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In 1857, Moses Dunn, an attorney and farmer, inherited a 160-acre tract of land that encompassed what is now the North Indiana Avenue Historic District. In 1873, he platted 63' by 142' lots in the Dunn Addition, a narrow strip of his land adjoining the eastern edge of the original plat of Bloomington.

The area began to grow after Indiana University moved to its new location in Dunn Meadow in 1884 and the city expanded in this northeasterly direction. The Margaret McCalla School, the northern anchor of the district, was built in 1907 in response to this growth. The former Sigma Pi House (201 North Indiana) anchors the district on the south and exemplifies the district's association with the university.

The district is characterized by cottages and larger houses in the Queen Anne, Free Classic and period revival styles. They were built and occupied by Bloomington business owners, professionals and Indiana University professors and employees. The period revival houses include Tudor, Colonial and Dutch Colonial Revival styles built in the 1920s and 1930s.

Two Classical Revival style structures in the district, the McCalla School and a late nineteenth century house, were designed by Bloomington architect John Nichols. American styles of architecture are present in Craftsman style bungalows, American four-squares and a Prairie style house. Cut limestone retaining walls and brick sidewalks add to the historic character of the district.


The district's most famous resident was Hoagy Carmichael, who lived with his family for a time in a modest L-shaped house at 214 North Dunn. Professionals in the neighborhood included a judge, a State Supreme Court chief justice, a politician, an engineer and Indiana University professors. An Indiana Limestone Company estimator, Showers Brothers furniture factory employees and other working class people also lived throughout the district.

Indiana University Professor of Philosophy and Physiology Ernest Lindley, for whom Lindley Hall on the I.U. campus is names, lived with his wife, Elisabeth, at 515 East Eighth. Unlike University Courts, where residents were uniformly well-to-do and well-connected, the residents of North Indiana encompassed a cross section of citizenry from business ownrs to the working class. The North Indiana Historic District was nominated for listing in the National Register of Historic Places in June of 1992.

Historical Properties for North Indiana