Thursday, July 12, 2012

Quadruplets or at Least Cousins: Four Similar Irvington Homes

Sometimes walking around Irvington is like connecting the dots.  You will find variations of an architectural theme from many different eras.  By 1926, there were few lots upon which to build in central and southern Irvington, and those who did find a lot were usually constructing smaller bungalows.  I am not sure if they are related, but four homes in the area are remarkably similar and may have been purchased from a catalog.

In the summer of 1926, the Indianapolis Star ran a small ad in the real estate section for a:  New three bedroom, Dutch Colonial and garage; arranged beautifully; handsomely decorated; near Irvington Golf Club.  That home was 347 North Graham Avenue.  South of Washington Street three similar homes went up during the same time period.  Although you will note slight differences between the homes, 5715 Oak Avenue, 5925 Julian Avenue, and 57 South Bolton Avenue look remarkably similar to the Graham Avenue home.  The Oak, Julian and Bolton Dutch Colonials went up at the same time as the "handsomely decorated" home on Graham.  It appears that the homes were specifically designed for a narrow city lot.  Both the Graham and Julian addresses are in a densely populated area while the Oak home sits on a much larger lot.  It would be interesting to know if the same contractor built all four.

The Mikesell Home at 347 N. Graham Avenue in 2012  (1926)

The Hestle Home at 5717 Oak Avenue in 2012 (1926)

Moore-Readle Home at 5925 Julian Avenue in 2012 (1926)
The Weers Home at 57 South Bolton Avenue in 2012  (1927)

Forty-two-year-old Lacey V. and forty-one-year-old Ida May Mikesell were the first owners of 347 North Graham.  Mr. Mikesell was both a plumber and electrician and operated a shop at 205 South Audubon Road.  Their two sons, Clarence and Claude both lived in the dwelling as well. The home was valued at $7,000 in 1930.  William H. and Luella J. Hestle moved into their Dutch Colonial on Oak Avenue in 1927.  Little is known about this couple.  Mr. Hestle was a dentist, but Mrs. Hestle is listed as a widow by 1930 and no longer living in the house.  Edward H. and Mary Moore, both thirty years old in 1927, were the first to call 5925 Julian Avenue home.  Their daughter Rosemary and Grandmother Mary Menefee lived with them.  They also had a boarder named Lois Hornacker, a private servant for a nearby family.  Mr. Moore was a city detective.  The home was valued at $8,000 in 1930.  Harry T. Weers (1882-1949) and Phoebe Weers (1878-1928) dwelled at 57 South Bolton with their two adult daughters, Gladys and Bernice.  Both young ladies were in their early twenties and employed.  Mr. Weers was a salesman.  The family only stayed in the house a short time before relocating to Ohio.

Sears Catalog

Sears Catalog

Standard Catalog 

I have included three separate ads that have similar plans and features to these four homes.  You can be the judge to see if they match.  Homeowners often upgraded, downgraded, flipped the plans, and added to the plans.  More work is needed on these four modest yet charming homes.


  1. I prefer the layout of the last one. We had a Dutch Colonial near St. Joseph, MI years ago. It sat sideways on the lot with the front door facing the driveway. It was a great old house.

  2. We have a few of those in the northern part of Irvington as well. I agree that it is a great design!