Friday, February 19, 2016

Response to Drawings + Documents Archive: The Movie

The Society of American Archivists (SAA) recently checked in with Drawings + Documents Archive's archivist, Carol Street, to discuss the archive's latest outreach initiative. You can find the interview at SAA's ArchivesAWARE! blog and see the inspiration that led to our using LEGO to discuss architectural research.

The overwhelmingly positive response to our outreach video has been incredibly gratifying for everyone at the archive who worked on it. We hope the video shares our enthusiasm for archives and shows the world that archives and archival research can be fun, not dusty. Many thanks to SAA and others (even LEGO!) for showing our little video some love.

Friday, February 12, 2016

Brookside Park, ca. 1910

Located on the Near Eastside of Indianapolis, Brookside Park was one of the first two city parks in Indiana’s capital.  The City of Indianapolis purchased the land that would become Brookside Park in 1870, officially declaring the property a city park in 1900.  Shortly thereafterthe space was incorporated into George E. Kessler’s park and boulevard master plan for Indianapolis, acquiring many of the picturesque qualities that it retains today. 
Although the landscapes of Kessler's plan are often celebrated for their meandering pathways, idyllic tree lines, and vast grassy fields, numerous works of architecture, large and small, were also essential to Kessler's overall vision.  Among these works was the Shelter House at Brookside Park, an idiosyncratic structure that represented a current fancy for playful eclecticism.  Accordingly, it is difficult to assign a single  "style" to this unique building.  Its river stone foundation was reminiscent of East Coast precedent; its flared hipped roof evinced an Asian influence; and its rustic wood posts and balustrades looked as if they had been plucked from a storybook.   
Complementing the overall woodsy character of the park, the shelter would have been a delightful surprise for first-time visitors and a perfect setting for picnics and parties. 

The building itself was a feat of skilled carpentry.  Indeed, the construction of the roof required many well-calculated cuts and snug joints.  The plan for the roof structure, pictured here, illustrates the complex intersections between the flared hipped roof over the main body of the building and the tapered conical roofs over the two cylindrical corner bay projections.  Note that the hipped roof would have been covered in lath before the rafters of the conical roof sections were installed.  The design and construction of these features would have called for a mastery of geometry that is increasingly rare among architects and carpenters.   
Although the Shelter House no longer stands, the records in the Ball State University Drawings + Documents Archive serve to remind us of a quirky treasure that once graced the grounds of Brookside Park. 
Written by Sam Burgess, Graduate Assistant in the Drawings + Documents Archive.
Images: Brookside Park Shelter House drawings, ca. 1910. [40-67a] Indianapolis Department of Parks and Recreation, Drawings + Documents Archive, Ball State University.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Drawings + Documents Archive: The Movie!

Learn about the Drawings + Documents Archive by watching our new, LEGO stop-motion movie on YouTube! ( Follow Sarah, a student at the College of Architecture and Planning, as she navigates primary source researching at the archive and learns about all of the resources available to her--from original architectural drawings to 3-D prints.

Archives staff is incredibly grateful for the talents of its graduate assistants, particularly Raluca Filimon who directed the project, and for the enthusiasm of our narrator, Paul Jones, who stopped in one morning to remind us to buy donuts in the atrium and became an integral part of the project. 

Monday, January 25, 2016

New Collection in the Drawings + Documents Archives! Richard G. Foltz Architectural Books

The Richard G. Foltz Architectural Books Collection was recently donated by Walter Foltz, the son of Indiana architect Richard Foltz who studied at L’Ecole des Beaux-Arts in the early 20th century. The collection contains eight extraordinary volumes of architectural history, including Oeuvres Choisies De J.B. Piranesi, Frontispsces, Compositions, Prisons, Trophees, Plan et Vues De Rome, Dessines et Graves De 1746 A 1778, which was published in 1913 and depicts 140 incredible etchings from the 18th century Italian artist and architect, Giovanni Battista Piranesi. Other volumes in the collection are Jardins d’Espagne (1926) and Monuments antiques, relevés et restaurés par les architectes pensionnaires de l'Académie de France à Rome; notices archéologiques par Georges Seure (1910-1912).

Images: A selection of images from the Richard G. Foltz Architectural Books Collection. Drawings + Documents Archive, Ball State University. 

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Juliet Peddle, Indiana's first licensed female architect

Interested in knowing more about architect Juliet Peddle? She is known for her Modern designs in her hometown of Terre Haute, Indiana, as well as her interest in preserving historic architecture. She created a series of holiday cards, one of which is above, to send to friends and clients, and also designed cards for others. 

