Fletcher Place

Fletcher Place Historic Urban Neighborhood of Indianapolis.

Environment

Towards the end of the Nineteenth Century, Italians, Jews, and Central Europeans arrived. In the first half of the Twentieth Century, new residents came from Appalachian areas. The changes in ownership found in title researches reveal this pattern. Fletcher Place is significant, therefore, as a record of the Southside's beginnings and evolution to the present as a stable, working-class community made up of a variety of ethnic groups important to the city's heritage.

Boundaries

Fletcher Place is located on the southwest side of Indianapolis, not far from downtown. The borders of Fletcher Place are:

  • North:  East Louisiana Street 
  • South: Interstate-65
  • East:   Interstate 70 / Interstate-65
  • West:  South East Street

The streets west of South College Avenue run north-south and east-west, while most streets east of South College Avenue are oriented to the diagonal axis of Virginia Avenue.

History

Fletcher Place is historically significant because its residents made many contributions to the early development of architecture, religion, commerce, education, and social life in the city of Indianapolis. The structures they built, which remain to this day, are evidence of this contribution.

Fletcher Place derives its name from Calvin Fletcher Sr. (1798-1866), whose farm originally encompassed most of the land in the area. The early settlement of what was to become Fletcher Place started with the Fletcher farm, known in different reference works as Wood Lawn and Woodlawn. Beginning in 1857, the Fletchers and their associates gradually platted the area into individual lots. 

In the 1850s, German and Irish immigrants settled in the plats, first in the eastern section of present Fletcher Place. By the 1860's, large, substantial houses were rising on Fletcher Avenue, and smaller cottages for workers and craftsmen were being built on streets to the north and south. The name Fletcher Place was first used in 1872.

With this settlement came the demand for services and, in addition to the churches and a school, other land uses for trade, commerce, and industry. Virginia Avenue became the commercial spine that linked Fletcher Place to the "Mile Square" and the area to the south known as Fountain Square.

The ethnic settlement of Fletcher Place is representative of the Southside as a whole. The early settlers came from both the South and East, while some, such as Calvin Fletcher, came from New England. Very soon came waves of Irish laborers, attracted first by canal and public road building and then by railroad construction. German settlers soon followed and continued to arrive as they fled conscription and revolution in Europe.

Historic Designation

  • Fletcher Place Historic District - 1979
  • Holy Rosary - Danish Church National Register District - 1986

Entryways and Landmarks

  • Corner of South, East, Fletcher, Virginia Aves -- site of the Calvin Fletcher historic marker
  • Corner of Fletcher & Pine -- entry to the neighborhood.
  • Corner of Virginia and Calvary Streets -- Site of the US CT 28th historic marker
  • Corner of Stevens and East Streets -- Site of the Holy Rosary - Danish Church historic marker
  • Holy Rosary Church, 520 East Stevens Street
  • Historic Danish Church, 701 East McCarty Street
  • Horace Mann School (renovated to condominiums) 714 Buchannan Street
  • Union Laundry Lofts, 735 Lexington Avenue
  • Fletcher Pointe (church renovated into condominiums) on the point of Virginia Avenue, South East Street, and  and East South Street 

Map