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Upcoming 2023 Quarterly Meetings are IN PERSON

May 4

August 3

November 2 

All HUNI meetings are open to designated HUNI neighborhood representatives and HUNI members. Quarterly Meetings in May, August, and November are at 5:30 pm at Indiana Landmarks, 1201 N Central Avenue (46202).
 
Click here for the HUNI Membership Dues form. Dues payments should be mailed to Indiana Landmarks with HUNI and the name of the neighborhood association in the memo line of the check. 

Latest on Website!

Lasting Impact of City Bicentennial + New Digital Encyclopedia of Indy (under Featured Info & Groups below)

Free Walking & Biking Tours of 13 Indy Historic Neighborhoods

Tips and resources for researching your Home.

Want some fascinating reading? Check out HUNI's Resources Page for lots of links to cool history.

Preserve Greater Indy Advocacy Group for Young Preservationists (under Recent News)

We've added HUNI minutes to the website. If you missed a meeting, you can review minutes from 2013 to the most recently approved minutes. Visit the HUNI Minutes page.

Researching the history of your home? Check out our Researching Your Home page.

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Introduction

Historic Urban Neighborhoods of Indianapolis - or HUNI as it is more commonly known - was formed in 1980 as a gathering place and a resource for some of the oldest and most vibrant neighborhoods in Indianapolis. Our website is designed to expand the reach of HUNI to all residents of Indianapolis, as well as to visitors who may have an interest in the historic areas of our city. Here you will find information on many of Indianapolis' historic neighborhoods, all in one place. The HUNI site also contains helpful information for neighborhood associations to support their work, ideas on how to do research on the history of your home or your office building, and activities occurring in Indianapolis' historic neighborhoods.       

Profiles in Preservation

Nancy Holliman Johnson

Early Memories
of Indiana Avenue

Sharon Butsch Freeland interviewed longtime Ransom Place resident Nancy Holliman Johnson, who shared her early memories about growing up near Indiana Avenue, her family, and the Downtown Indy community  Click here for photos, articles on her history as well as a live audio interview with "Miss Nancy." HUNI learned of Miss Nancy's passing on September 25, 2020. Rest in peace, friend!

Past Profiles

Marsh Davis, Indiana Landmarks President

Upcoming Events

HUNI Events can be found on the Calendar Page



For a complete listing of today's events "in progress," and to find additional events in HUNI neighborhoods, central Indiana cities, or national preservation events, please visit the calendar here


New 2023 HUNI Leadership Team (L to R) Paula Brooks, Tom Abeel, Jordan Ryan and Glenn Blackwood

HUNI Elects New Officers at 2023 Annual Meeting

At its 2023 Annual Meeting, the HUNI Membership affirmed a new leadership slate including President Tom Abeel, Vice President Paula Brooks, Secretary Jordan Ryan, Treasurer Chad Lethig,  Immediate Past President Glenn Blackwood, and Membership Chair Sharon Butsch Freeland.


2023 Marks First In Person Annual Meeting in 3 Years

HUNI Holds First In-Person Annual Meeting Since 2020

The HUNI membership celebrated the stewardship and guidance of HUNI President Glenn Blackwood over the past three years during the 2023 HUNI Annual Meeting held at 16 Tech Hq2 on February 4, 2023. Sibeko Jywanza, 16 Tech's Director of Community Access & Engagement, welcomed attendees to the Innovation District and Glenn Blackwood conducted the meeting. Paula Brooks led a discussion on pressing issues facing various neighborhoods; Lorraine Vavul and Scotty Wilson highlighted developments for a revamped website. Featured Speaker Meg Storrow discussed the current status of Rethink 65/70 with assistance from Charlie Richardson.  The HUNI Membership affirmed a new leadership slate, and Neighborhood reps recapped activity occurring in their historic communities across the city.

$15 dues payments can still be sent to Chad Lethig C/O Indiana Landmarks, 1201 N Central Avenue (46202).) Click here for a membership dues form. (Checks should be made payable to Indiana Landmarks with HUNI noted in the memo field.) 