A small collection of her work was donated recently, and has been digitized and made available in the University Libraries' Digital Media Repository. Below is a brief biographical sketch from the finding aid to the collection:

Juliet Alice Peddle was born June 7, 1899 in Terre Haute, Indiana. Her father, John Peddle, worked as a professor of machine design at Rose Polytechnic Institute in Terre Haute.[1] She attended King Classical School during her formative years and began studying architecture at the University of Michigan, in Ann Arbor, Michigan, in 1918. At the University of Michigan, Peddle was friends with fellow student, Bertha Yerex Whitman, who was the first female graduate from the architecture school when she graduated in 1920.  Whitman and Peddle both belonged to the  T-Square Society, a club for female and engineering students established in 1915.[2]

Upon graduation in 1922, Peddle followed Whitman to Chicago to work at the architecture firm Perkins, Fellows, and Hamilton, which specialized in designing school buildings. [3] She continued her education through courses at the Art Institute of Chicago, where she also taught briefly, and at the Berkshire Summer Art Institute.

Peddle received her license to practice architecture in Illinois in 1926, and was one of only seven female architects to receive licenses that year. In 1927, she embarked on a six-month sketching trip through England, France, and Italy. She studied and sketched historical buildings, views of canals, and other old world architecture.

After her trip to Europe, Juliet returned to Chicago and worked for Edwin H. Clark from 1927 to 1931. During her time in Chicago, Juliet Peddle and Whitman, along with seven other women architects, founded the Women’s Architectural Club of Chicago. The group exhibited their work at the first Women’s World’s Fair in Chicago in 1927, and later held exhibitions in the library and social hall of Perkins, Fellows, and Hamilton. Peddle served as an editor at The Architrave, the club’s publication.

After losing her job due to the Depression, she began working for the Historic American Building Surveys (HABS) program sponsored by the government. In 1935, she moved back to Terre Haute, Indiana

In 1928, she was prompted to move closer to home when her father, with whom she was close, suffered a stroke. In 1931, due to the Great Depression Juliet Peddle lost her job and began working with the government sponsored Historic American Building Surveys (HABS). During her employment with HABS, Juliet Peddle gained considerable knowledge in the field of historic preservation and restoration, in part because she attended a seminar in Colonial Williamsburg.[4]

She headed back to Terre Haute and opened her own office in 1939. Juliet Peddle was the first registered female architect in Indiana. She continued working and remained in business until her death in 1979. Clients appreciated her modern designs, but Peddle also appreciated the past and worked with the Virgo Historical Society documenting the historic architecture buildings of her community. She opened her office in the Grand Opera House and worked there for the following years until her death on September 6th 1979.

[1] American Machinist: A Practical Journal of Machine Construction, Vol. 40, No14 .1914 (Hill Publishing Co. New York), pg. 598
[2] University of Michigan, Michiganensian, Vol. 24, 1920 (published by the Senior Classes of the University of Michigan)., pg. 665, 704-705.
[3] Allaback, Sarah, The First American Women Architects, (Univ. of Illinois Press, Illinois, 2008), pg. 168. accessed:
[4] Allaback, Sarah, The First American Women Architects, (Univ. of Illinois Press, Illinois, 2008), pg. 168. accessed:

Friday, October 30, 2015

Happy Howloween from the Drawings + Documents Archive

The Indiana Architecture X 3D project has taken a decidedly seasonal turn with its latest building and detail. Introducing the charming and not at all spooky Indiana State Library building Rare Books and Manuscripts bookcase owls. Located on the original architectural drawings by architects Edward Pierre, George Wright, and Fran Schroeder in our Pierre & Wright Architectural Records collection, the owls have guarded books and researchers for over 75 years from their perch in the Rare Books and Manuscripts room. Now they have been 3-D modeled and reprinted on a MakerBot, and will be available for all soon on the University Libraries' Digital Media Repository. What color you choose to print them is yours, but we think they look amazing in glow-in-the-dark.

