Our Indianapolis offices are a campus of five adjacent buildings in the historic Old Northside neighborhood, four of which are owned by the firm. We take pride in the history of these buildings and have enjoyed being a part of the revitalization of the Old Northside.
Located about one mile north of the center of downtown, the Old Northside was home to some of the most prominent members of the Indianapolis community during the late 1800’s and early 1900’s. Among the surviving homes from this era is the President Benjamin Harrison Home. During the 1888 election, Harrison gave nearly 90 speeches from his front porch to crowds gathered along Delaware Street, including then Indianapolis mayor and Democratic National Committee Chairman Thomas Taggart, who was a next door neighbor.
The Old Northside reached its peak around World War I, after which the area began a slow decline. The revival of the area began in the 1970’s, when it was placed on the federal National Register of Historic Places. Since then, the area has become one of the premier historic districts in the Midwest.
Our PSRB Indianapolis historic buildings include:
Eden-Talbott House, 1336 N. Delaware St.
Constructed in 1871, the Eden-Talbott House was once more modest than it currently appears. It wasn’t until Charlton Eden, a prominent builder and president of the Builders and Manufacturers Association, purchased the property in 1878 that the house gained its elegant facade and ornate interior woodwork.
The new front portion was built in the Italianate and Second Empire styles. The house features a central tower with a carved stone balcony on the second story. Elaborate limestone moldings flank the tower and decorate the many large windows. The 800-piece staircase newel post was displayed at the Philadelphia Centennial Exposition in 1876. Black walnut, now scarce in Indiana, was used extensively in the ornate arches and carved lions’ heads found throughout the home. Eden’s company had constructed similar woodwork in the nearby Benjamin Harrison home three years before.
Several years later, in 1891, the house was purchased by Henry Morrison Talbott, who – along with a partner – controlled all of the top opera houses and theaters of Indianapolis, including the English Opera House on Monument Circle.
Upon Talbott’s death in 1929, the property changed hands several times. It was used by the International Order of Odd Fellows for a number of years.
In 1979 Historic Landmarks Foundation of Indiana and the Junior League of Indianapolis purchased the house in an effort to spur revitalization of the Old Northside. Several improvements were made to the house, including stripping the facade of gray paint.
In the early 1980’s the house was sold to the National Federation of Music Clubs, which used it as its headquarters.
In 2009, it was renovated and occupied by Plews Shadley Racher and Braun LLP.
William B. Wheelock House, 1346 N. Delaware St.
Constructed in 1912 on the site of an earlier structure, the William B. Wheelock House was built in the Italian Renaissance style. It was a strikingly modern house for the neighborhood at the time.
Wheelock was the husband of department store founder Lyman S. Ayres’ daughter, Emma. Following the founder’s death in 1896, Wheelock and his brother-in-law, Fred Ayres, grew L.S. Ayres & Company into the premier Indianapolis department store during the early part of the 20th century. Wheelock served the department store for 43 years, most of the time as vice president. Ayres and Wheelock directed the building of the 1 West Washington Street flagship Indianapolis store in 1905. Wheelock was the president of the Merchants Association of Indianapolis from 1921-22 and a director from 1918-26. Wheelock was also secretary of Chicago Bridge & Iron Co. and secretary and treasurer of Murray Investment Company.
Emma Wheelock was a founding member of the Indianapolis Propylaeum, a literary and social club for women, which today is located in another former mansion two doors north. She was a director of L.S. Ayres & Company from 1915-45.
The Wheelocks lived in the home until William’s death in 1936.
From 1936 through 1940, the building served as the home of the Indiana Law School, which several years later merged with Indiana University, forming a part-time evening class division to the IU School of Law in Bloomington.
Later, the building was the headquarters of the Gibraltar Mausoleum Company.
Plews Shadley Racher & Braun LLP has occupied the building since 1988.
Alvin S. Lockard House, 1413 N. Delaware St.
This Queen Anne style brick and wood frame home, featuring fish scale shingles, was built 1892 by Alvin S. Lockard.
Lockard is credited with building the first golf course in the city. Lockard, who had witnessed the game on a trip to India, purchased a set of clubs, a box of practice balls, and a guide book in England on his way home. In 1896, Lockard laid out a two hole course, which in 1897 was expanded to nine holes in a field adjoining the Indianapolis Country Club. Since 1914, the course, which remains in use, has been part of the Woodstock Country Club.
Lockard was a partner in D.P. Erwin & Co., a dry goods wholesaler. He was also associated with Indianapolis automotive pioneers Mais Motor Truck Company (1910-14) and Premier Motor Manufacturing Company (1903-25).
Lockard, sometimes spelled Lockerd, lived in the home until his death in 1930.
The building was subsequently divided into apartments, then office space.
Plews Shadley Racher & Braun LLP has occupied the building since 1994.