Irvington Neighborhood Biking Tour

Bike Indianapolis's first planned suburb.

Irvington Neighborhood Biking Tour

Indianapolis, Wanamaker, Indiana 46219, 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 should take approximately 90 minutes to bike.

Neighborhood History

Irvington was founded as the first planned suburb of Indianapolis. The plan is similar to the Victorian romantic landscape plan of the Cincinnati, Ohio suburb of Glendale. Irvington’s diverse architectural styles developed over a 60-year period, from the 1870s to the 1930s. Irvington was once home of Butler University from 1875-1928; the origins of modern Butler traditions such as the Bulldog Mascot and basketball began at the Irvington campus. Irvington was the home of noted personalities - artists of the Irvington Group as well as authors, civic and political leaders.


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

Loading Tour


What You'll See on the Tour

Year Built: 1908 Architecture Style: Arts and Crafts Key Features: River Rock Siding and Chimney Grouped Windows Wrap Porch Benjamin Osborne was a farmer who built this house as his dream house when he was 60 years old. He culled nearby Ple... Read more
The Ellenberger family dwelled in a large Italianate farmhouse on what is today East 10th Street. The family was one of the wealthier families in Warren Township and they became even richer when they sold several acres to the city for a par... Read more
One of the best kept secrets in Irvington is the beautiful little enclave of Pleasanton located east of Emerson and south of Michigan Street. The plat mirrored Irvington's street design with curving avenues and the planting of shade trees. ... Read more
Year Built: 1908 Architecture Style: Arts and Crafts Key Features: Dormers Deep Porch Clapboard Siding Renowned architect and furniture designer, Gustav Stickley is highly admired today. His furniture was worth hundreds and in some cases t... Read more
Year Built: 1912 Architecture Style: Arts and Crafts Key Features: Large Overhanging Eaves Large Windows with Tracing Stucco Walls Built in 1912, George E. Hoagland (1872-1959) designed the house for Clifton and Hilah Drake Wheeler, both re... Read more
Year Built: 1901 Architecture Style: Queen Anne Key Features: Decorative Siding Features Large Wrap Porch Multiple Front Gables
Year Built: 1923 Architecture Style: Prairie Style Key Features: Low Pitch Roof with Large Overhanging Eaves Light-Colored Brick Construction Large Windows with Decorative Tracing The beautiful brick home is one of the best examples of the ... Read more
Year Built: 1914 Architecture Style: Craftsman Key Features: Fieldstone and Stucco Walls.  Red Tile Roof Decorative Timbering This Craftsman style house was built in 1914 by Florence and George Thornton.  ...
Year Built: 1906 Architecture Style: Tudor Revival Key Features: Decorative Timbering Elaborate Door Surround with Archway and Parapet Decorative Vergeboard Small Paned Windows James Dorsey Forrest was a professor of sociology and economics... Read more
Year Built: 1873 Architecture Style: Italianate Key Features:  Decorative Brackets Tall Narrow Windows with Full Arches Attic Level Windows This graceful Italianate dwelling was built in 1873, and is one of the most important landmarks in ... Read more
Irvington was modeled after Glendale, a suburb of Cincinnati. In the Glendale plan, locals built a small commercial area near the railroad depot. Irvington founders did the same, constructing most of these commercial structures in the late ... Read more
The winding streets and the Circle are examples of the progressive ideas that were built into the Irvington plan when the neighborhood was founded. The circle is one of three in the neighborhood, and has been a part of the neighborhood si... Read more
Year Built: 1902 Architecture Style: Arts and Crafts Key Features:  Central Fireplace and Decorative Masonry Double Front Doors Decorative Window over Porch During the roaring ‘20s, Indianapolis was flourishing as many high end car maker... Read more
Year Built: Circa 1890s Architecture Style: Colonial Revival Key Features:  Elaborate Door Surround Tall Narrow Windows Keystones Caught up in the Progressive movement of the late nineteenth century, several generous residents provided an ... Read more
Many of the homes we’re about to pass were fraternity and sorority houses for Butler University. Oak Avenue features beautiful old oak trees and contrasting architectural styles. Note the diversity of the architecture with Queen Anne, Ame... Read more
Year Built: 1905 Architecture Style: Arts and Crafts Key Features: Large Central Gabled Dormer Gambrel Roof Large Porch with Brick Supports Many of the private residences along South Audubon were converted into fraternity and sorority home... Read more
Year Built: 1876 Architecture Style: Victorian Gothic Key Features:  Rounded Turrets with Dormers High Gables Steeple Roof Decorative Vergeboard The “Castle House” is an outstanding example of Victorian Gothic; it features high gables,... Read more
Year Built: 1908 Architecture Style: Queen Anne Key Features:  Double Front Porch Clapboard Siding Double Hung Windows Harry and Marion Barnard moved into this house about 1908. Mr. Barnard was the food and drug commissioner for the State ... Read more
Year Built: 1879 Architecture Style: Italianate  Key Features:  Large Wrap Porch with Gazebo Tall Narrow Windows with Keystones Low Pitch Roof This Italianate house was built in 1879 for Reverend Robert Silas Blount. His father, Rev. Braz... Read more
Year Built: 1889 Architecture Style: Colonial Revival Key Features:  Ionic Portico Symmetrical Facade Large Central Dormer I’m going to ask you to take a good look at this house and remember it. Despite its stately design, it’s part of... Read more
Year Built: 1873 Architecture Style: Second Empire Key Features:  Mansard Roof Large Tower and Narrow Windows Decorative Brackets  Built in 1873, on a beautifully wooded lot, the Benton House is a charming example of the Second Empire sty... Read more
Year Built: Circa 1898 Architecture Style: American Four Square with Shinge Influences Key Features:  Bay Windows Decorative Trim Shingles The Grubb-McFarland-Cross House was built around 1898. It combines influences of the Shingle Style (... Read more
Year Built: 1903 Architecture Style: Neoclassical Key Features: Doric Columns Highly Decorated Pediment over Elaborate Door Surround Symmetrical Aesthetic Fully Arched Windows The Bona Thompson Center is home to the Irvington Historical So... Read more


Leave a Comment



Download the App

Download the PocketSights Tour Guide mobile app to take this self-guided tour on your GPS-enabled mobile device.

iOS Tour Guide Android Tour Guide



Updates and Corrections

Please send change requests to