Images: Indiana State Library building architectural drawing and 3-D printed owls. Pierre & Wright Architectural Records and Indiana Architecture X 3D. Drawings + Documents Archive, Ball State University. Photos by Carol Street

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

NEW! Snider & Rotz Engineering Records now online

The Ball State University Libraries has recently digitized the collection of Snider & Rotz Engineering Drawings and Papers. The collection contains engineering drawings, business records, and photographs from the Snider & Rotz Engineering firm, which was a consulting engineering firm based in Indianapolis. The firm worked with many local architectural firms to design the mechanical aspects of construction projects in and around Marion County. Led by Lewis A. Snider and John M. Rotz, the firm began in 1912 as J. M. Rotz Engineering Company and was in business until at least 1981. In the 1920s, their offices were located in the Merchants Bank Building in Indianapolis.

John Martin Rotz, son of John and Anna Manhart Rotz, was born at Prairieton, Indiana, 12 July 1884. He attended grade school in Prarieton but went to high school in Terre Haute. In 1906, he graduated from Rose Polytechnic Institute (now Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology) in Terre Haute with a Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical and civil engineering. Rotz worked as a civil engineer at the New York Central Rail Road Company, the Santa Fe Railway, and the Pennsylvania Rail Road Company until he opened his own firm, called J. M. Rotz Engineering Company, in 1912. He specialized in heating, ventilating, air-conditioning, power plant design, sanitary problems, and electrical distribution.

Drawings in the collection are mostly mechanical drawings for heating, ventilation, electrical wiring, and plumbing on many different kinds of projects from a variety of architectural firms. Types of buildings include schools, asylums, hospitals, infirmaries, stores, banks, residences, hotels, libraries, and restaurants. Architects and firms represented include Charles E. Bacon, Elmer E. Dunlap; Donald Graham; McGuire & Shook; J.E. Kope & Woolling; Evans Woollen; John G. C. Sohn; James Associates; Ewing Miller; Bohlen, Burns & Associates; Bohlen, Meyer, Gibson & Associates; Browning, Day, Pollack, Mullins; and Pecsok, Jelliffe, Randall and Nice Architects. A few unusual designs in the collection are an automatic bottle feeding machine (1912) and a publication selling machine (1913) built by United Metal Parts of Indianapolis.

Image: Indiana War Memorial lighting fixture engineering drawing, 1964. John G. C. Sohn, architect. Snider & Rotz Engineering Drawings and Papers Collection, Drawings + Documents Archive, Ball State University.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

College Dormitories and the Roaring Twenties

The architecture firm Johnson, Miller, Miller & Yeager built this women's dormitory in 1924 for what was then known as the Indiana State Normal School in Terre Haute, Indiana. The photograph pictured above was spotted in one of the firm's photo books donated by architect Ewing Miller II, the son and nephew of the two Millers listed in the firm's name. What made this photograph stand out from the others are the people seen in front of the building. While most architecture photography of the era is devoid of people in the scene, this image depicts a large grouping of students in front of their dorm, book ended by cars of the era.

The photographs and manuscript materials were donated last year as an addition to the already existing Miller Family Architectural Records collection, which has been digitized and is available in the University Libraries' Digital Media Repository. Below is the elevation drawing for the same dormitory. You can see more of the drawings of the building, and many others the firm designed, online.

Images: Women's Dormitory photograph and architectural drawing, Indiana State Normal School, Terre Haute, Indiana, 1924. Miller Family Architectural Drawings, Drawings + Documents Archive, Ball State University.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Scheidler Apartments, Ball State University

Ball State University students are moving into their campus dorm rooms this week and we're celebrating this monumental milestone toward adulthood with architectural depictions of dorms, both past and present. First up is an interior presentation drawing of Ball State University's Scheidler Apartments phase III plan from 1970. The university has many dormitories to house the 15,000+ undergraduates on campus, however Scheidler and Anthony Apartments offer one to three bedroom apartment units for upper-level students and students or faculty with families. 

The interior presentation drawing, above, from the Muncie architecture firm Hamilton, Graham, Love, and Associates depicts a modern academic navigating the efficient apartment layout, while also directing attention beyond the sliding glass door where the exterior elevation of the neighboring apartment can be seen in the distance. The architecture and custom shelving, as well as the human figure, remain in black and white while plants, decorations, the puppy's bow, and the outside add color in a fairly restrained palette of green, blue, brown, and yellow. Due to the clever use of the outdoor scene, this interior drawing can also function as an exterior building drawing, as well.

Image: Ball State University Scheidler Apartments interior presentation drawing, 1970. Hamilton & Graham Architectural Records, Drawings + Documents Archive, Ball State University.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Relax, it's still summer!

