Explore the history of each home and compare photos from the early 1980s vs 2021.
The McKay is an "Eastern" flat style apartment building developed in 1923 by prominent local resident Martha Nicolson McKay. Though born in Ohio, McKay lived in Indianapolis for 68 years. She was married to successful local businessman Horace McKay. Mrs. McKay was a community leader with broad interests. She was a founder of the Indianapolis Women's Club, an ardent campaigner for women's suffrage and a political activist. She also had a successful writing career, having published a history of Indiana literary clubs and a book on the Civil War. Photo from 1986 vs 2022.
The Grover is an enlarged "Eastern" flat property developed by local builder Arthur B. Grover. Grover, a Harvard graduate was married to Anna Wallace, the daughter of Indiana Governor David Wallace. Grover was president of an important construction firm, Harrison Construction Company, and was engaged in the Indiana real estate market as partner in Grover and Layman. Grover was particularly active in subdivision development around the state. By 1914 the Grover was fully occupied, mostly by single, white-collar workers. Perhaps the most famous occupant of the building was Ray Harroun, a mechanical engineer who was living at the Grover the year he drove the winning car in the first Indianapolis 500-mile race. Photo from 1982 vs 2022.
Eugene A. Cooper had this six-unit "Eastern" flat building constructed in 1901 as an investment property. Cooper, a New York native, owned a successful livery operation. He and his wife lived in the fashionable apartments owned by Hoosier author and Civil War hero, General Lew Wallace. Residents of the Glencoe tended to be young married couples of social standing. Like the Coopers, many early occupants of the Glencoe can be found listed in the Indianapolis Blue Book (a directory of prominent citizens). Photo from 1983 vs 2022.
Indianapolis architect Peter P. Cookingham designed the 1875 chapel and may have completed the drawings for the 1886 sanctuary, although he had left the city prior to its construction. This was formerly the home of the oldest Lutheran congregation in Indianapolis, first organized in 1837 as Mount Pisgah Lutheran. Five area Lutheran congregations trace their origins to Mount Pisgah. The location of the church is an indication that St. Joseph was an area of transition between the commercial downtown and the new residential "walking" neighborhoods of the Northside. It is currently a for-profit wedding & event venue. Photo from 1938 vs 2022.
The Young Women's Christian Association (YWCA), a significant women's urban social institution of the twentieth century, was active in Indianapolis. The Blue Triangle Residence Hall (named for the blue triangular lapel pins worn by YWCA members stationed overseas during World War I) is the only surviving building of three major facilities that were constructed by the YWCA in Indianapolis from 1909 to 1971. Constructed in 1923-1924, at a cost of $163,348.98, Blue Triangle Hall was a home away from home that provided a good moral environment, employment skills training, physical exercise and acceptable social activities for young working women. Many YWCA local service initiatives, such as Travelers Aid and the War Chest (United Way), became independent community programs. Photo from 1988 vs 2022.
Mrs. Elizabeth G. Palmer had the Sylvania constructed in 1906 on the site of her family home. Mrs. Palmer and her family lived in the Italianate residence at the corner of Pennsylvania and St. Clair streets from the time of their arrival in Indianapolis in 1895. Like her neighbor, Newell Lodge, she had the family home demolished to build a multi-family investment property. Mrs. Palmer hired one of the most accomplished construction firms, William P. Jungclaus & Sons, to build the twelve-unit, two building complex. Jungclaus was responsible for the construction of some of the most important and recognizable buildings in downtown Indianapolis, including the Majestic Building (1896), Merchants National Bank (1906-1910), and the Masonic Temple. The company remains active today (2022) in the construction business as Jungclaus and Campbell. Photo from 1986 vs 2022.
The construction of the Burton c. 1919 was the result of the rapid and pervasive changes occurring in the St. Joseph neighborhood housing market after World War I. It was a small scale development undertaken by the Burton Realty Company to provide affordable housing for the burgeoning urban work force in Indianapolis. Records indicate Edward H. Burton founded the real estate development firm around 1913. Though Mr. Burton was active in the business until 1941, the real estate firm continued to own this building until 1949. Long term abandonments caused severe structural deterioration (as of 1994). Photos from 1983 & 2018.
The Lodge, a small "Eastern flats" style apartment building, is significant for its architecture as well as its impact on the commercial real estate development of the St. Joseph neighborhood. At a time when Pennsylvania Street was wholly single family residences, the building of the Lodge began a revolution in apartment construction. In 1905, after the death of his father James Lodge, Caleb Newell Lodge hired Edgar C. Spink to demolish the Lodge family residence and begin construction of an apartment building. Construction cost $11,000. Spink was new to Indianapolis and the Lodge was his first project. He went on to form the E.G. Spink Company that constructed and managed sixty apartment buildings in the city. An Indianapolis native, Newell Lodge was a DePauw University graduate. He was the treasurer of the John S. Spann Company, one fo the city's most prominent real estate development firms. He was a member of the University and Columbia clubs and active in the Second Presbyterian Church. Photos from 1982 & 2018.
