Mental health association buys Yellow Rose Inn

December 4, 2009
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An elegant Old Northside mansion known as the Yellow Rose Inn has a new owner with plans to discontinue a bed-and-breakfast operation. Mental Health America of Indiana Inc., which has its headquarters next door, bought the property at 1441 N. Delaware St. from Betty Davis, who began operating the inn and event center with her late husband Larry in 1981. The 7,200-square-foot property had been listed for $750,000 but the association is buying it for less, said Beth Karnes, president of the group's foundation. Plans call for the first floor to continue to serve as conference and meeting space, while the second and third floors will become office space. "We're almost at capacity in our current building,"  Karnes said. "The thought was we might never have the opportunity again to have the property next door." Davis, who lives in a carriage house behind the mansion, plans to continue using the first floor and grounds for weddings and other events. The colonial revival structure was built between 1897 and 1898 as a residence for attorney Harry J. Milligan. The building served as a corporate headquarters in the 1930s and was converted into 8 apartments in the 1940s. It was renovated again in 1981 to serve its current capacity as a meeting facility and inn with four large suites.

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  • yellow rose
    note - if you haven't seen
  • Not quite right
    This mansion is very special to me because I lived there from 1997 to 2000. I am a good friend of Larry Davis' daughter. After she, her husband, myself and others finished college, we moved into the home while Larry renovated the carriage house. He had seperated from his first wife, Vivian, and neither wanted to live there alone. Larry renovated the property in 1981, turning it from an apartment to a home for himself, his wife and two children. He rebuilt the staircase that is there today restoring the original design of the home. It's true that Larry and Betty married and together turned the mansion into to what has been the Yellow Rose Inn for most of the 2000s, but for roughly 20 years it was home to a special family and to several of their friends. I can't count the number of people I've met over the years who tell me they have visited that house, whether for a grandiose party or other reason. The home has a great widow's walk on the roof. I've played guitar up on that roof many times. When I used to play up there I felt like I was playing for all of downtown Indy. 1441, as I like to call, is a special place-- just wanted to add a piece of history this story was missing.
    • Jason Leamnson
      I remember Jason living there with all of you and when I came to visit him from Virginia I slept in the sitting room off the bedroom and was comfortable. I remember it being very big and everyone had their own space and still could come together in the dining and living areas. I still remember Rubin dog entertaining all of us downstairs in the big room. How I miss that dog. Momma Leamnson
    • Thanks Ryan
      Ryan - Thanks for adding some interesting color!
    • Great Place
      It is a great building on a wonderful stretch of street. Thanks Ryan
    • Disappointed
      My husband and I have stayed at the inn three times this last year and every time was just as wonderful as the first. I will truely miss the house and Betty, when we visit Indy. I doubt that there would be any place comparable. Thank you for the memories.

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