Journey to new sign ordinance starts in 2014 and concludes in 2019. 2022 State Legislative bill jeopardizes ordinance

DIGITAL BILLBOARDS -- Please be aware of SB 142 initiative moving through 2022 Legislature threatening the Marion County Sign Ordinance

There is proposed state legislation to subvert existing regulations established to protect the scenery, culture and vehicular safety of our community. For many years, HUNI, alongside fellow neighborhood organizations, has served at the forefront of the fight to keep Indianapolis free of the clutter and vehicular safety concerns posed by too many billboards and any digital billboards.

Currently, before the State Legislature is SB 142, which would allow an exception to our Sign Ordinance for the County Fairgrounds, and usurp local control of zoning ordinances in Marion County. This disregards the widespread community effort put into our Sign Ordinance as well as disregards our City’s right to establish its own laws. This comes from an organization that each year gets $100,000 of taxpayer funds from the City budget. They are not a transparent group and yet the bill calls for them to simply hold a public hearing before signing a deal with a billboard company. There are no criteria for a decision and no way to appeal a decision. 

DIGITAL BILLBOARD ARCHIVES

For relevant articles on this topic, and a look back at HUNI's efforts involving digital billboards, please reference the City & State: Digital Billooards page.

Don't think digital billboards impact you? Watch this video about a Toronto community which allowed digital billboards. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5qlRkg4zFDI  

 

 

Current Issues to Watch

Latest News on I-65/70 Reconstruction

Rethink 65/70 Committee continues to follow status on interstate reconconstruction 

For more information, visit northsplit.com

Featured Info & Groups

 

Indianapolis Propylaeum Starts 2023 with Feature on Delaware Street in 'Historic Neighborhoods of Indy' Series

The Indianapolis Propylaeum hosts a variety of women’s education as well as leadership programs along with various community events throughout the year. The Indy Prop continues its focus on the historic preservation component of its mission in a virtual series entitled "Historic Neighborhoods of Indy" featuring Historic Architecture in Indy.  On January 25 at 7pm, architectural historian Deedee Davis will present a free virtual tour entitled "Old Northside Architectural Tour of Delaware Street—a stroll through time highlighting this iconic Indy street’s historic fabric." Sign up here.

The FREE series kicked off in December 2020 with HUNI member Lorraine Phillips Vavul highlighting Historic Meridian Park and overviewing HUNI and HUNI's bicentennial initiative to digitize several of Indianapolis' historic neighborhood walking & biking tours.   In January 2021 North Square’s Jordan Ryan discussed Indy’s Bicentennial architecture, Lockerbie’s Marjorie Kienle highlighted the history of Lockerbie Place in February, Cottage Home’s Joan Hostetler spoke on The Indiana Album in March, Ransom Place rep Paula Brooks highlighted Lost African American Landmarks and Forgotten Neighborhoods in April. Speedway rep Barb Hellyer fittingly delighted audiences in May with a talk about Old Speedway City serving as home to the community of workers and inventors transforming and fine-tuning America’s primary mode of transportation throughout the 1900s. June's presentation featured longtime Garfield Park residents John Hornberger and Ed Berry speaking on the history of Garfield Park followed by Dr Susan Hyatt in July recounting stories of the Interracial Cooperation on Indianapolis’ Near Southside. Garry Chilluffo highlighted the history of St Joseph Place in August. In anticipation of Halloween State Assistant Director of Preservation Services Paul Diebold conjured Irvington's Halloween festivities with Freaks and Strange Things Generally…Irvington, A Place History in September. Two programs finished the year with Scotty Z Wilson's update on the Holy Cross Neighborhood in October and A Beginners Guide to Indianapolis Neighborhoods with Keep Indianapolis Beautiful President Jeremy Kranowitz in December. In 2022, highlights included Mark Patty discussing New Augusta: A Hidden Gem on Northwest Indy and an insightful tour by Dolores Wisdom on the Kennedy King Neighborhood as well as a tour on New Harmony. 

