Lockerbie Square, Indianapolis Homes for Sale
Lockerbie Square is the historical residential district of Indy. The oldest surviving neighborhood in Indianapolis, the district features an eclectic mix of Italianate, Federal and Queen Anne homes. It was the first district in Indianapolis to be placed on the National Register of Historic Places. Located just east of Downtown, Lockerbie offers historic single family homes as well as impressive repurposed condos. Take the walking tour and admire the history of our great city.
Latest Lockerbie Square, Indianapolis Homes for Sale
Downtown living at its best in this prime Lockerbie location. Custom craftsmanship and attention to detail are what you see upon entering the home. The main floor h...
4 Beds 5 Bath Areas 7601 SqFt
Home is ready for quick move-in. Exterior and interior photos are renderings of a similar home. This new home includes an elevator for quick access from the front d...
3 Beds 3 Bath Areas 2734 SqFt
Return to "Homes for Sale in Indianapolis Historic Districts"
A Small Oasis in the Big City
Stepping into this neighborhood is like stepping back in time 150 years. Well-kept 19th-century homes line the ancient cobblestone streets, with gorgeous alleyways, stone carriage stoops, hitching posts, ancient curbs, brick sidewalks, and a tree canopy rivaled by none.
The neighborhood takes its name from the Lockerbie family who platted out the district in the mid 1800s. Skilled laborers and artisans built homes alongside wealthy retailers and furniture manufacturers. The neighborhood's most famous resident was the "Hoosier Poet," James Whitcomb Riley, who lived in Lockerbie Square for the last 23 years of his life. The home is now the James Whitcomb Riley Museum.
During the years following the First World War, Lockerbie Square residents migrated north beyond 38th Street. The big houses of the neighborhood were turned into boarding houses with absentee landlords, and the small cottages were abandoned, falling quickly into disrepair. Streets and sidewalks crumbled. By 1958, Lockerbie Square was all but a ghost town. It was then that the neighborhood attracted the efforts of the Metropolitan Planning Department of Marion County.
Shortly thereafter, the Historic Landmarks Foundation of Indiana (HLFI) was founded by Eli Lilly, Edward Pierre, Edward James, and Wilbur Peat. In 1966 they established the Lockerbie Square committee, which together with the HLFI & the Marion County Historical Society shepherded a bill through the Indiana General Assembly that created the Indianapolis Historic Preservation Commission (IHPC).
Over the years, the HLFI purchased and restored several historically important residences, including the Staub House at 342 North College Ave., the Holler Cottage at 324 North Park Ave., and the George Schribner Cottage, which it moved across the city to North Park Ave. in 1977. By 1970 the HLFI had encountered so many complications with the Tax Reform Act of 1969 and difficulties with estates, absentee landlords, tenants, and transients, that it turned its attention elsewhere.
In 1973, the Lockerbie Square People's Club took over the reigns. Working with the HLFI and the IHPC, as well as the Greater Indianapolis Progress Committee (GIPC) and the Lugar administration, the Club got the General Assembly to help fund a staff for the Commission. Inspired by the 1976 Bicentennial, and joined by the Junior League, the Indianapolis Garden Club, and the Department of Transportation, these groups worked together to bring noticeable improvements to the neighborhood, including the Victorian street lamps, cobblestones, sidewalks, and tree replacements that we see today.
In 1976 a group of residents formed Lockerbie Square, Inc. Their new ideas and improvements were consolidated and reflected in the Lockerbie Square Historic District Preservation Area Plan I. Following this plan, the Lockerbie Glove Factory Condominiums were rehabilitated in 1982-83. Since then, many new townhouses have been built in the neighborhood. The challenges faced by Lockerbie Square today no longer involve the halting of demolition and decay, but shaping and managing the neighborhood's character as a historical urban neighborhood.
nestled away from the noise of the city and the heat of the day
In cool shady coverts of whispering trees.
With their leaves lifted up to shake hands with the breeze
Which in all its wide wanderings never may meet
With a resting-place fairer than Lockerbie Street!
by James Witcomb Riley