Thursday, May 13, 2010
Treasures in Indianapolis' Woodruff Place
In 1877 a prominent Indiana industrialist, James Orton Woodruff, established a 77 acre “residence park" near downtown Indianapolis, Indiana. Currently 240 homes, built between 1875 and 1917 and encompassing many architectural examples, such as Queen Ann, Eastlake, Victorian, Edwardian, Classic, Colonial Revival, Bungalow and American Foursquare, are aligned on three prominent esplanade drives adorned with handsome urns, fountains and statuary. The ornamentation was - and is still - made even more beautiful under the hushed canopy of mammoth, age-old trees.
Woodruff Place was once considered to be one of Indianapolis's more affluent neighborhoods before beginning a gradual decline as the automobile led to the development of newer upscale subdivisions beginning in the late 1910s. By the 1950s many of the grand homes had been subdivided into apartments. The neighborhood reached its lowest point in the 1960s, prompting community organizing in the early 1970s to encourage neighborhood revitalization. The 1980s and 1990s saw extensive neighborhood rehabilitation, and Woodruff Place is now considered a highly desirable historic inner-city address. The area was finally annexed into the City of Indianapolis in 1962 and was added to the National Register of Historical Places in 1972. Woodruff Place was the inspiration behind Indianapolis native Booth Tarkington's successful novel, The Magnificent Ambersons.
I hope you enjoy the photos I took on Mother’s Day weekend of some of Woodruff Place’s lovely 138 year old cast iron urns, fountains and statues...