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The area to the east, north and south of the Monroe Carnegie Library retains several notable buildings dating from the mid 19th century to the early 20th century. A building very much representative of Andrew Carnegie's bequest to smaller communities in the early 20th century, The Old Library was designed by architect Wilson Parker in a Beaux Arts style in 1917.

The design includes a star burst fanlight that Carnegie required as an expression of knowledge and enlightenment on all his buildings. The library was built entirely structural limestone block, a construction usually only available to larger cities and nationally significant buildings.


The area is characterized by monumental institutional structures, located just beyond the rim of downtown. To the east and west of the library are two large churches, both congregations dating into the 19th century (early in the 19th for the First Christian Church). The First Presbyterian Church (221 E. Sixth), was built in 1903 by architects Crapsey and Lamm as a Gothic Revival/Akron Plan Structure.

The renamed First Christian Church (205 E. Kirkwood Avenue) was built after a fire destroyed the "Kirkwood Avenue Church' in 1917. The First Christian Church was then built in 1919; a Gothic Revival structure, it is also notable for its 3,000 pound limestone pulpit and plaque that was carved by master carver, Dominick Mazullo. Smaller scale residential properties also characterize the neighborhood.

Between the Library and the First Presbyterian Church (201-215 E. Sixth Street and 210 North Washington Street) are two Arts and Crafts buildings designed by architect Alfred Grindle for photographer Charles Gilbert Shaw in 1927. Shaw is noted for his photographs of many older Monroe County Buildings, which were usually done under contract for local heating companies. The main structure at 201-215 E. Sixth achieved local notoriety as "The House of the Seven Gables." After serving as a funeral home, the structure now houses the Allen Court Apartments.

Other notable structures near the Library include the Campbell House (213 E. Kirkwood) and a large Queen Anne structure (221 E. Kirkwood). The Campbell House was built from the bricks of old "Kirkwood Avenue Church' (built in 1885) in the 1890s and once boasted a lovely wrap around porch. Rows of these porches once lined West Kirkwood from the National House to the entrance of the university's Old Crescent.

Another surviving example, "Victoria Towers" (1880-1890) with its double turrets now houses several small retail businesses and a restaurant. The Elisha Ballentine House (c. 1855/1910), is a distinguished property in the Carpenter-Builder style with Gothic Revival details located at 315 East Seventh Street. Ballentine was a prominent professor of mathematics and languages (1854-78) at Indiana University; and acting president of the University in 1884. The house was later owned by the Woolery family.

The neighborhood between North Dunn and North Lincoln Streets was populated by professionals of various types, ranging from a stock buyer and livery stable owner (Clay Beard, 317 East Seventh) to a long-time local barber Ephram Hughes (213 North Grant). This neighborhood now includes and is still anchored by the Monroe County Library (303 East Kirkwood).