• Posted in: General When Bad Things Happen to Good Buildings

    It’s usually under the guise of “improvement” and “modernization,” but even with less than perfect vision, they aren’t fooling any of us: bad things happen to good buildings. You know it when you see it:...

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  • Posted in: DeJa Vu Deja Vu Tuesday: A flood of first-time female voters

    107 years ago yesterday, a 70-year-old woman from Indianapolis named Mary E. Nicholson made history as one of the first females – if not the first female — elected to public office in the state of Indiana.  A...

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  • Posted in: DeJa Vu Deja Vu Tuesday: 1835 letter sheds light on worst legislative fiasco in state history

    In an old Saturday Night Live sketch, a rugged frontiersman named “Johnny Canal” travels to the White House in 1820 to pitch his idea of connecting every city and town in the country by an...

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  • Posted in: Then & Now Then & Now: Laycock Manufacturing

    Recognize this view? If you frequent the canal, it will look familiar, as a view from Bugg’s Temple. Ever wonder what may have preceded the current shiny newer business buildings? For this site, it was...

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  • Posted in: DeJa Vu Deja Vu Tuesday: A Tree Falls in Indy

    Pioneer leader James Blake was a man of many firsts.  During the early years of the 19th century, he brought the first piano to Indianapolis, built the first plaster and frame house, opened the first mill,...

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  • Posted in: Penny Post Penny Post: It is Great Here

    Postmark: Indianapolis  Ind    May 12 1909   3:30PM Message: Say it is great here. Enjoying it fine. Addressee: Miss Laura Guess, Horton, Kans (Our) Post Script: It IS pretty great here, especially along this...

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  • Posted in: Penny Post Penny Post: Weather Report, 100 Years Ago

    Postmark: Indianapolis Ind   Aug 22 1916  9:30PM   Message: My dear sister: Aug 22. 1916. This is ___and I never got a letter from home. Can you account for that? I can’t. Don’t let...

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  • Posted in: Friday Favorites Friday Fave: After 1890 State Fair, See This!

    Visitors from all over the state come to see and show at the Indiana State Fair. Check out the non-fair recommendations from the 1890 State Fair Visitor’s Guide–the last year before moving to its current location....

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  • Posted in: Then & Now Then & Now: Indiana State Fair & Expo

    Indiana State Fair and Exposition, 1873. Spanning Exposition Avenue (now 19th Street) between Hudson and Ogden (alleys immediately west and east of Alabama Street) Image: Indiana State Archives. The location, scale and wares have changed,...

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  • Posted in: Historic Miscellania State Fair, 1874

    Think about what it was like to attend the Indiana State Fair and Exposition before electricity was invented. Enjoy a couple of highlights, excerpted from an 1874 Indianapolis newspaper. “The center figure in W.L. Woods...

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  • Posted in: Mailbag HI Mailbag: 1701 Gent Avenue

    Reader’s Question: Can you provide the history of who owned the property at 1701 Gent Avenue and the businesses that occupied it over the years?  ~ Jeff C. HI’s Answer:  For readers who may not be...

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  • Posted in: Then & Now Then & Now: Hawthorne School- 75 North Belleview Place

    Circa 1911 or later – note the Carnegie Library in the background (courtesy HistoricIndianapolis.com) While it’s no longer called Nathaniel Hawthorne School Number 50, it still serves students today. Now the Providence Cristo Rey High School, the...

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  • Posted in: Friday Favorites Friday Favorite: Brick Double, Fletcher Place

    There are so many special buildings and places to love in Fletcher Place, but this one is a standout, as it is so unusual compared to other homes in the area. The earliest listing for...

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  • Posted in: Then & Now Then & Now: Independent Turnverein, 902 N. Meridian

    Postmarked 1917 Independent Turnverein Post Card, (courtesy HistoricIndianapolis.com) How lucky Indianapolis is that such detailed and well-crafted buildings still stand today–an unapologetic and ornate vestige of  yesteryear. This one, a magnificent red brick and limestone building...

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  • Posted in: Mailbag HI Mailbag: Indianapolis Public Library

    Reader’s Question: I heard that the CEO of the Indianapolis Public Library was conducting tours of IPL facilities all around the city. I’m curious to know when Indianapolis first opened a public library and where the early...

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  • Posted in: Historic Miscellania Gunned Down Grocer

    As a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, during the “golden age of fraternalism” (circa 1860-1920), for one “brother” to shoot another sounds unlikely. All the more when the organization was founded to...

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  • Posted in: Then & Now Then & Now: Southside Synogogue, 609 South Meridian

    Merrill Street didn’t always dead end into Meridian Street. The unassuming lot dabbed in trees today betrays no hint of its bustling former life. Merrill Street continued east, all the way to Noble (Noble later became...

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  • Posted in: Mailbag HI Mailbag: Trinity Episcopal Church

    Reader’s Question: I live in the neighborhood of Trinity Episcopal Church. I understand that it was not originally called Trinity. Can you provide its previous name, as well as a little of the church’s history?  ~ Jay van S., Historic...

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  • Posted in: Historic Miscellania Architect for Theaters

    It would be fair to say many an architect or architectural firm gets known for designing a predominant genre of building, and that appears to have been the case since the earliest days the trade...

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  • Posted in: Mailbag HI Mailbag: Indianapolis Victim on the USS Maine

    Reader’s Question: Last week, I tweeted some photos that I took at Crown Hill Cemetery of the grave of Harry Keys, an Indianapolis resident who was on the ill-fated USS Maine. My tweets got the attention of...

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