Created By: Historic Urban Neighborhoods of Indianapolis
WELCOME TO HOLY CROSS
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.
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.
WANT TO LEARN MORE OR TAKE OTHER TOURS?
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.