We are located in Irvington, a historic east-side community in Indianapolis, founded in 1870 by two politically inspired abolitionists, Jacob Julian and Sylvester Johnson. Our name sake is Washington Irving (1783 – 1859) the author of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, Rip Van Winkle and other works.
Within our neighborhoods of winding tree-lined streets, lush, rich green lawns, and some remaining two-acre lots, you will find outstanding examples of numerous architectural styles including Second Empire, Dutch, Gothic and Tudor Revival, and Queen Anne. If you traverse the right street, you’ll come upon a brick one built long ago.
Beginning in 1875, and for nearly half a century, Irvington was home to Butler University, one of the first schools to admit women on equal status with men and to accept African-American students. Although Butler is no longer in our community, we remain proud of it’s cultural contributions.
Today, besides our public schools, Irvington boasts two charter academies and a host of local organizations, including a community council, development organization, art league, photograph club, neighborhood crime watches, and a women’s club organized in 1892.
We’re folksy people who enjoy concerts at Irving Circle, spend part of our mornings at coffee shops, dine on the desk of local eateries, or browse books at a local bookstore. We relish hearing the bells and hymns broadcast from atop church steeples which dot our skyline.
Irvington held it 67th Halloween Festival in 2009. The neighborhood eagerly awaits its annual cleanup event and Celebrate Irvington Day. Residents delight in Christmas shopping at local merchants, including several antique shops, and taking charming, candle-lit walks during our annual winter luminary night in December.
In 1987 our original neighborhoods were placed on the National Register of Historic Places. Not content to rest on our laurels, Irvington has been the recipient of two separate $1 million grants from the federal Department of Transportation for improvements street improvements in our central business district. One of our local groups, the Irvington Green Initiative, was recently awarded funds for building a demonstration rain garden along-side our newly completed Pennsy Trail.
Finally, we have not finished our work here. We’ve big imaginations! Club members envision an enabling garden, children’s, biblical garden, and perhaps also a medicinal herb garden.
We recognize that many of you are raising “wee ones” or teenagers, have full time jobs, not yet retired, or simply too busy. Should that be the case you might consider donating only a few hours each month to one of our endeavors.
We would like that! We’ve many tasks to do, like setting up our booth at a farmer’s market, selling or taking tickets for our garden tour, watering flower pots at the Benton House, helping pick up logs and brush at the Kile Oak, or potting plants at our nursery.
Additionally, should you only be able to work from your home, consider writing articles for our handouts, monthly newsletters or press releases, researching our native plants, wildflowers and grasses, or bagging your empty quart, half and gallon plastic pots and let us recycle them.