Flanner House Homes Historic District signs will encourage appreciation of neighborhood’s cultural importance

Residents hope recognition will help deter those wanting to demolish homes.

The Flanner House Homes Historic District has been listed in the National Register of Historic Places since 2003, and now neighborhood leaders are erecting signs to tell the world. By calling out the neighborhood’s significance, residents hope those who visit or consider purchasing property there will recognize – and honor – its cultural importance.

The historically African American neighborhood west of downtown Indianapolis includes 180 modest homes built between 1950 and 1959 through an innovative self-help cooperative initiated by the city’s Redevelopment Commission. African American families, who found it hard to secure conventional mortgages in the segregated city, helped build their own homes. More than half are still owned by the builders or their descendants.

Over the years there have been several serious threats, including the proposed demolition of Phillips Temple CME Church and possibility of a Meijer store demolishing numerous homes. Indiana Landmarks listed the area on its 10 Most Endangered list in 2013. Meijer was forced to back away, and Phillips Temple was restored and repurposed as apartments. Nonetheless, in recent years numerous homes have come under threat of demolition.

WHAT:          Unveiling of 15 signs marking the National Register-listed Flanner House Homes Historic District

WHEN:         1 p.m., Tuesday, Sept. 28

WHERE:        Corner of West 12th and Brook streets in Flanner House Homes Historic District

WHO:            State Rep. Vanessa Summers

Vop Osili, president, Indianapolis City-County Council, representing District 11

Disa Watson, Flanner House Homes neighborhood leader and resident

Mark Dollase, vice president of preservation services, Indiana Landmarks

The signage program was supported by a grant from the Standiford H. Cox Fund of the Central Indiana Community Foundation, Indiana Landmarks, and the Midtown Economic Development & Industrial Corporation (M.E.D.I.C.).


Media contacts:

Mark Dollase, Indiana Landmarks, 317-650-1650

Disa Watson, Flanner House Homes Neighborhood Association, 317-832-6730

About Indiana Landmarks

Indiana Landmarks revitalizes communities, reconnects us to heritage, and saves meaningful places. With nine offices located throughout the state, Indiana Landmarks helps people rescue endangered landmarks and restore historic neighborhoods and downtowns. People who join Indiana Landmarks receive its bimonthly magazine, Indiana Preservation. For more information on the not-for-profit organization, call 317-639-4534, 800-450-4534, or visit

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