that was called The Hatherleigh, there is also an apartment building on the southwest corner of E. 44th and N. Park Avenue that is called The Hatherleigh. Perhaps the person who built the commercial building called The Hatherleigh at 42nd and College was also the developer of the nearby housing addition with the legal description of Hatherleigh. FYI, the Calvin Prather Masonic Lodge has a Hatherleigh legal description, as does St. Joan of Arc Catholic Church.

    The earliest listing I could find of The Hatherleigh Building at 42nd and College is in the 1915 City Directory. Some of the tenants in its early years of existence were Morrison’s Drug Store, Kroger Grocery, H. Lieber Picture Frames, Humpty Dumpty Ice Cream Parlor, and the Uptown Tavern.

    My relatives who operated The Uptown Grocery were named George and Irene Dell. Their store was in The Hatherleigh, but it faced 42nd Street rather than College Avenue. The grocery was just east of the alley that originally ran between College and Broadway. The alley no longer goes through, since the library now occupies the entire block from College to Broadway. The Uptown Grocery would have had an address of something like 647 or 649 E. 42nd Street. The Dells retired about 1960, so they were gone before you settled in the area. Their storefront was vacant for several years after they left. I don’t remember anything memorable ever being in that space again. The Robert E. Kennington American Legion Post #43 was originally at 4174 N. College Avenue. It moved up to 6440 Westfield Boulevard in the mid to late ’70s, where it still is today.

    ~ Sharon

  8. basil berchekas jr says:

    A very excellent historic description that answers many questions…would be interested in more historic info on how the Uptown area got its name…

  9. Christopher Hodapp says:

    When Calvin W. Prather Lodge 717 first built this building, they proudly touted that it had the largest Masonic lodge room in the state of Indiana, a record that stood until after World War II. To my knowledge, no one ever really verified that factoid over the years, it just was taken to be the truth. Prather had originally organized at North Park Lodge which was at 30th and Clifton Ave., and they had a friendly rivalry over the following years. Consequently, when North Park Lodge built their new suburban building on a huge property over at 5555 Michigan Road in the mid-1950s, they took great pains to make sure their lodge room was designed to be EXACTLY one foot longer and wider than Prather’s, so THEY could have the largest in the state. Indiana’s Masonic membership peaked in 1958, and that kind of friendly, fraternal one upsmanship began to taper off.

    Prather Lodge engaged in suburban flight and sold their College Avenue temple in 1970. They eventually moved up to a new purpose-built building on a densely wooded property at 87th and Haverstick in Nora. That building was constructed in large part by the members themselves, which finally opened in 1982.

    In 2006 they again sold to eager developers who had envisioned a Whole Foods grocery and condo development there that never materialized. The building was flattened, and only the parking lot remains back in the trees now. The lodge moved out to East 56th Street, immediately to the east of Lawrence Central High School, into a 1960s building owned by Mystic Circle Lodge. After three years, they took over that building themselves, and their lodge continues to thrive today.

    Meanwhile, their once enormous west side competitor, North Park Lodge, merged with two other struggling ones on that side of town, which are now combined under a generic name of Northwest Lodge 770 in a nondescript cinder block building at 46th at Lafayette Road.

  10. Bridget Arthur says:

    During the 1960s, the main floor of this building was Uptown Drugs. There was also a bar called “Led & Joe’s” on College just south of 42nd Street, on the west side of the street.

  11. Bill Mc says:

    Never saw this before, thanks
    Bill McBeth

  12. WIlliam Tracy says:

    I believe I found a photo of this building soon after it was completed. I would be happy to share it.

  13. Tiffany Benedict Browne says:

    I’d love to add it to the story if you want to send it over! It can be uploaded via this link: https://historicindianapolis.com/contact-us/

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