Historical Greenwood

An Architechtural Tour

This 1870 Gothic Revival with a Central Gable at 2 E. Main St. is Greenwood’s oldest documented house in the designated historic residential district. KWG

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.

This Ranch-style home, built in 1953, was the last to be built in the historic Old Town Greenwood district. It is at 171 W. Wiley. KWG
This two-story home at 150 W. Pearl St. represents the ornate Italianate style with its tall, narrow windows. KWG
These two homes in the 300 block of Euclid are examples of the American Foursquare, which was popular at the turn of the 20th century. KWG
Greenwood Mayor Mark Myers’ boyhood home was this Bungalow-style home at 150 N. Madison Ave. GPJ
This Craftsman Bungalow at 339 W. Pearl St. housed Hazel Wishard. Wishard was a founding member of the library board and she served as a librarian from 1928 to 1956. GPJ
A charming English Cottage home is located at 459 Euclid. Luella Finkenbiner, another founding library board member, lived here in 1940. GPJ
This basic Cube home was constructed about 1905. It is located at 126 Greenwood St. KWG
Built in 1900, this Gabled-ell Queen Anne at 200 W. Wiley St. has been well maintained for over a century. KWG
Two common home styles are seen in the 100 block of N. Brewer St. On the left is a side-gabled home, while the two in the foreground are front-gabled. KWG
Vino Villa, at 200 N. Madison Ave., is an excellent example of a Colonial Revival home. KWG
This home at 499 W. Broadway St. is a fresh take on neighborhood historic styles. GPJ


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.