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What is “The Old Northside”? This phrase encompasses a geographic district with a rich historical past and a thriving 21st century community of neighbors:
The Old Northside Historic District:
Located about a mile north and several blocks east of the center of downtown Indianapolis, the area now known as The Old Northside was the home, during the second half of the 19th century, of the principal leaders of Indianapolis social, political, commercial and industrial life, as well as the location of leading religious and educational institutions.
The Old Northside reached its peak as the fashionable residential district of Indianapolis just before 1914. In the years following World War I, the area began a period of slow decline. Decline accelerated after World War II and during the 1950’s. By the mid-1970s, a significant amount of the original houses had been demolished.
In 1978 the area was placed on the federal National Register of Historic Places as an historic district. Shortly after the City of Indianapolis adopted The Old Northside Historic Preservation Plan, which serves as the basis for the legal designation of the Old Northside as an “historic area of Indianapolis-Marion County,” and gives the Indianapolis Historic Preservation Commission authority to exercise “historic area review” over all design, demolition and exterior appearance changes that are undertaken in The Old Northside. Since then most of the historic buildings have been renovated and historically sympathetic in-fill housing has been built, making The Old Northside one of the premier historic districts in the mid-west.
The Old Northside Neighborhood Association:
In 1976 a number of homeowners and residents of The Old Northside formalized their neighborhood association as The Old Northside, Inc. The organization has been very active in the past 30 years in improving the physical aspects of the neighborhood and representing the interests of the neighborhood before various governmental agencies. In addition, the organization hosts social functions and facilitates neighborhood communication.
The Old Northside Foundation:
In 1990 members of the neighborhood association determined that to be able to accept gifts and apply for grants, an entitiy needed to be created with 501(c)(3) federal tax status. The Old Northside Foundation, Inc. was established. They now work hand in hand with the neighborhood association on the maintenance and oversight of the three parks in the neighborhood. Donors to the Old Northside Foundation, Inc. may qualify for charitable tax deductions.
For more information about The Old Northside, please visit www.oldnorthside.org.