The Indy Propylaeum, situated in a historic home located at 1410 N Delaware Steet, near the Old Northside Neighborhood in Downtown Indy, offers daily lunches in their charming, cozy café Monday thru Friday from 11am-2pm. Here’s more information about eventsmembership and history of the suffrage movement.

 


Check it out!

Digital Encyclopedia of Indy has Something for Everyone but Especially for Historic Neighborhoods

For the first time since it was published in print in 1994, the Encyclopedia of Indianapolis has been expanded and updated and is available in a digital format. The free-access, web-based encyclopedia, published at indyencyclopedia.org, builds on the information featured in the 1,600-page print encyclopedia created by The Polis Center in 1994.

The updated digital Encyclopedia of Indianapolis provides comprehensive social, cultural, economic, historical, political, and physical descriptions of Indianapolis while shedding light on the events, people, and organizations that shaped the city’s past and present. Visitors can research historical figures such as Madam C. J. Walker, learn what Indianapolis was like during WWI, and find timelines of current events such as the Covid-19 pandemic. Subject matter experts from all walks of life have authored the 1,900 entries. A search box allows users to enter a name, term, or phrase to begin a direct inquiry. Historic Neighborhoods can use a function to access neighborhood data via the Polis Center’s mapping feature.

Heralded as a national model for urban encyclopedias when it was released in 1994, the publication now includes image-rich interactive content. David J. Bodenhamer, executive director of the Polis Center, directed the process of updating the encyclopedia. Now, the Indianapolis Public Library has assumed responsibility for the encyclopedia to ensure the ongoing updating of this valuable interactive resource.

The updated Encyclopedia of Indianapolis was created in partnership with The Polis Center, Indiana Historical Society, SAVI, University of Indianapolis, IUPUI University Library, Indiana State Library, The Indiana Historical Bureau, Indiana Landmarks, Butler University, Indiana Archives, and Indiana Humanities. Major funding for the Encyclopedia of Indianapolis was provided by Lilly Endowment Inc., Allen Whitehill Clowes Charitable Foundation, R.B. Annis Educational Foundation, The Indianapolis Foundation Library Fund, Nicholas H. Noyes, Jr. Memorial Foundation, M. Jacqueline Nytes, and an anonymous donor.

Bookmark Indy Provides New Literary Outlook on Indy 

Indiana Humanities' Bookmark Indy project launched in April and will run through the end of 2021. Bookmark Indy is a one-of-a-kind literary exploration of Indianapolis through the eyes of the writers who've called it home. Explore the city while encountering points of inspiration for Hoosier authors like Kurt Vonnegut, John Green, Mari Evans, Booth Tarkington, and more. HUNI leadership members Marjorie Kienle and Jordan Ryan are facilitating tours in historic neighborhoods (both already sold out!) Explore the historic sites and follow along with the schedule of events at BookmarkIndy.com.

 


Historic Neighborhood Tour Digitization Initiative Catches Eye of Bicentennial Commission

HUNI Celebrates Indy Bicentennial with Walking & Biking Tour Digitization Initiative

Tours endorsed by Bicentennial Commission as an Official Bicentennial Community Project 

In honor of Indianapolis's Bicentennial, this summer HUNI tackled the digitization of 15 historic neighborhood walking and biking tours covering 13 of Indy's historic neighborhoods. Additionally, HUNI's webmaster Jay van Santen has developed a companion website -- Tour.HUNIindy.org -- specifically highlighting these neighborhoods and their tours. "The tours talk about significant architecture as well as prominent business and civic leaders within these neighborhoods who have shaped our community over the past 200 years," noted HUNI President Glenn Blackwood. Lorraine Phillips Vavul, digitization project coordinator expressed, "Our sincere thanks to Indiana Humanities and Indiana Landmarks for their assistance with a Historic Preservation Education grant and a Marion County Historic Preservation fund grant. Without these two grants we would not have been able to hire summer intern Kara Chinn as well as secure the web architecture services of van Santen Consulting to coordinate this exciting project." She added, "We're thrilled to receive recognition as one of the city's official bicentennial community projects as a nod to the value of preserving our shared architectural fabric found in these historic neighborhoods." 15 tours are currently available online via PocketSights -- a free GPS guided tour app and website.  If your historic neighborhood has an existing tour, please contact Lorraine Vavul at LVAVUL@AOL.COM. List "HUNI Neighborhood Tour" in the subject heading. 

