Three R’s: Restoration, Remodeling and Revitalizing. Those are words to describe the rapid changes occurring in historic Old Town Greenwood. And that energy is spreading forth to all sides of the city. Businesses and many older homes have been busy applying those three R’s.
Home by home and street by street, remodeling of Old Town Greenwood houses is evident. We invite you to join us on a photographic tour sampling Greenwood’s architectural history. If you drive those neighborhoods, you will observe even more hidden gems.
Lifestyles Went with Home Styles
In the first half of the last century Greenwood was largely filled with everyday working-class families. Thus, most homes were built modestly. Style choices were shaped by popular images seen in home model pattern books, newspapers and magazines. Examples include homes using a gable, the triangular shape over the fronts or sides of homes. The gabled-ell and front gable dominated some blocks, like the five homes on North Brewer Street. American Foursquare can be seen on Madison Avenue and Euclid, close to the hub of downtown.
The Colonial Revival style emerged after America’s Centennial in 1876 to celebrate the house styles of our Founders. A good example is the house that Vino Villa now occupies. The basic cube house was a very simple square, one-story house. It was the basis for varied versions, like the cross plan at 230 W. Broadway St. The rectangular version, the ranch style, came along in the 1940s. Gothic Revival was influenced from Europe and can be seen at the oldest home in the historic district: 2 E. Main St. Greenwood Mayor Mark Myers grew up in a bungalow at 150 N. Madison Ave. Bungalows were generally one story and had porches.
The homes where two founding board members of the Greenwood Public Library lived are seen also. Hazel Wishard boarded at 339 W. Pearl St. Luella Finkenbiner and her husband Dora lived at 459 Euclid by 1940. Their story of persistence is documented in the February Greenwood Monthly issue.
Capturing the Tour
Our photos come from two dedicated sources. Kurt West Garner wrote the application to add the historic residential area of Greenwood to the National Register of Historic Places. That application has been approved by the State of Indiana and is now awaiting federal approval. Garner generously shared his discoveries and valuable photos from this consulting project. His company, Kurt West Garner, does consulting in historic preservation and design. Clearly, he loves letting a community see its heritage through the lens of its buildings.
Polly Gordan walked the streets with Greenwood Monthly, taking photos of homes and our cover story families, Ken and Carole Gall and Danny and Kelly McLaughlin. No matter what the weather – literally rain or shine – Polly hunted out the best shots. Along the way, she made friends with all she met.
Ready for the tour? Let’s begin.
Writer / Tia Nielsen
Photographers / Kurt West Garner and G. Polly Gordan
Photo credits “KWG” were taken by Kurt West Garner and “GPJ” are by G. Polly Jordan.