It's hard to discuss this area without mentioning the Cathcart family, specifically Charlotte "Pink" Cathcart who is featured on a mural at 901 N Pennsylvania. Her family home was at 9th & Pennsylvania St, where The Cathcart apartment building now stands. She lived most of her life at this location from her birth in 1877 to 1964, outside of a few years when she was serving overseas for the war effort. She recorded her memories of her time there in a memoir titled Indianapolis from Our Old Corner, published in 1965.
Check out an article with more details of Pink's life and photos.
The Plaza is an "Eastern flat" style apartment building constructed early in the twentieth century in response to growing commercial development around Pennsylvania and Pratt (9th) streets. In April of 1907, local contractor Levi S. Pierson and his son Ora received a permit to construct a two-story double residence on the northwest corner of Pennsylvania and Pratt streets. In June of the same year the permit was amended to allow for a three-story, multi-unit apartment building valued at $60,0000. Levi Pierson, a native of Indianapolis, was the son and nephew of local contractors. He was the president of the local Builder's Exchange for many years. Although Pierson's firm was relatively small, he was involved in the construction of a number of significant buildings including the Plaza and the Cyclorama Building. Photos from 1983 & 2021.
The Pennsylvania, an "Eastern flat" style apartment building, was built in 1906 by local real estate developer George W. Brown. Brown, the son of German immigrants, was active in in the Indianapolis real estate market in 1890 when he organized the German-American Building Association. Brown served as the secretary of the company for over twenty years during which time it was active in the construction of a number of apartment buildings including the Vienna (1908) and the Delaware Courts (1916-1917). The Pennsylvania was constructed by prominent contracting firm of Nuerge & Reinking. Like Brown, Charles Nuerge and Henry Reinking were also sons of German immigrants. They came to Indianapolis in 1871 and by the end of the nineteenth century had created one of the largest contracting firms in central Indiana. Photos from 1982 & 2018.
The 947 North Penn Realty Company was responsible for the construction of this building. Known originally as the Hotel Pennsylvania, it did not open its doors until 1935 as a residence hall for young working women. The Great Depression may have been responsible for the construction delay as the realty company purchased the property in 1929. The name changed to Nottingham Court Inn Hotel during the decade of the 1960s. The United Methodist Church purchased the building and operated the hotel as low cost supervised residence for men and women with a variety of special needs. The church renamed the building the "Lucille Raines Residence" in 1970. Lucille Raines (1897-1980) was the wife of Methodist Bishop Richard Raines of Indiana.
The Manchester was constructed in 1928 to provide twenty-eight apartments for the Manchester Realty Company. The medieval detailing design is similar to the neighboring Sheffield Building. Photos from 1990s vs 2021.
Existing records do not clearly indicate either the builder or the precise construction date for this "Eastern flat" apartment building. Listings of occupants in the apartment appear in 1925, suggesting that construction began a year or so earlier. Charles D. Chadwick is the most likely candidate for developer of the project. Chadwick, who was blinded as a teenager, was the founder of the Indiana Board of Industrial Aid for the Blind and he designed the building that housed that organization. He also founded and operated a loan company. Both activities suggest an interest and involvement in real estate development. The sophisticated style of the Chadwick attracted a fashionable clientele. It was completely destroyed by fire in 2011 and delisted from the National Register of Historic Places. More background is available in this article from Historic Indianapolis. Photos from 1991 vs 2010.
The Clavin I. Fletcher house was constructed in 1895 by the grandson and namesake of one of the most prominent and influential men in early Indianapolis history, Calvin I. Fletcher. Fletcher's grandson, Calvin I. Fletcher III, was born in 1859. He was a graduate of the Indiana Medical College (now Indiana University School of Medicine) and studied at clinics in London and Paris. Dr. Fletcher was best known however as a world traveler and prolific photographer. His travels included visits to nearly everything country in the world, with particularly extensive tours of the Orient and South America. Dr. Fletcher died in an avalanche on the Blackfoot Glacier in Glacier National park. At the time of his death his personal photo collection contained over 40,000 negatives. Photos from 1986 vs 2022.
This carriage house retains its 19th century character. The one-and-a-half-story section has most of its features intact. The large one-story portion was originally a two-story structure that lost its second floor sometime between 1915 and 1949. By 1949 it was used for automobile repairs. Photos from 1980s vs 2022.