The House With A View

A green park overlooks downtown Indianapolis
Some homes in Holy Cross have a vista as perfect as the one from the neighborhood’s centerpoint, Highland Park.

Tony Valainis

Urban pioneers Sally and Roy Hill bought their Holy Cross home on an almost-whim. In 2004, Sally happened to be driving along Marlowe Avenue when a property caught her eye. The 2,000-square-foot Folk Victorian home was uninhabitable at the time, but the couple had long wanted a historic property, one they could rehab and redecorate, and they were already considering moving from Zionsville into a more diverse downtown neighborhood. So they went for it.

In the years since, Holy Cross, directly east from downtown, has emerged as a special neighborhood on the city’s perimeter. A lot of the appeal comes from the topography—it’s up a hill from downtown, and some homes, like the Hills’, have a backyard view of both the skyline and sunset.

Now, Holy Cross also is known for newer builds. Modern new homes and older cottages alike come with yards, porches, and garages. The average home-sale price last year was $332,000, according to a Realtor who specializes in downtown.

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Bounded by Michigan and Washington streets, I-65/70, and State Avenue
Parking Detached garages are common
Walk Score 66[/sidenote]The Hills live just steps from Highland Park, a hotspot for picnickers and Fourth of July parties. East of Highland stands a crop of custom homes with premium views. But even the borders of this close-knit, compact community are only a 10-minute walk from the park, and last year, a few smaller homes that needed work sold for less than $200,000. With fast access to the highway, Holy Cross is a 15-minute zip to just about anywhere in Indy, though it enjoys its own deluge of great businesses, including Flat 12 Bierwerks, Smoking Goose Meatery, Grounded Plant & Floral Co., King Dough, and Midland Arts & Antiques. That growing number excites the Hills, whose investment has long paid off. “We had a Realtor come over to give us an idea of what our home was worth,” Sally says. “You could’ve knocked me over with a feather.”

What do you love about your house? I can see downtown’s Fourth of July fireworks from my deck. You’re walking to dinner—where are you going? La Parada or Mass Ave. What’s a summer evening in Holy Cross like? All the families are at the park. What about parking? Most people have garages, but parking can be sensitive.