Followers of this website and the companion facebook page have psychic abilities, somehow knowing this building would inevitably be featured on a WTH Wednesday. Remarkably intuitive, these Historic Indianapolis lovers…From basic Italianate house to gauche Greek revival, who passes this place without thinking “What the hell?” (Choose your own expletive, or expletives as this case merits). One must ponder long and hard as to what is the biggest architectural offense being perpetrated upon the residents and visitors of our modest metropolis.
Is it the one spindly column, a whittled down toothpick and its mismatched base next to the beefy fluted traditional columns? The new red brick front facade and companion wavy glass window cubes? (At least those two are a cohesive statement.) The shiny reflective window tint in this commercial front door and surrounding windows might have been more worthy of reflection had I been able to fight off the vertigo… And what’s the story with the gaping hole and missing two front volutes on the southernmost column capital? Sure, I’ve seen soffits with a small hole, perhaps housing a sweet little family of birds. That hole could accommodate a family of pterodactyls, for crying out loud.GATLINGGUN-front-columnsPerhaps a less familiar view, from the back–which reminds me: I can’t help thinking this would have made a stellar gay bathhouse circa 1970, but I digress…
The pediment looks like it’s going to fall off any moment and how creepy that nearly all the windows have been covered with vinyl siding–and that’s before we get to the concrete appendage suckling off the side of the main building. My eyes hurt, so I have to wrap this up.GatlingGun-from-the-backPoor Dr. Gatling. I’d be rolling over in my grave if my name were plastered on such an edifice…to the point that we could probably power a turbine, which also looks to be hanging off the backside of the building, now that I mention it.And in the useless trivia department, I lifted some of the following from an old article by Agnes McCullough Hannah, who wrote the coolest house histories a few decades ago:Were you aware Dr. Richard J. Gatling invented a machine for planting cotton and another for thinning out the young plants? Or that he lived on the southwest corner of Delaware And Michigan streets after purchasing the property in 1851? Gatling had studied for a degree in medicine in La Porte and Indianapolis before receiving his degree in medicine in 1850 from Cincinnati college. He returned to Indianapolis to sell another invention: a cotton machine with a wheat seeding attachment. Dr. and Mrs. Gatling lived in Indianapolis several years before relocating to Connecticut. When the civil war began, he invented his famous gun, the first ever made on the principle of a revolving belt.


5 responses to “WTH Weds: Gatling Gun Club”

  1. Sandra Jarvis says:

    Hello Historic Indianapolis. Did you ever dig up an historic photo on this property? I’m dying to see what it looked like in it’s hey day.

  2. Tiffany Benedict Berkson says:

    Like I’ve had time?! At this point, it’s all about researching for sponsors!

  3. Joan Hostetler says:

    Sandra…I thought I posted it earlier, but here is the Gatling Gun Club in the 1940s. Do you know who bought it and how they plan to use it? I might do a Then & Now column on the building if I find more information.

  4. Sandra Jarvis says:

    Thanks for posting this, Joan. Trying to do my due-diligence on the info for this historic building. 🙂 Getting ready to list it for sale.

  5. Anonymous says: