New: Your feedback can help make our next website better!

Located a few blocks southwest of the Indiana University campus and collected along the axis of a major east-west thoroughfare, the East Second Street District represents residential development that occurred largely after the University moved to its Dunn's Woods address from Seminary Square. The area is comprised of residential additions that were subdivided as early as 1885 and as late as 1906.

Remnants of the early settlement pattern are illustrated by the Wylie House at 307 East Second. This rare example of a c. 1835 Georgian Federal home is associated with the founding of the University and its first president, Andrew Wylie. Now it is preserved by Indiana University as a house museum, having been initially restored in 1964-65.

The north side of Second Street displays earlier vernacular residential forms. In the areas where housing developed first, the carpenter builder style is prevalent as is the gabled-ell and bungalow forms. Even these examples are characterized by more elaborate embellishments than similar forms on the Near West Side. The south side of Second Street commenced construction in 1906.

This later development includes the residences of the professional, academic and business classes, groups that flourished during the industrial and academic expansion after the turn of the century. The south side of the street expresses Bloomington's new economic strength through its more spacious two story homes. By this time the university's move to the Old Crescent was complete and plans were underway to extend campus building projects along Third Street.


The East Second Street District illustrates middle class housing styles, preceding the period when the population enthusiastically embraced a diversity of European Revival styles. The work of Bloomington's first architect, John Nichols, is represented by two Free Classic interpretations along (401 and 430 East Second). Building continued along on both sides of East Second between Henderson and Fess through 1925.

A distinct preference for larger two story residences is displayed by the number and diversity of houses with four square plans. This utilitarian form, with its pyramidal roof, wide over-hanging eaves and full porch is reinterpreted in different styles and materials throughout the district. Throughout the East Second Street District, the American bungalow form is reinterpreted and enhanced.

There are multiple examples of the front dormer form in the Tudor style (405 East 2nd) and the Craftsman style (510 University). Today the district is remarkably intact, although it is largely inhabited by students from the university. The small, relatively expensive residential lots have moderated the economics of new apartment construction. Owners have taken care not to modify or cover the unique details that make the neighborhood attractive and convey its historic significance.