Realty Check: Ladywood Estates

Appreciating Avriel: Home prices are on the rise in Ladywood Estates, Avriel Shull’s iconic neighborhood on the northeast side.
Tucked just off Emerson and 56th (if you blink, you’ll miss it), Ladywood Estates is a quiet midcentury delight. For many, the Avriel Shull–designed condos need no introduction. Yet for those who’ve just discovered it, it feels like stumbling upon one of Indy’s best-kept secrets. Ladywood has a nomination in the works for the National Register of Historic Places, and home values are surging in the community of 55 condo units.

Over the past two years, the median selling price has climbed from $105,000 to $165,000, thanks in part to a new HOA board that is committed to maintaining the distinctive atmosphere and making improvements. An advocate for the neighborhood—and Ladywood resident of 10 years—Fred Mills is passionate about preserving the unique history of the home he shares with husband Matthew McElfresh. Theirs was included on Back to the Future: A Mid-Century Modern Home Tour, organized by Indiana Landmarks, and boasts almost entirely original features; they plan to restore areas of the kitchen with original cabinetry and more period-correct materials like Formica and linoleum.

Realtor Kelly Huff—who sold five out of nine units listed in the past year—says no two homes are the same. “Shull bought things as she liked them and picked out everything herself,” says Huff. The condos are packed with midcentury favorites—wood and stone throughout, open stairs with unique ironwork, funky light fixtures—but include surprises like ample closet space, generous square footage, and modest yards.

Huff’s current listing at 5213 Brief Run, an end unit built in 1966, includes vaulted ceilings, hardwood paneling, and bathrooms that retain much of their original tilework. An expansive fireplace warms the living room, while the backyard is unexpectedly lush and private.

For residents like Mills and McElfresh, Ladywood provides both true midcentury style and the rare opportunity to own a piece of history. The homes are a chance to break free of the cookie-cutter floor plans found in many condos, says Huff. “The unique layouts and architectural diversity among the units,” she says, “give condo living a breath of fresh air.”

5213 Brief Run
List price
Kelly Huff, F.C. Tucker, 317-379-5848