Walking tours currently available, unless noted as biking tour: 

If you want to walk the tour, the preferred method is the PocketSights App which is free, simple to download in the Apple App Store or Google Play Store, and can be used for other Indy historic neighborhood tours. Check out a WFYI interview as well as a WICR She Says Art. He Says Science interview with HUNI Digitization Project Manager Lorraine Phillips Vavul. For specific instructions on downloading the PocketSights app, click here.

 

Preserve Greater Indy

Connecting Engaging, Educating and Empowering Preservation Advocates

Preserve Greater Indy (PGI) is a volunteer-run organization comprised of young and young-at-heart lovers of architecture, preservation, history, urban planning, and design. Its mission? Connect, engage, educate, and empower advocates of preservation. Since its inception in 2015, PGI has developed the #beersavesplaces social media campaign, organized architectural scavenger hunts and annual “heart bombs,” and coordinated – in partnership with the Indiana Medical History Museum – “Painting for Preservation.” More recently, PGI hosted the Rust Belt Takeover of Indianapolis, a three-day event that showcased the city and united the Midwest’s growing young preservationist movement. Interested in partnering with PGI? Contact them at preservegreaterindy@gmail.com. You can also follow them on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram. Look for their monthly newsletter.

The Indiana Album

Do you have old photographs of Indianapolis or other cities and towns in Indiana?  Did your ancestors or recent family members own a business? The Indiana Album is a nonprofit organization that copies, catalogs, and shares historic images. It seeks photos, postcards, and graphics from all eras of houses, farms, businesses, streetscenes, churches, school, clubs, events, and interesting or influential people. Share your photos of businesses with the Indiana Album or contact us and we'll digitize them for you. You  an also schedule a scan-a-thon for your neighborhood. The Indiana Album can be reached at info@indianaalbum.com.

Recent News

Meg Purnsley, IHPC Administrator

IHPC's Preserve Indy Initiative Strives to Update our City's 17 Historic Area Plans

At HUNI's third-quarter 2019 meeting in August, Indianapolis Historic Preservation Commission Administrator Meg Purnsley highlighted her organization's Preserve Indy Initiative, IHPC’s comprehensive update of all 17 of its historic area plans.   All IHPC neighborhoods should ensure their neighborhood's input is included in their plan's update by contacting the IHPC at 317.327.4406.  Neighborhood plans will be updated thru 2024.

 


IndyGo Purple Line Begins Construction

IndyGo Breaks Ground on Purple Line. Community Pushes Back on Blue Line Legislative Threat

Ground was broken on Friday, February 25, 2022 for the Purple Line, a 15.2-mile Bus Rapid Transit project connecting Indianapolis to the City of Lawrence. Major infrastructure improvements will include nearly 10 miles of sidewalks, more than 350 ADA curb ramps, new street paving, a multi-use path, storm sewer separation and much more to advance the community. Construction is anticipated to begin in early March, with the line expected to open for service in 2024. Earlier in February 2022, proponents for the Blue Line rallied at the Indiana State House amidst an amendment added to an Education Bill which would have slipped in criteria making it financially infeasible to move forward with the Blue Line. The IndyStar and IBJ discuss the eleventh-hour situation and the response of the community to keep the Line alive.  Still not sure what transit means to our community? IndyGo wants you to understand the significant impact on employment, transit reliability, economic development and infrastructure improvements that an integrated bus system brings.They have created this video.  

