Magazine touts Woodruff Place

June 24, 2009
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Woodruff Place homeThe magazine This Old House has named Indy's Woodruff Place as one of the country's 51 best places to buy an old home. The neighborhood about a mile east of downtown took top honors for the Midwest. "Take a walk around town and you'll see broad boulevards, decorative fountains and urns, and statues surrounded by magnolia and oak trees. The inspiration for Booth Tarkington's The Magnificent Ambersons, Woodruff Place is a quintessential Midwestern town..." the magazine says. "The stately homes in Woodruff Place were built for the elite but are now available at moderate prices." Home styles in the neighborhood, founded in 1872, include Eastlakes, Stick Victorians, Queen Annes, Georgian Revivals, English Tudors, Bungalows, American Foursquares and Colonial Revivals. Check out the full story here. (Photo: This Old House)
  • That's great news for Indy and Woodruff Place. It's definitely charming and a unique part of the city.

    But like other parts of downtown, it's a good area that's potentially ruined by an extremely unsightly (women's) prison right across the street.

    It would be a great boon to the entire east side if the prison were relocated to a less-residential area.

    Just wishful thinking. :-)
  • Good for the City - but definitely driven by the four different publicly funded and two privately funded redevelopment efforts in that 'Super Bowl' area (see Arsenal Tech practice facility, St. Clair Place, and Neighborhood Stabilization Program). I like the attention and that neighborhood needs it, but others do as well and I hope the distribution of support continues to spread to other areas.
  • Just wait, the women's prison is going to become the New Men's and Women's work release in the near future. DOC is waiting after the crooks and thieves get done, so they can't stop it. That will mix things up...
  • Hear, Hear on the Women's prison. If the NFL really wants to leave a legacy on the Eastside, then move the Women's prison to Elkhart County where they desparately need jobs, and construct the second NFL practice facility on the current Women's prison grounds. It's a mere stone's throw from the Tech High School campus.
  • The women's prison and the county jail should both be moved to the former airport site. Easy access, out of sight.
  • I agree that it would be a win-win to relocate the Indiana Women's Prison. Other communities need jobs worse than Indianapolis (though obviously the current employees of the prison would not agree), which has outperformed the state economically. Prisons are a known rural econdev instrument. And Indy needs that east side land cleaned up and made available for development.

    Great to see the props for Woodruff Place
  • There's a new pizza/entertainment place coming soon to indy
  • Cory, what happened to the 500 Walnut proposal? It was supposed to be located right off of the Cultural Trail. Was this another victim of the recession?
  • Julie: I wrote about Incredible here:
  • I drove by the lot for 500 Walnut on Saturday........there had been some bulldozer and some light earth moving. It looks like it's still a go.
  • I walked by there this's being used to stage sewer pipe for the Cultural Trail construction project, but the project sign is still on the corner.
  • I don't think enough is made of Woodruff Place's direct reference in Tarkington's novel The Magnificent Ambersons. The book has definitely faded in prominence since its publication in 1900, but it was a landmark at the time, and it remains one of the best observed allegories for Industrial Revolution-era urbanization. It also was translated to film in what many scholars consider Orson Welles' second best movie, behind Citizen Kane; though the producers supposedly hacked away at his version of Ambersons, it remains a powerful production. Wasn't it considered a few years back for the One Book-One City campaign?
  • The idea that Woodruff Place was in the Tarkington book seemed strange to me because i had always thought of what we call the Old Northside as being the native habitat of the Ambersons. So I went back to the library and leafed through the book again, yes it's clear that Woodruff Place is the setting of much of the book, but to say it is a direct reference is not quite correct as the book refers to it as the Amberson Addition and also National Avenue in the book was clearly Washington Street.

    The book remains a good study of social change in Indianapolis, we are in need of a sequel for today's world because we are still questioning the future of an automobile driven society.

    Booth Tarkington's house is still there on Meridian Street, I think a little north of 42nd St., on the west side of Meridian. There is a plaque on the brick gate in front that says Booth Tarkington House or something like that.

    I think the movie didn't work because it was too intellectual for the public taste. The movie has good points but rather than sit through the whole movie I'd recommend reading the book first.

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  1. I had read earlier this spring that Noodles & Co was going to open in the Fishers Marketplace (which is SR 37 and 131st St, not 141st St, just FYI). Any word on that? Also, do you happen to know what is being built in Carmel at Pennsylvania and Old Meridian? May just be an office building but I'm not sure.

  2. I'm sorry, but you are flat out wrong. There are few tracks in the world with the history of IMS and probably NO OTHER as widely known and recognized. I don't care what you think about the stat of Indy Car racing, these are pretty hard things to dispute.

  3. Also wondering if there is an update on the Brockway Pub-Danny Boy restaurant/taproom that was planned for the village as well?

  4. Why does the majority get to trample on the rights of the minority? You do realize that banning gay marriage does not rid the world of gay people, right? They are still going to be around and they are still going to continue to exist. The best way to get it all out of the spotlight? LEGALIZE IT! If gay marriage is legal, they will get to stop trying to push for it and you will get to stop seeing it all over the news. Why do Christians get to decide what is moral?? Why do you get to push your religion on others? How would legalizing gay marriage expose their lifestyle to your children? By the way, their lifestyle is going to continue whether gay marriage is legalized or not. It's been legal in Canada for quite a while now and they seem to be doing just fine. What about actual rules handed down by God? What about not working on Sundays? What about obeying your parents? What about adultery? These are in the 10 Commandments, the most important of God's rules. Yet they are all perfectly legal. What about divorce? Only God is allowed to dissolve a marriage so why don't you work hard to get divorce banned? Why do you get to pick and choose the parts of the Bible you care about?

  5. Look at the bright side. With the new Lowe's call center, that means 1000 jobs at $10 bucks an hour. IMS has to be drooling over all that disposable income. If those employees can save all their extra money after bills, in five years they can go to the race LIVE. Can you say attendance boost?