Film Photography, Preservation

And to think that I saw it on Talbott Street

While I had Fujifilm Velvia 50 in the Yashica-12, I met some colleagues for lunch in the hip Herron Morton neighborhood of Indianapolis. I brought the camera along and made a few photos on Talbott Street before I went home.

Most of the houses and apartment buildings in this part of town were built around the turn of the last century. When I moved to Indianapolis in 1994, Herron Morton had declined badly and was not a place I wanted to live. Now it’s gentrifying and I can’t afford to live here, except perhaps if I bought one of the few fixer-uppers left.

Little apartment buildings of four, six, and eight units are common in this part of Indy. I imagine they were once even more common, but during the years of decline so many buildings fell into disrepair and were demolished. Even now, there are plenty of vacant lots on Talbott Street.

On Talbott Street

I photographed this house because it is so unusual. Flat roofs aren’t common on residences here.

On Talbott Street

Some of the vacant lots have new homes on them. This one at least sort of matches the design of the older houses. Some of the new houses are ultra modern and don’t look like they belong here.

On Talbott Street

Here’s one that needs some tender loving care. I’m generally not a fan of fussy Victorian houses but this one looks good to me.

On Talbott Street

I am a fan of American Foursquares like this one. I’d love to live in a house like this, and sit on the porch on warm nights.

On Talbott Street

That’s all of the photos I took on my brief walk along Talbott Street.

Get more of my photography in your inbox or reader! Click here to subscribe.

Standard

8 thoughts on “And to think that I saw it on Talbott Street

  1. Years ago I worked with a lawyer who had graduated from high school in 1947. He lived with his widowed mother and his sister at about 21st on Talbott Street and said that it wasn’t the kind of neighborhood where anyone wanted to live even then.

  2. Andy Umbo says:

    I used to drive though there on my way to SoBro from Downtown, either up Meridian or College, and I would crisscross through there looking at properties. It was interesting how many open lots there were through there, due to previous tear-downs. I was a big fan of the “Old Northside” neighborhood south of there, where I was told most of the types of apartments I like to live in were torn down years ago.

    I knew a bunch of people that took a “flyer” on restoring vintage properties in “crap-shoot” neighborhoods, some successful, some not so much! It’s tough to judge the intermediate period between defending your property at night with a shotgun, and too expensive to buy into! In addition, most of the “outliers” I knew were startled to find if they took a chance and developed a property themselves, and got the right neighborhood that gentrified pretty fast, they were then “property-taxed” out of their house and eventually had to sell ’cause it was unaffordable for them! Tough stuff! Most cities are not hip enough to offer property tax “lock-ins” for self developers!

    In cities like Milwaukee and Indianapolis, it could take years for neighborhoods to slowly get safe enough to walk around in at night, but I’ve seen neighborhoods in D.C. or Chicago literally flip in a year! In Chicago, I’ve seen neighborhoods flip, then flip back again to bad, then in ten years, flip again! Yi! Most of us can only afford to hopefully make the decision to buy in a decent neighborhood with long term stability, and eke out a home purchase over 30 years, with hopefully nothing going “wrong” like job loss or neighborhood reversal! Still, you can’t deny the architecture is great in these old places, and if that’s what you want, there’s only a few ways to get it!

    • Andy Umbo says:

      Just spit up my coffee! Saw a restored house on 21st and Talbott for $534,000. You’d have to be kidding! That would buy you a nice vintage house in a bullet-proof and crime free neighborhood in “Old town” Zionsville! Ahhhhh…I think NOT!

    • I’m not a pioneer — I don’t want to take the chance on renovating a place only to find it never gentrifies. Yet I am not willing to pay gentrified prices. That makes it super hard, because the time juuuuuuust before prices rise is very short. It’s right now in Irvington; I hope it holds on until we’re ready to move. And: yes, Zionsville prices, but not Zionsville safety.

      • Andy Umbo says:

        I hope you make it to Irvington! I always liked that neighborhood and it feels like similar neighborhoods I liked living in, in other cities. I was also nosing around Little Flower, but no way to tell if it was getting better or worse? Seemed like a lot of the long term owners in Little Flower were even older than me, and if they had to divest in retirement, a lot of those houses could be in “play” in a short period of time; could go either way…

  3. Darts and Letters says:

    I love looking at pictures of old houses, especially from other places where the stock of homes may reflect far different styles of architecture and time periods from where we live. I’m very partial to foursquares, we’ve lived in one for the past twenty years. I grew up in a thousand square foot house with eight people (six siblings) all at once and sometimes having an upstairs feels to me like having a mansion though our house in reality is quite modest.

    That second house down reminds me of the places in my brother’s Chicago neighborhood (Logan Square), I really like those.

    • Me too! One fellow I follow likes to photograph decaying neighborhoods in Mississippi — very different architecture than here.

      Yes, that one house is reminiscent of Chicago. I wonder how it got built here.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.