Film Photography, Preservation, Road Trips

The North Meridian Street Historic District in Inianapolis: “One of America’s Great Streets”

One of America's Great Streets

I’ll never forget the first time I came to Indianapolis. It was 1976. My dad’s best friend knew the director of the about-to-open Children’s Museum and had arranged us a preview tour. We had the museum and its exhibits all to ourselves. That’s memorable enough — but my other great memory of that day is entering town on US 31, Meridian Street, and having my breath taken away by the stunning homes that line it.

More than forty years hence I still love to drive along Meridian Street to see its wonderful homes. Many of the most expansive and expensive homes are within the North Meridian Street Historic District, which runs from 40th St. north about a mile and  a half to Westfield Blvd.

The District’s homes were built between the two World Wars in classical styles. All are large, detailed, and well kept. Here now, a brief tour from a walk I took from 40th St. up to about 46th St.

On Meridian Street

On Meridian Street

On Meridian Street

On Meridian Street

On Meridian Street

On Meridian Street

On Meridian Street

The Booth Tarkington House

Zeiss Ikon Contessa LK, Ultrafine Extreme 100

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12 thoughts on “The North Meridian Street Historic District in Inianapolis: “One of America’s Great Streets”

  1. I had a North Meridian Street address for two years. Unfortunately, it was in an apartment building just south of 38th Street, which is an altogether different thing. But I drove this stretch quite frequently and, like you, were (and remain) in awe of those homes. The black and white photographs add another layer of depth to something already familiar to me.

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  2. Nancy Stewart says:

    When I think of Indianapolis that’s what I think of …. That’s what I remember too, from trips there as a child …. Looking out the car window at all those big homes and wishing I could see them inside.

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  3. Roger Meade says:

    Nice photos and very impressive homes. Unfortunately, in many large cities homes like these are now in blighted neighborhoods and the homes do not receive necessary repairs. Good to see that Indianapolis does not fit that pattern.

    That film does not seem to be very fine grain despite the name, and I would also fault the latitude as the highlights seem to be blown out in several shots. The Contessa/Tessar however did a very nice job.

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    • Indy has its blighted neighborhoods to be sure, with some really lovely homes in sad shape. But Meridian Street and, to some extent, streets a block or two in either direction from Meridian Street, have always remained sought-after places to live.

      This is the first time I shot Ultrafine Extreme 100. It’s a good enough film to test a camera but otherwise nothing much to write home about.

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  4. Such fantastic pictures of these beautiful homes. My husband is from Indiana and he said that when he was a kid, his mother used to drive him around looking at these homes all the time :)

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