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WTH Weds NWside1

With the recent movements towards loving all things hyper-local, it wouldn’t be a stretch to say many of us would rather shop little neighborhood serving corner stores over strip-malls, if they would make a return appearance. For those neighborhood commercial buildings that managed to survive, the years haven’t always been kind. Like the really old lady who went under the plastic surgeon’s knife one too many times, these buildings have elements that just don’t look right.

Take the top half of this building, for example: what’s going on here? Vinyl siding, and vinyl ill-fitting windows aren’t doing this old gal any favors. Anyone else consumed with curiosity about what’s under that vinyl? Is there a name hidden up top?  This is still in a neighborhood and one wonders how this could best serve the locals?  A little restaurant? Coffee shop? What do you imagine here?

Location: NW quadrant

6 responses to “WTH : Whatcha Hiding Under That Top?”

  1. basil berchekas jr says:

    I need to get up there and drive by this “facial lift” sometime! Could be so charming if renovated to its original (as if we didn’t know!)

  2. Suzanna Johnson says:

    Kinda looks like Liverpool meets the American Old West right?

  3. Tom Wade says:

    I have found in my work through the years that the up side to some of this kind of remodeling is that it was only done as a quick fix or because it was the “in thing” to do. When you peel back the layers you actually find original structure that has been preserved by the modifications.

  4. Sharon Butsch Freeland says:

    My grandfather, Frank J. Butsch, Sr., lived in one of the apartments above the stores in this building! In 1918, this is where he was living as a single twenty-something, before he and my grandmother were married. At that time, the storefront on the left side of your photo was occupied by J. M. Scott & Son Drugs (John M. and Charles W. Scott). The door in the middle was the entrance to the stairway leading up to the second floor apartments. The storefront on the right side of your photo was occupied by Hartman & Son Grocers (owners August E. and Ernest P. Hartman). It would be difficult for a modern-day drugstore or grocery to operate in such a space today, but I could envision a café, gift shop, bookstore, or clothing store fitting into one of these spaces. The little raised area would be perfect for outdoor dining in nice weather. BTW, the street on which this building is located was not known by its current name in its early days. If you follow the street on which this building is located into the center of the city, you’ll recognize the well-known downtown street name that this street was originally called. You can also find the original name of this street on the 1916 Baist Map #34.

  5. Tim Nation says:

    A nice restaurant was there a few years ago called The Boulevard Cafe – and it housed a law office and another business starting in the early-2000’s. I’ve read restaurants must have a high volume of customers or high alcohol sales to be successful.

    Naeemah Jackson who lives a few blocks away on Berkley reports her grandfather owned the building in the 1960-80’s when there was a hardware store on the first floor, and for a few years the Butler Tarkington Neighborhood Center was on the second floor – predecessor to the present Martin Luther King Community Center at 40 W. 40th Street.

  6. basil berchekas jr says:

    The revitalization of Indianapolis’ neighborhoods will take local businesses like the ones you mentioned in this article…concurrently, it’ll also take housing revitalization to bring in customers…which comes first, the chicken or the egg?