NewsLocal News / April 8, 2014

Five Thursdays, Five Neighborhood Walking Tours

WFYI News
Five Thursdays, Five Neighborhood Walking Tours

Indiana Landmarks has partnered with Historic Urban Neighborhoods of Indianapolis to offer a walking tour of a different historic neighborhood every Thursday in May — Preservation Month. The 90-minute tours start at 6 p.m. and cost $10 per person. 

Visitors will learn the history of each area and its revitalization, see the range in house styles, get the scoop on average sale prices, and see the interior of a home.  Each tour covers about one mile. At the conclusion of the tour, there will be the option of continuing the conversation at a neighborhood tavern.

Capacity for the tours is limited. Register online or call Indiana Landmarks, (317) 636-5409. The registration site provides the starting point for each tour, and recommendations for after-tour dining and cocktailing.

May 1 ‒ Old Speedway

Speedway contains more than the famous racetrack. The boundaries of the original city of Speedway are now the boundaries of a historic district, containing homes built from the 1920s through the 1940s. The four founders of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway — James A. Allison, Frank Wheeler, Arthur Newby and Carl Fisher — hired a realtor to purchase the land, plat the area, and sell the lots, making Speedway an early example of a planned residential community. Julia Pratt and Frank van Overmeiren will lead the walking tour, stopping on 14th Street to visit a home being rehabbed by the Speedway Community Development Corp. The boundaries of Old Speedway are Main, 10th, Lyndhurst and Crawfordsville Road.

May 8 ‒ Cottage Home

Cottage Home is a near eastside district bordered on the east by the campus of state-basketball-title-winning Tech High School. The neighborhood takes its name from its housing stock, frame houses built between 1870 and 1900. Many of the cottages feature turned posts and spindles, gingerbread trim porches, brackets, and fishscale shingles.  The neighborhood as a whole is a conservation district, with a one-block section listed in the National Register of Historic Places that contains a mansion and five brick doubles, all designed by Vonnegut and Bohn. The area is known for its clever, offbeat, artful residents and events. Joan Hostetler leads the tour, which will visit her restored home on Dorman Street. Cottage Home is bounded by Michigan, Tenth, Oriental, and the CSX Railroad.

May 15 ‒ Meridian Park 

This tour highlights an early 20th-century neighborhood of spacious homes in the Arts and Crafts, Tudor, Colonial Revival and American Four-Square styles.  The houses reflect the Arts and Crafts emphasis on the use of natural materials such as brick, stucco, tile, stained and leaded glass windows, hardwood floors, and built-in cabinetry. Listed as a historic district in the National Register, Meridian Park is bounded by Pennsylvania Street and Washington Boulevard, 30th and 34th streets. Lorraine Vavul and Chris Gautier will lead the tour, which will visit Bob and JoAnn Giannini’s Arts and Crafts-style home that features two Rookwood fireplaces.

May 22 ‒ Lockerbie Square

The city’s first locally designated historic district, Lockerbie Square, owes its prominence to its most famous resident — Hoosier poet James Whitcomb Riley, whose home there is a museum. It is also listed in the National Register. The district of tree-lined streets includes a mix of charming 19th-century cottages and more imposing homes, with compatible modern houses built on formerly vacant lots. Marjorie Kienle and Leah Cody will lead the tour, which will include visits to a cottage and a repurposed factory with views of downtown skyline from its rooftop deck. Located about a half mile from Monument Circle, Lockerbie Square is roughly bounded by East, Davidson, Michigan, and Miami streets.

May 29 ‒ Old Northside

The final walking tour of the month takes place in the Old Northside, a neighborhood of large Victorian houses built in the second half of the 19th century that declined after World War II. In dilapidated condition in the 1960s and 1970s, many of the large homes were torn down. Nationally and locally designated as a historic district in the late 1970s, the area rebounded as people bought and restored the remaining houses and built compatible new designs on vacant lots. Bob Hebbs and Paul Smith will lead the tour, which will visit the Morris-Butler House. Located about a mile north and several blocks east of Monument Circle, the Old Northside boundaries are Pennsylvania and 16th streets, I-65 and the Monon Trail.