Street Savvy: Central State
For decades, the Indiana Medical History Museum was the only point of interest on the 160 acres of Central State Hospital, a mental institution heralded for its research at the turn of the century. Brains in jars, pristine tiled labs, and a vintage lecture hall remain from the building’s days as the pathology department. New tours focus on patient stories. 3045 W. Vermont St., 317-635-7329
For those adventurous enough to consider the co-living trend, Central State Mansion does it right. The 67 dorm rooms once housed hospital staff and retain original built-in bureaus. Residents share a big kitchen, home theater, library, lounge, sauna, and pool with cabanas—starting at $320 per month. 202 Steeples Blvd., 317-441-0145
Look for horses grazing in a corral while off duty from IMPD Mounted Patrol. It’s OK to pet them if they approach the fence.
Original ballroom floors and crystal chandeliers have made 1899 a hot wedding venue. Mina Starsiak Hawk of Good Bones tied the knot here. 164 Steeples Blvd., 317-886-1899
People for Urban Progress—the industrious nonprofit that turns the fabric of the RCA Dome roof into bags—moved to Central State’s old cafeteria as part of a growing artist village there. Pop in Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday afternoons. 160 Steeples Blvd.
Indy City Futbol uses the soccer pitches at Central Green for neighborhood-based league games—the 18 teams include AC Mile Square and Meridian-Kessler United. 300 N. Tibbs Ave.
The area’s low median income and home values made it difficult for developers to make new construction here profitable. But Holladay Properties figured it out, and cute urban cottages in The Village at Central State start in the low $200s for a two-bedroom.