North Irvington Gardens Historic District

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Irvington Historic District
Harold's Steer-In.JPG
Harold's Steer-In, a fixture of the District
North Irvington Gardens Historic District is located in Indiana
North Irvington Gardens Historic District
Location Roughly bounded by Ellenberger Pk., Pleasant Run Creek, Arligton Ave., B & 0 RR tracks, and Emerson Ave., Indianapolis, Indiana
Coordinates 39°46′13″N 86°4′25″W / 39.77028°N 86.07361°W / 39.77028; -86.07361Coordinates: 39°46′13″N 86°4′25″W / 39.77028°N 86.07361°W / 39.77028; -86.07361
Built 1870
Architect Mutilpe
Architectural style Late 19th And 20th Century Revivals, Bungalow/Craftsman, American Four Square
Governing body Local
NRHP Reference #


Added to NRHP May 29, 1987

The North Irvington Gardens Historic District is a place on the National Register of Historic Places in Indianapolis, Indiana. It was placed on the Register on June 27, 2008. It is immediately to the north of the Irvington Historic District, which was already on the National Register since 1987, sharing the same east/west boundaries that the older district has (Arlington Avenue and Emerson Avenue respectively), and extends north to 10th and 11th Streets. It is mostly a neighborhood of residential buildings, with no one distinctive architectural style, including the historic Osborn Farm, dating from 1910 to 1950. Except for one church, only houses (843) and garages (551) are buildings contributing to the historic nature of the district. Most fences in the district mark the perimeter of the individual properties; very few are along the streets.[2]

It was placed on the register for three reasons. First, it reflected residential development trends during its time of significance. Second, noted author Margaret Weymouth Jackson lived in the district between World War I and World War II. Finally, it reflected the various styles used in residence in a "textbook" manner, particularly "small houses".[2]

One of the prominent buildings in the district is Harold's Steer-In, built in 1951, which is a contributing building even through it was built one year past the era of notability. Formerly the Northways Restaurant when it opened in 1951, and the Laughner's Cafeteria from the mid-1950s to 1964, when it gained the name Harold's Steer-In. Except for three weeks in 2004, when it appeared to have been closed for good until two employees invested in the restaurant and reopened it in time for a special Thanksgiving Day feast for loyal customers. It is one of the few surviving authentic drive-ins left in Indianapolis, and people love to hang out there throughout the year. Peyton Manning once filmed a commercial for MasterCard in the building in 2005.[2][3]

The Irvington Development Organization was the driving force for the attaining of National Register status to the district. Money from the Preserve America grant given to the organization funded this effort.[4]