In the late 1800s, the city’s cultural elite (artist T.C. Steele), political leaders (governor Samuel Ralston), and wealthiest businessmen (Gustave Efroymson) thrived in Herron-Morton Place. Even as their massive, three-story Victorian houses decayed in the late 20th century, you couldn’t miss the grandeur walking along Delaware or Pennsylvania streets. Rehabbing of those giants began slowly years ago, with a few of them converting to condo buildings. Today, it’s hard to find a block of the neighborhood that doesn’t have a half-million-dollar restoration underway. It’s a five-minute drive from downtown—close enough for an enviable commute, but far enough away to feel like a sleepy suburb. Parks with new playgrounds reflect both the affluence of the district and the fact that some younger families manage to afford it. And those families now have the charter Herron High School, darling of Newsweek and The Washington Post, as an option for their kids. The neighborhood is also inclusive—the tasteful Talbott Street nightclub has welcomed the gay community to pockets of Herron-Morton for ages. You might say that the area, like the homes themselves, is big enough for everybody.
The Turning Point
The revitalization of Fall Creek Place to the north in the early 2000s set the stage for the higher-end reconstruction projects happening today in Herron-Morton. It insulated the neighborhood from the crime-riddled areas further north.
What’s Holding Things Back?
Mark Nottingham, co-owner of Foundry Provisions and developer of that site, a $400,000 investment
“Herron-Morton has beautiful homes, great parks, a theater. Those sound like reasons to live here, not necessarily to own a business. But they’re parallel. If an area is a good place to live, it’s a good place to own a real-estate company as I do. And the homeowners want to see the local businesses succeed. We bought the Foundry three years ago and went through a one-year rehab. But it has proven to be a great bet. Next door, Tinker Coffee Company just opened. A couple of blocks over, Peter George is opening a new restaurant. We view those things as confirmation that our investment was a good one.”
Who Lives Here?
Micki Lile, 37, married with two children, research nurse at Indiana University
“We moved here in 2011 after years of living in Castleton and commuting to downtown. It just got to be ridiculous. We knew we wanted to be closer to downtown, and we had a long list of wants: a nearby coffee shop, bar, and restaurant; good schools; parks. I looked at about 40 houses, and we fell in love with this 1900 Victorian in Herron-Morton even though it lacked some of those things at the time. It turned out that almost everything we wanted moved in shortly after. We have some urban warriors for neighbors. They made this place what it is.”
1909 N. Pennsylvania St., 4 bedrooms, 3 baths
2102 N. Delaware St., 6 bedrooms, 4 baths
1701 N. New Jersey St., 4 bedrooms, 5 baths
36 Percent Increase Since 2009
Average Home Price: $275,858