Sunday, September 28, 2014

A Suburb Near a Suburb

As World War II wound down, speculators and developers began to prepare for the return of millions of veterans.  Where would they live?  Irvington began life as a planned suburb in 1870.  By 1945, the city had completely swallowed what was once a country setting. In the mid-1940s, farmers in Marion County began to sell off tracts of land for future suburban neighborhoods.  Beginning in 1943, the White family started to sell off acreage near East 11th Street and Shadeland Avenue and decided to build a new home at 1101 North Shadeland Avenue in 1943.  Within five years, dozens of other families, including some returning veterans, built their dream home in the area using the G.I. Bill passed by Congress in 1944.  The planned community along East 11th Street, Edgewood Drive, Elmhurst Drive, Shortridge Road, and East 13th Street featured single-storied homes with two to three bedrooms on large lots. Some of the houses provided attached garages, something not found in nearby Irvington. Americans flocked to theses new suburbs by the millions abandoning older neighborhoods in the cities.  Developers added thousands of homes in Warren Township throughout the 1950s and 1960s with most of the area developed by the 1970s.  The new community at East 11th Street and Shadeland Avenue featured no alleys nor sidewalks for the car remained king while the country built vast interstates and abandoned rail traffic.

Family photos of the White family, taken from 1943 through 1948, show the area around East 11th Street and Shadeland Avenue before the area was completely developed. You may see a photo of the White home in 2014 by clicking on the link below.

Pearl White posed with a dahlia by the family car and home at 1101 North Shadeland Avenue in 1944.

T. Newton White and Pearl White stand in front of the family home at 1101 North Shadeland Avenue in 1944.

Father's Day 1948: T. Newton White and Fred Azbell posed with Barbara Azbell and Fred Azbell, Jr. in the yard  of the White Family home at 1101 North Shadeland

Vast tracts of land remained undeveloped in 1943 when this photo was snapped of Barbara Azbell at 1101 North Shadeland Avenue. The electrical poles had just been placed along East 11th Street.  
The historic images are courtesy of Barbara Sanders.  

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