Article Archives: Building Blocks

Building Blocks is a monthly feature by historian Steve Barnett about historic properties on the east side of Indianapolis.


“We’re coming to a graveyard, hold your breath until we pass by,” is an old admonition travelers would say to one another. The superstitious saying reflected a belief that one risked allowing an evil spirit to enter the body and possess one’s soul if the breath was not held. In … Read More

When It’s Gone, It’s Gone Forever

For almost 90 years, storefronts at the northwest corner of Emerson Avenue and East 10th Street offered the surrounding community services from groceries to pharmaceuticals; from a haircut and a perm to family dining. Today, all that remains of a once vibrant commercial strip is a truncated site. Indianapolis realtor … Read More

The Standard of Groceries

Stopping by the supermarket on the way home from work to pick up a roasted chicken or the “fixin’s” for a quick meal is so commonplace today that we don’t give it a second thought. Ah, the supermarket; the truly great symbol of “America the land of plenty,” providing not … Read More

The “Ice House”

While we may complain of sweltering summer days of ninety degree temperatures, relief is readily available in our air conditioned homes or businesses and shopping centers. We suffer through traffic delays in our air conditioned cars, and even if we are out-of-doors relaxing in a shaded spot, a refreshing iced … Read More

The Pennsy

Running through the middle of Irvington and extending to the east towards Cumberland is a ribbon of asphalt that walkers and bikers now enjoy as the “Pennsy Trail.” While today many find this serene byway a respite from daily life, for nearly 130 years a silver ribbon of steel rail … Read More