Ransom Place (Indianapolis, IN)
Ransom Place (Indianapolis, IN) Real Estate News
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Ransom Place Historic District- Downtown Indianapolis
Cynthia Sloop (Community Association Manager)

Map of Ransom PlaceRansom Place's boundaries are nestled at the the edge of the IUPUI campus, W. 10th Street on the north, West St. Clair Street on the south, Camp Street on the west, and North West Street on the east.   In 1992, Ransom Place was added to the U.S. National Register of Historic Places. 

This area did not officially receive it's name until 1991 and was named after Freeman Briley Ransom, an outstanding African-American attorney and businessman who made his Indianapolis home in the neighborhood at 828 North California Street.  (This home still stands to this day and is pictured below.)

828 N. California

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The first lots of this area were platted in 1865 by two printers named, Charles P. and J.M. Meikel.  In 1871, a real estate broker named William Y. Wiley became part of the mix.  (In fact "Wiley" is part of the legal description in many of the properties.)  Settlement was a trick at the time due to the floodplain of the White River.  Much of the land was marshy in nature.

First settled by working-class Irish and German immigrants, Ransom Place boasts a mix of wood-frame, gabled Queen Anne- and shotgun-style cottages built in the late 1800s. The area's demographics shifted dramatically from an 86 percent white majority to a 96 percent black majority from 1900 to 1920.  Some of the names of the residents of this area were: 

Freeman Ransom (828 California Street) Attorney, General Manager for Madam C.J. Walker Company (see above)
John Puryear (854 Camp Street)    City Councilman
Henry Richardson (941 Camp Street) Attorney, Democratic candidate for 1932 State Representative
Rev. William D. Speight (835 California Street)    Minister, AME Zion Church
Oscar W. Langston (835 California Street)    Dentist
Dr. J. Ward (941 California Street)    Physician

Another interesting part of this neighborhood is the "Museum Without Walls."  This is done with about 40 signs placed in front of residences within this neighborhood giving the name and occupations of the earliest known residents.

The neighborhood fell on hard times during the Depression, when many family homes were replaced by renters who failed to keep up the properties. The decline continued into the '60s and '70s, when highway construction, university expansions and urban ills took their toll on the neighborhood. This historic district once known for its pristine homes and tree-lined streets became an isolated pocket of vacant, weed-filled lots and run-down, abandoned homes.  Fortunately, a well-known activist named Jean Spears started reclaiming this area by purchasing a Queen Anne on Camp street.  Spears is the historian and program director for the Heritage Learning Center Museum.  For a very detailed PDF File about the people and businesses of this area, visit this link http://www.bsu.edu/capic/culturalindy/districts/indiana/rfp/inave_blueprint_history.pdf

 Walker Theatre

The Walker Theatre is a well-known building located in this Historic District.  Opened in 1927, it was part of Madam Walker's College of Hair Culture and Walker Manufacturing Co.  To read more about this remarkable woman visit Madam C.J. Walker.

If you are looking for a Historic Home located on the North-west side of downtown Indianapolis considering Ransom Place.  Currently, there's six properties listed for sale in the MLS.  Prices range from $135,000 to $215,000.  There's even a large church with extra lot a waiting for someone to revitalize it into a residential single or multi-family home. For more ideas and information about the Greater Indianapolis Area, visit http://cyndisellsindy.com.

cyndi sloop

 

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