Despite the back-to-school sales seen cropping up at the stores, according to the calendar it's still July and nearly a month before students return to classes here at Ball State University. It's still summer! Spend some time outside in the hammock, on the Adirondack, or a really cool mid-century chair before tackling that shopping list of pencils and Trapper Keepers.

Images: Russell Walcott patio photograph by Jessie Tarbox Beals, ca. 1935, Trowbridge and Beals Photographs; O. C. Catterlin house photograph for Fran Schroeder, 1952, Fran Schroeder Architectural Records; Lawn chair design drawing by Joseph Cezar, 1943. Drawings + Documents Archive, Ball State University.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Master Plan Development by Wright, Porteous & Lowe

This summer, Drawings + Documents Archive intern Mitchell Knigga, an undergraduate in Public History and Historic Preservation at Ball State University, has been processing the extensive Wright, Porteous & Lowe Architectural Records collection. We will be posting images of many of his discoveries while he works his way through the collection. 

Pictured above are presentation boards of the A Master Plan Development in downtown Indianapolis, Indiana. These include renderings of a project near the federal as well as a map depicting the location of the proposed site and other projects taking place in the city. Wright, Porteous & Lowe were the main architects for the City-County Building, which opened in 1962 and was very similar in design to the structure depicted in the renderings.  

Images: A Master Plan Development, Indianapolis, Indiana, presentation boards, ca. 1960. Wright, Porteous & Lowe Architectural Records, Drawings + Documents Archive, Ball State University.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Lincoln National Bank Tower Flora & Fauna

According to documentation in the collection, the allegory represented in the decorations of the Lincoln National Bank and Trust Company building in Fort Wayne, Indiana, refers to the energizing properties of the sun. Represented by the gold disc in the center of the lobby ceiling decoration, the sun radiates its energy into the natural elements depicted in the Art Deco terra-cotta molding, paintings, murals, bronze grills, and other decorative elements of the building. Above, you see examples of bronze fish, deer, birds, and other natural elements.

The bank also commissioned artist Paul Manship to create a sculpture depicting Abraham Lincoln during his boyhood in Indiana, shown above with his faithful canine companion. Abraham Lincoln, The Hoosier Youth has been on display at the headquarters since its dedication in 1932. Architect Benjamin Wistar Morris designed the base of the sculpture, which illustrates four characteristics attributed to Lincoln: charity, fortitude, justice, and patriotism. 

The Lincoln National Bank building in Fort Wayne, Indiana, was designed by the firm Walker & Weeks from Cleveland, Ohio, and production drawings were done by the local Fort Wayne firm A. M. Strauss. Buesching & Hagerman Brothers were chosen as general contractors and construction began for the original tower portion of the project on October 29, 1929. The 22 story structure in downtown Fort Wayne was dedicated and open for public inspection on November 15, 1930. At the time of its construction it was the tallest tenanted building in Indiana.

Later 20th century Lincoln National Bank buildings in the area are depicted below.

Images: Lincoln National Bank documentation report, 1976. Documentation Collection [DOC 1976.002], Drawings + Documents Archive, Ball State University.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Muncie Sesquicentennial:1925 City Hall


The city of Muncie, Indiana, celebrates its sesquicentennial this year and the Drawings + Documents Archive is participating in an exhibit opening soon in Ball State University Libraries' Bracken Library. We will also devote much of the blog in the next few months to exploring the city's architectural heritage.

In 1874, Muncie built a brick structure for the city offices, such as mayor's office, city jail, jailer's residence, fireman's hall, courtroom, and city clerk's office. This building quickly proved inadequate after the explosive growth experienced during the area's gas boom. It was razed in 1924 for the building you see in these photographs. Above is a construction photograph of the 1925 Muncie City Hall that stood at 401 E. Jackson Street. It was designed by local architects Charles Houck and Smenner, whose firm was called Houck and Smenner. Other notable buildings by the firm include Tempel Beth-El (1922), Grace Maring Library (1929), McKinley Junior High School (1938), and the William H. Ball residence (ca. 1940).

Muncie City Hall was built in an Italian Renaissance Revival style with classical details. The facade was adorned with Greek Doric columns and broken pediments featuring urns. The building was made of light beige brick and trimmed in terra-cotta. The entrances, two-story pilasters, entablature, cornice, decorative urns, and corner eagles were all beige terra-cotta to match the brick.Total construction costs were $185,000.

While the exterior received few changes over the years, the interior experienced many damaging alterations in its lifetime. By the 1980s, city officials had found the historic building inadequate for their needs and the building was torn down in 1993.

