Holy Cross Neighborhood

Holy Cross was one of the earliest areas of Indianapolis to be settled and now is one of the city's historic districts.

Holy Cross Neighborhood

Indianapolis, Indiana 46204, United States

Created By: Historic Urban Neighborhoods of Indianapolis

Tour Information


This tour is a part of the Historic Urban Neighborhoods of Indianapolis Tour Series. It is endorsed by the Indianapolis Bicentennial Commission as an 'Official Indy Bicentennial Community Project.'

This tour takes approximately 90 minutes to walk.

Parking is most available near the intersection of North Arsenal Avenue and Market Street.

Neighborhood History

Holy Cross was one of the earliest areas of Indianapolis to be settled. In about 1819 or 1820, George Pogue built a cabin on the bank of a creek that would eventually bear his name. The cabin's location was about where Pogue's Run Creek and Michigan Street intersect.

In 1822, a land patent was obtained from the federal government by Casey Ann Pogue for a tract of land along New York Street, from Oriental to Highland. In 1932, the land was deeded to Noah Noble, who was Governor of Indiana from 1831 to 1837. Noble built a home on Market Street that was reminiscent of the homes he'd grown up with in Virginia, which he called Liberty Hall. He married his second cousin, and they had 14 children. Only two survived to adulthood. Daughter Catherine Noble married Alexander H. Davidson in 1840, which was conducted by the Rev. Henry Ward Beecher, brother of Harriet Beecher Stowe and pastor of Second Presbyterian Church at that time.

When Gov. Noble died, he left 80 acres to Catherine and Alexander Davidson. They build a home on the farm, which they called Highland Home. Four generations of the family lived there. The last family member to own Highland Home sold it to the City of Indianapolis in 1898, with the stipulations that the home be torn down, and the land become a public park. Thus was Highland Park created, which is now a centerpiece of the Holy Cross Neighborhood. In it is an oak tree reported to have been planted by Mrs. Noble.

In 1955, the city decided to sell Highland Park. Through the efforts of a great-granddaughter of Governor Noble and the neighborhood association, the park was saved. Nonetheless, the neighborhood began to decline. Longtime residents moved out, but others refused to abandoned the historic neighborhood. With the help of the Near Eastside Community Organization (NESCO), home were rehabilitated. Investors bought homes and fixed them up. Builders bough vacant lots and constructed new cottages. Young couples wanting to be near downtown bought homes. Holy Cross has come back to life again.


Our Thanks

This program has been made possible through a Historic Preservation Education Grant from Indiana Landmarks, Indiana Humanities, and the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Funding provided in part by Indiana Landmarks.


Tour Map

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What You'll See on the Tour

Year Built: 1914  Architecture Style: Italianate Key Features: Decorative Brackets and Flat Roof Elaborate Door Surround with Stained Glass Fanlight over Door Tall Narrow Windows This building was constructed in 1914 as the Evangelical Lu... Read more
Year Built: 1864 Architecture Style: Gable Front Key Features: Clapboard Siding Stickwork on Top of Front Gable This home was built for John Holtzman, Mayor of Indianapolis from 1903-1905. He is known for several city improvements during hi... Read more
Year Built: 1873 Architecture Style: Queen Anne Key Features:  Fishscale Shingles Rich Jewel-Tone Color Decorative Elements on Entire Structure   
Year Built: 1890 Architecture Style: Italianate Key Features: Tall, Narrow Windows Decorative Brackets Large Porch with Flat Roof
The home at 230 North Arsenal Avenue marks the former entrance of the Baseball Fields and Athletic Park.  "As the Indianapolis Indians look to celebrate 125 seasons of professional baseball in Indianapolis this year, members of the Arsenal... Read more
Year Built: 1896 Architecture Style: Neoclassical Key Features: Large Ionic Columns Stone Construction Wide Entablature The parish was founded in 1895 by the Catholic Diocese of Indianapolis. They ministered to the Irish, Italian, and Germ... Read more
This empty lot at the northeast corner of Ohio and Oriental Streets used to be the location of a small grocery store. The grocery store was destroyed when it mysteriously exploded. Suspicions point to arson due to issues with food stamp fra... Read more
Year Built:  Architecture Style: Queen Anne Key Features: Multi-Colored Aesthetic Large Wrap-Around Porch Varying Patterns and Levels in Design This home was once part of the Indiana Chapter of the Outlaws Motorcycle Club's properties in ... Read more
History of the Park Governor Noble's Mansion stood in the park when the land was originally platted; Originally called Highland Square 1898 - Became a city park (4 acres) 1955 - Eastside residents formed a delegation to protest against sel... Read more
Year Built: 1891 Architecture Style: Neoclassical Key Features: Pediment Over Entrance with Anheuser-Busch Logo Deep Entryway with Arch and Elaborate Door Surround Stone Construction Behind the office, located on three acres on the banks ... Read more
The Interstate (I65/70) has changed the landscape in this portion of the neighborhood.  Indianapolis Varnish Company - removed for interstate Cabinet Making / Lumber Yards - removed for interstate Market Square Arena - 300 E. Market Street... Read more
Angie's List has done a great renovation of historic buildings for office space along Cruse Street, Pine Street, and East Washington Streets They tried to keep some history in the renovations, like one building that at one point before Angi... Read more
The firehouse was also part of the Angie's List properties. This historic building was converted into the "front door" for Angie's List visitors.
Year Built: Circa 1880s Architecture Style: Federal and Second Empire Key Features: Large Portico Symmetrical Facade Decorative Crown Along Roof Line   Mansard Roof Tower  Dormer Windows Neuronhurst – Dr. Fletcher’s Sanatorium for Wom... Read more
The original building for the Washington Irving School #14 was built in 1880's and faced Ohio street. This location is now a parking lot.  The current school opened in the mid 1990s and replaced the old building. This cost $8 million to c... Read more
Year Built: 1989 Architecture Style: Tudor Revival Key Features: Decorative Timbering Heavy Window Leading Brick Masonry Construction The apartment complex was named after Father Byrne who was priest at Holy Cross and active with Eastside C... Read more
Year Built: 1912 Architecture Style: Tudor Revival Key Features: Decorative Timbering and Clapboard Siding Bright Yellow Aesthetic Originally only a men's choir, Liederkranz was founded in April of 1872. The organization formed a women’s... Read more
Year Built: 1914 Architecture Style: Colonial Revival Key Features: Tiled Decorative Designs across Facade Symmetrical Aesthetic Numerous Large Windows Ford Motor Company was a four-story Indianapolis Branch Assembly Plant also known as Pl... Read more
Year Built: Circa 1915 Architecture Style: Italianate Key Features: Wide Entablature  Tall, Narrow Windows with Segmental Crowns Dr. Kerr’s Private Sanitarium stood just west of the Ford Motor Company (now a parking lot). The Sanatarium... Read more


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