The Historic District
(Primary Preservation Area)
“The North Meridian Street Historic District (area recognized by the National Register of Historic Places, 1986) consists of the properties located along the east and west sides of North Meridian Street. The boundary specifically begins at the northern curb of 40th Street and follows the rear property lines of the houses located on the east and west sides of the street. The boundary continues in a northerly direction across 42nd Street on the west; 43rd Street on the east; Hampton Drive on the west; 45th Street and Meridian Place on the east, 46th, 49th, 52nd and 56th Streets on the east and west; and 57th Street on the east. The northern end of the boundary is formed by the southern curb of Westfield Boulevard on the west, and the southern curb of Meridian Lane on the east.” (from the National Register of Historic Places Nomination Form for the district).
Prior to 1971, it looked as though commercialism would destroy the beautiful residential street and area. However, leadership of the people who lived in and around Meridian Street at that time ensured that the destiny of the neighborhood was controlled. To that end, important legal action was taken to ensure the protection and preservation of the neighborhood.
The Meridian Street Preservation Act
The Meridian Street Preservation Act (Indiana Statute PL 260-1971) was passed in 1971. It requires that any owner of property in the Preservation Areas (Primary and Secondary) must secure the approval of the Meridian Street Preservation Commission (MSPC) for any proposed change in land use (rezoning) or zoning variance of development standards. In addition, the owners of properties on Meridian Street (Primary Preservation Area) must have proposed modifications of exterior features through replacement or repair (see Design Guidelines) approved by the MSPC.
The North Meridian Street Historic District is one of Indianapolis’ residential treasures. The preservation of this fragile neighborhood has required much care on the part of owners past and present. All Indianapolis residents should be grateful for the vision of the leaders who many years ago insisted on the preservation of this special part of our city.
The Main Stem
To learn more about the history and development of North Meridian Street, you will want to refer to the book, The Main Stem: The History and Architecture of North Meridian Street. An online copy of this book can be downloaded by clicking here (please allow time for pages to load). The Indianapolis Public Library also has a few copies of the printed book to loan.