Images: Muncie City Hall photographs, ca. 1925. DOC-87.010. Documentation Collection, Drawings + Documents Archive, Ball State University.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Ball Brothers Community Gardens and Canning Center

In 1947, the makers of the iconic Ball canning jar, the Ball Brothers Company, hired local architects Hamilton & Graham to design a community canning center at their factory campus in Muncie, Indiana. The design was a simple, single story structure reminiscent of a military-style Quonset hut. The interior, however, was anything but simple. A complex of functional work stations built to accommodate specific tasks involved in canning--sorting, chopping, peeling, packing, scalding, steaming--fill the space and allow canners to migrate from sinks to tables in a logical work flow. Popular Midwestern produce such as tomatoes, green beans, and peaches are given distinct work areas and machines, as well as defined storage areas for the finished jars.

To assist with community members having enough produce to can at the new facility, the Ball Brothers Company also dedicated a significant area of land at the southern edge of their extensive factory. Over 100 garden plots are designated near the oil tank and coal pile near the railroad tracks that run through the property. The two site plans below depict the entire property and the layout of the garden plots.

Images: Ball Brothers Community Canning Center and Garden Plots, 1947-1948. Hamilton & Graham Architectural Records, Drawings + Documents Archive, Ball State University.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Michael Graves, 1934-2015

Michael Graves, who died yesterday at the age of 80, was born in Indianapolis and left to study architecture at the University of Cincinnati and Harvard University. He taught architecture at Princeton University for 40 years and is known as one of the most prominent architects of the latter 20th century.

 He returned to Indiana numerous times to design buildings such as the Indianapolis Art Center (1996) in Broad Ripple and the NCAA Hall of Champions (1997) in Indianapolis. Graves visited Ball State University's relatively young College of Architecture and Planning in 1974 to give a lecture titled "A Little of the Old In and Out," a recording of which resides in the Drawings + Documents Archive. In the lecture, available on the University Libraries' Digital Media Repository, Graves gives a fascinating discussion of his projects, concepts of how to look at space, and extensively discusses the paintings of Matisse, Picasso, and Cezanne in relation to his own work. He also discusses the work of other architects, such as Le Corbusier.

Monday, February 9, 2015

NEW! M. Carlton Smith Architectural Drawings Online

Marion Carlton Smith (1905-1984) was an Indianapolis architect known for his residential designs, both modest and extraordinary. He graduated from Broad Ripple High School Smith in 1924 and while he never received a formal education in architecture, he gained practical knowledge in construction and carpentry from working with his father during summer breaks.

After high school he went to work at the Henry L. Simons Company, which was known for their exclusive residential building designs. Smith later worked for Edward James Associates before starting his own firm.

This online collection in the University Libraries' Digital Media Repository contains examples of 241 different projects dating from 1932 to 1969. The drawings are mostly designs for private residences in Indianapolis; however there are some examples of commercial additions and remodeling jobs. Other drawing sets are for vacation cottages, a fraternity house, stadium, recreation center, Union Chapel Cemetery, and the Indianapolis Mirror Company. Most of the work is by Smith but a few projects are by architects Rollin Shuttleworth and Charles D. Ward.

The collection was donated to the Drawings + Documents Archive by Smith's son, Greg Smith, in 2012.

Images: Mr. and Mrs. Gordon T. Kelly residence presentation drawing, 1940; M. Carlton Smith photographic portrait, 1930s. M. Carlton Smith Architectural Drawings, Drawings + Documents Archive, Ball State University.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Happy Architectural Holidays from the College of Architecture and Planning

In this 1967 photograph from the College of Architecture and Planning's open house, an undergraduate student is showing his noel-themed design board to his mother. The word noel features prominently in all of the personal holiday cards that can be found in Dean Charles Sappenfield's own collection in the archives, so it's likely this design project was directed by Dean Sappenfield.
Image: Open house, 1967. College of Architecture and Planning Images Collection, Drawings + Documents Archive, Ball State University.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Happy Architectural Holidays from Juliet Peddle

Architect Juliet Peddle (1899-1979) from Terre Haute, Indiana, created this charming block print of a house covered in snow that was likely destined for a Christmas card design. She was the first female architect registered in the state of Indiana. The Drawings + Documents Archive recently received this particular print in a donated collection of 60 sketches, prints, and architectural drawings by the architect. The collection spans from her early European sketches in 1928 to a residence built in 1967.
Peddle graduated from the University of Michigan in 1920 with a degree in architecture before going to work at the Chicago architectural firm Perkins, Fellows, and Hamilton. She had followed in the footsteps of her friend and former classmate at the University of Michigan, Bertha Yerex Whitman, who was the first female graduate in architecture from the school. They worked together at the firm and also founded, along with seven other women architect, the Women's Architectural Club of Chicago. The group exhibited their work at the first Women's World Fair in Chicago in 1927. Later they held exhibitions in the library and social hall of Perkins, Fellows, and Hamilton, and at other firms. Peddle served as the editor for the club's publication, The Architrave.