If residents in your neighborhood depend on transit and/or the future Blue & Purple Lines, reach out to your Indiana State Representative to tell them Transit is important and needs all the tools in the arsenal.  Find your Congressional Rep by clicking here. For the latest IndyGo updates, click here. General information on transit routes, transit passes and tracking your bus, visit the IndyGo website.

Indianapolis Bicentennial: Wraps Up & Leaving Lasting Legacies

The Indianapolis Bicentennial wrapped at the end of 2021. The City’s Bicentennial Commission celebrated the bicentennial from June 2020 through December 2021. Despite the arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic a few months before the official community-wide kickoff, the City and numerous cultural institutions and organizations accomplished many bicentennial-related projects and events. The launch of the Digital Encyclopedia of Indianapolis was a great finale and appropriate end to the bicentennial celebration. Explore the Digital Encyclopedia online for more information on historic individuals, buildings, neighborhoods and more here.

Some projects highlighting the history & planning of the city:
Indianapolis Founders Day Project, a lesson for students to learn about how the city was planned (sponsored by Indiana Humanities)
Hoosier History Live show with Deputy Mayor Jeff Bennett
Hoosier History Live show with archivist Jordan Ryan

A few bicentennial-sponsored projects that highlight historic neighborhoods & architecture include:
• HUNI’s Pocketsight tours with free walking & biking tours of HUNI neighborhoods
• Indiana Humanities Bookmark Indy project, an exploration of literature & place (should continue in 2022)
• BELT Publishing’s Indianapolis Anthology, featuring essays & poems related to Indianapolis

Thanks to everyone who has participated in bicentennial celebrations! The new resources and collections generated through bicentennial efforts will inform and inspire Indianapolis citizens for many years to come.


HUNI 2020/2021 Officers (L to R) Jim Lingenfelter, Glenn Blackwood & Jordan Ryan

HUNI's 2021 Leadership Team

HUNI thanks the service of Jim Lingenfelter (Fountain Square) as Vice President over the past 18 months and welcomes Tom Abeel (Woodruff Place) as the new Vice President. Glenn Blackwood continues his role of President, Jordan Ryan is Secretary, Chad Lethig is Ex-officio Treasurer and Sharon Butsch Freeland has stepped into the role of Membership Chair. Other Leadership Team members include former HUNI Presidents Marjorie Kienle and Garry Chilluffo and Editorial Board Chair Lorraine Phillips Vavul.

Click here for a copy of the dues form. 

 


2019 HUNI Editorial Board

HUNI Editorial Board

Hats off to our amazing HUNI Editorial Board who work diligently bringing news and resources of interest to those living in -- or who follow -- Indy's historic neighborhoods. If you are interested in having an event posted on our website or Facebook page, please reach out to your designated Editorial Board member with the info to post. Here's a list of Editorial Board members and the neighborhoods they represent. Please keep in mind that HUNI posts events open to the entire community. Please allow your Editorial Board rep two weeks to post the information. Members of the current Editorial Board include (L to R) Front row: Lorraine Vavul, Marjorie Kienle, Sharon Butsch Freeland, Julia Pratt, Glenn Blackwood. Row two: Jay van Santen, Jordan Ryan, Paula Brooks, Garry Chilluffo. Not pictured: Britta Anderson 

 Watch List Issues

 

Logo for the Rethink 65-70 group.

I-65/I-70 Reconstruction 

Indiana's much-needed reconstruction of Downtown Indy's interstates in the upcoming decade became a major focus for HUNI's leaders and many member neighborhoods starting in Fall 2017. HUNI--along with a handful of other significant institutions--led the effort responsible for creating the I-65/I-70 Rethink Coalition. To streamline our HUNI landing page, we moved several historic documents, news clippings, position papers to a Rethink 65/70 Archives page. We will continue to bring you the most up to date information, post pertinent articles and vow to keep fighting to have your voices heard. 

