The Bates-Hendricks Neighborhood is situated just south and east of Indianapolis' downtown commercial district, and the redeveloped Fountain Square business district is just to the east.
Access to the neighborhood from the north is by way of East Street, while Terrace Street off of Madison Avenue enters the neighborhood from the west and Prospect Street offers access from Fountain Square.
The neighborhood takes its name from the historic Bates-Hendricks House, located at 1526 S. New Jersey Street in the western part of the neighborhood. The house is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and home tours are offered by appointment.
The home was constructed in three phases. The first section was built in the early 1820s by Richard Keene, the lands patent holder. He had purchased the land from the federal government in July 1821 just as the Indians vacated the area. The second section was completed by Hervey Bates in 1851. The newest section was completed in 1858.
The smaller Keene section of the house is of Federal design. The larger Bates-built section is of Italianate design complete with a 60-foot (18 m) tower on the home's east exposure. The house is one of the oldest standing structures in Indianapolis and Marion County.
Bates was Marion County's first sheriff (1822) and later, president of the Indianapolis branch of the state Bank of Indiana. He and Lanier (from Madison) brought the state's first railroad, the Madison and Indianapolis, to Indianapolis in 1847. In 1852 Bates built the lavish Bates House Hotel in downtown Indianapolis, where Abraham Lincoln stayed while en route to his first inauguration in Washington, D.C.
James O. Woodruff built the Victorian neighborhood around the home in 1872, calling it Hendricks Place. He would later develop Woodruff Place on the east side of Indianapolis.
General John Coburn lived in the home for thirty years. He was first into Atlanta during the Civil War and secured the city's surrender. Upon his return to Indianapolis he became a four-time U.S. Congressman and set the cornerstone for the Soldiers and Sailors Monument.
In the early twentieth century the home's tower hosted one of the first radio transmitters in Indiana.
In 1971, a building survey was done for the Bates-Hendricks House. It was used as the basis of all historic building data information in the years to follow. A copy of the original survey was found in the Library of congress and reviewed against current known information. Many major errors were found in the 1971 document including the construction dates of the home. Currently, the Library of Congress Survey is being updated to reflect what is now known about the Bates-Hendricks structure.
Madison Avenue, the western boundary of the neighborhood, is the old Mauxferry Road. This was the first road built into Indian territory to service the new capital of Indianapolis. It was surveyed in 1822 and completed in 1824. It was the road used to move the tools of government from Corydon (the old state capitol) to Indianapolis. It also served as the stagecoach road to reach the steamboats on the Ohio River before the railroad era.
In October 1900, pharmacist John A. Hook opened the first Hook's Drug Store at the corner of Prospect and East Streets. Although that building no longer exists, Hook's grew to be a chain of over 160 stores throughout Indiana, and after several mergers, became part of the CVS Pharmacy chain.
The Sanders-Childers House at 1020 E. Palmer Street is one of the oldest houses in Indianapolis. It is a two-story brick farmhouse constructed around 1830 by William Sanders. The original portion of the house sits at an angle to Palmer and Barth streets because those streets were not laid out until later. Alterations were made at various times, including a modernization in the 1920s by Frank R. Childers, who was the Marion County Recorder from 1927 to 1930. The former Abraham Lincoln School #18 across the street at 1001 E. Palmer Street was built in 1901 and is on the site where a group of Delaware Indians lived until 1820.
The neighborhood being near both Fountain Square and downtown Indianapolis is currently being redeveloped. Bates-Hendricks is currently transitioning from a home rental neighborhood back to a home owner neighborhood. It is currently offering home purchasers some of the best real estate values in the Indianapolis downtown area.
Most of the homes after complete renovation require less the a $100,000 investment. But banks require the new home owners to be properly qualified. The SEND development organization offers some redeveloped homes to lower income people.
In 2008-2009, the 1400 and 1500 blocks of S. New Jersey Street saw a major redevelopment of the housing along the street. New landscaping was also provided to the Woodruff-built esplanade that runs down the center of the street.
A similar project was undertaken in 2010 for the 1500 block of S. Alabama Street one block to the west, which contains the only other Woodruff-built esplanade in the neighborhood.
In 2010 the New Jersey Street project was awarded third-place in the 'Physical Revitalization Beautification – Single Neighborhood' division of the 'Neighborhood of the Year Awards' awarded by Neighborhoods USA (NUSA).
Most of the Bates-Hendricks neighborhood consists of one- and two-family residences with small front yards and larger back yards. Besides the esplanades on New Jersey and Alabama streets, there are two public green spaces.
Hendricks Park, in the 1300 block of Madison Avenue, is operated by Indy Parks and owned by the City of Indianapolis. This small park, on the western edge of the neighborhood, is the site of Lars Jonker's abstract sculpture Play. Neighborhood picnics are set up at the park's pavilion.
The Pleasant Run Trail cuts through the southeast corner of the neighborhood along the creek of the same name on its way to Garfield Park a half-mile south. The parkways on each side of the creek are part of the Indianapolis Park and Boulevard System designed by George Kessler.
Two public charter schools are also located within the Bates-Hendricks neighborhood. The Fountain Square Academy for grades 5-12 at 1615 S. Barth Avenue and the Southeast Neighborhood School of Excellence (SENSE) for elementary grades at 1601 S. Barth Avenue share a former industrial building.
- "Hook’s Drugs, Inc. and Hook’s American Drugstore Museum". Retrieved December 7, 2012.
- Taylor, ed, Robert M., Jr. Indiana: A New Historical Guide. Indiana Historical Society, 1989, p. 424
- Fountain Square The Polis Center, Retrieved October 10, 2010.
- Neighborhood of the Year Awards Neighborhoods USA,Retrieved 2010-10-10.
- "Public Space". Southeast Neighborhood Development. Retrieved 2013-06-28.
- "Hendricks Park". City of Indianapolis. Retrieved 2013-06-28.
- Indianapolis Public Schools IPS Local Schools, Retrieved 2011-03-17.
- Foutain Square Academy Fountain Square Academy, Retrieved 2011-03-17.
- SENSE Charter School SENSE Charter School, Retrieved 2011-03-17.