She returned home to Terre Haute in 1939 to open her own office, which she operated for over 30 years. She was known for her modern designs as well as her appreciation of historic architecture. A talented artist, she often drew local historic buildings and houses. Many of them appear to be houses destined to grace the fronts of holiday cards, such as this one.

You'll see  more of these drawings in the next few posts, as we celebrate architects and the holidays with our annual series of holiday cards by architects.

Image: Merry Christmas cottage in snow, undated. Juliet Peddle Architectural Drawings, Drawings + Documents  Archive, Ball State University

Friday, November 21, 2014

Rediscovering Ringgold Avenue Playgrounds

Among the  Ball State University College of Architecture and Planning students, practicing professionals, and researchers accessing Drawings + Documents Archive records are people working to thoughtfully reinvigorate neglected spaces with historic roots. The Indianapolis Parks Department Landscape Architectural Records 1898-1988 collection was recently referenced by residents of the Bates-Hendricks neighborhood on the near south side of Indianapolis to discover more about the history of a small city park within neighborhood borders. Members of the active Bates-Hendricks neighborhood association have worked diligently in recent decades to rejuvenate disused structures and spaces, some of which have been physically altered or have demanded reshaping and creative reuse because of urban blight and the disruption of the late 1960s-1970s interstate development. Seeking to connect with and honor the past community and structures, neighborhood association members often consult Sanborn fire insurance maps, city directories, and other invaluable archival resources when undertaking new projects. A new park and playground, recently transformed from a vacant lot with the help of Keep IndianapolisBeautiful, was named Baumann Park for the German immigrant family who originally settled and built several homes on the street.

After hearing from long-term neighborhood residents about the stark contrast between Ringgold Park before and after I-65 was built, neighborhood leadership became interested in learning more about the original park footprint and elements. The current park, a small triangular swath of land abutting I-65, leaves much to be desired. Attracting families and creating safe play space for children is a priority for any residential area, and well-maintained green space is especially important for dense city neighborhoods.
A detailed 1936 ink-on-vellum drawing of the playground on Ringgold Avenue was discovered in the Drawings + Documents collection catalog (now available online). This information about 1936 park features, along with Sanborn maps and City of Indianapolis aerial photography, is being used by Bates-Hendricks leadership to generate interest and spark discussion among residents regarding how the current physical space can be improved, while referencing elements of the past.
As the only archive dedicated to preserving the history of Indiana’s built environment, the Drawings + Documents Archive is more than just a repository for scholars and students.  The archive is uniquely poised to serve as a rich resource for residents and organizations working to revitalize city neighborhoods. By rediscovering the history of land use and footprints of past development, stakeholders wishing to make thoughtful changes to an area or recreate elements of the past are able to do so with a little additional digging.

About Bates-Hendricks:
The Bates-Hendricks neighborhood, on the near south side of Indianapolis, is an old city neighborhood with some great architectural gems and historic public spaces. The very interstates that serve as neighborhood borders, I-70 and I-65, pose challenges, as well as create opportunities, for revitalization.

Bates-Hendricks Neighborhood (in turquoise), Google Maps, 2014

The area is named for the striking Bates-Hendricks house and was platted and developed primarily from the 1890s to the 1920s by German immigrant communities. Residential buildings range from late 19th century working-class homes to 20th century American Four Squares. Most of the historical commercial buildings, including the first Hook's Drugstore, no longer grace the East Street corridor. However, several early 20th century churches, as well as the South Side Turnverein designed by architects Vonnegut & Bohn, punctuate the clapboard siding building-scape with their red brick facades. For more information about the neighborhood, visit


 About the author: Lydia Spotts is a Bates-Hendricks resident and professional archivist in Indianapolis. She enjoys making connections across local history collections and exploring historic neighborhoods.
Images: Ringgold Park drawing, 1936. Indianapolis Parks Department Landscape Architectural Records, Drawings + Documents Archive, Ball State University.