In late Spring 2019, the Rethink Coalition realized no one entity controlled this massive reconstruction project and thus the opportunity to engage in a comprehensive best practices solution benefiting all stakeholders had passed years ago. INDOT did listen to the voices of the community and was able to lower the Northsplit's sound barrier walls and reduce its footprint. The organizations involved with Rethink will refocus efforts on impacting the next phase of the interstate's reconstruction to create economic development opportunities and reconnect the grid that Alexander Ralston created when he laid out the city 200 years ago. Paul Knapp provides an excellent outline of Rethink's future efforts which calls for embracing Context Sensitive Solutions (CSS), a method planners use to educate residents and encourage them to think about possible designs for urban interstates and accompanying urban bridges. The process embraces citizen feedback to guide suggested treatments of (in particular) bridge, interstate embankments and interstate footprints in a more aesthetically-pleasing, neighborhood-friendly methodology. The Rethink Coalition website will continue to be updated with the most timely developments.

Recent local or national articles of interest

Aug 14, 2019 StreetsBlog USA "Federal Program Would Help Cities Tear Down Highways"

Sept 6 2019 CityLab University "CityLab University: Induced Demand"

Peer Cities

Peer cities' residents have successfully collaborated with their Departments of Transportation to mitigate negative impacts of these essential interstate systems. We are insisting on the same consideration from INDOT and from our government leaders. To preserve our Quality of Life, we believe design alternatives must include the reassessment of long-term transportation and community needs before launching the reconstruction.

Want to see how other cities have handled their freeways? Check out Freeway Removal Links

MORE INFO...FYI

Click here for the AIA Indiana -- Year in Review article recognizing Kienle.

Downtown Indy

Downtown Indy Patron Program 

Are you a Downtown Indy enthusiast? Make it official. The Downtown Indy, Inc. Patron Program is a unique individual engagement opportunity, designed for ALL Downtown enthusiasts - residents, students, visitors and champions. Your $35 investment will continue to move our Downtown forward (and as a bonus, you'll get some perks that give you access to the people, places and events that make our Downtown special). Become a patron today.

Shining a Light on Indianapolis

Downtown Indy and the Indiana War Memorials Commission jointly received a $7.6M Strengthening Indianapolis Through Arts & Culture grant from Lilly Endowment to create and activate Monument Circle nightly with the introduction of multi-media 2-minute sound and light video production paying tribute to Indiana's veterans.

Nightly 'Shining a Light on Indianapolis' High Tech Multi-media Sound and Light Show on Monument Circle

Several thousands Hoosier families and friends from all around the world joined the inaugural 'Shining a Light on Indianapolis' patriotic sound and light show on November 9th. This event kicked off a new era of nightly Downtown celebration honoring Indiana Veterans and Patriots at our Soldiers and Sailors Monument. Every evening at 5:30pm (during winter months) and dusk (during summer months) this three-minute free nightly Signature Salute recognizes our state's brave men and women who have served -- or are serving -- our great nation. The multi-million dollar high tech tribute is open to the public through the generous support of Lilly Endowment.

Check out the new Shining a Light Video in Downtown Indy's 'Illuminating love and hope to the world from the heart of #DowntownIndy." 


Image courtesy of photographer Garry Chilluffo

Lockerbie Neighborhood's St. Mary Church Fundraising to Save Historic Church

On April 28th, St. Mary Catholic Church in the HUNI neighborhood of Lockerbie kicked off a significant capital campaign to raise $2.1 to repair the historic, iconic church from the ravages of time and weather on its historic facade. WISH-TV Channel 8 covered the campaign. As of August 2019, 50% of the funds needed to save this treasure have been raised, with $1M still to go. If you are interested in donating, here is a link or contact St Mary's

Downtown Indy

Downtown Indy shares Historic Neighborhoods within its new city map

Downtown Indy recently updated its map of downtown cultural amenities, parks, hotels, and restaurants. The new map features more than a dozen HUNI neighborhoods within the urban core. For additional information on Downtown Indy projects or to access their extensive events database, visit their website. Here's a direct link to the Neighborhood portion of the website.