Thursday, January 31, 2013

Indianapolis Home Show

The Indianapolis Home Show has played a vital role in the development of architecture and design as well as promoting home ownership in Indianapolis from its beginning in 1922. Many of the architects reflected in the collections (Richard Bishop, Edward Pierre, Fran Schroeder, Leslie Ayres, Joseph Cezar, among others) participated in the event and therefore we have architectural drawings, ephemeral materials such as brochures and newspaper clippings, photographs, and other material related to this yearly Indianapolis event.

Depicted above is the souvenir booklet for the 1941 Indianapolis Home Show, which showcased three homes: the $5,000 All-American Four-Star Home by Pierre & Wright and built by Thelma D. Schaffner (the first woman builder at the Home Show); the Homemaker by architect Charles D. Ward and built by Bridges & Graves; and the Manor House by architect Leslie F. Ayres and built by S. E. Arvin, which is depicted above. All three houses were landscaped by James H. Lowry.

Typically the show organizers created just one full-scale home. In 1940, the year prior, the show organizers had also created three full-scale homes and were building on the success of that show. 1940 and 1941 would be the only years with three full-scale homes on display. The following year, the organizers decided to discontinue the show during World War II and wouldn't have another display until 1946, after the war ended.

The life of the display homes extended well past their short life on display for the thousands of visitors that flocked to the tour the homes every year. All three of the 1941 homes were dismantled after their exhibition and reconstructed throughout the city. The All-American Four-Star Home now resides at 2708 E. 58th Street, the Homemaker is at 5805 N. Oxford, and the Manor House is at 6085 N. Olney, all in Indianapolis.

The All-American Four Star Home would later be featured in the 1947 holiday issue of Popular Home magazine, shown below. The Pierre & Wright firm had disbanded earlier, in 1944, but Edward Pierre revisited the original design and created ten variations on the floor plan of the popular ranch-style house. Potential home builders were directed to order plans from Pierre at his office in the Architects' and Builders' Building in downtown Indianapolis.

You can find digitized items regarding contributions to the Indianapolis Home Show from the architecture firm Pierre & Wright, as well as Edward Pierre's work after the Pierre & Wright partnership dissolved, online in Ball State University Libraries' Digital Media Repository. Other items are available to view in the archives. For those intrigued by the history of the Indianapolis Home Show homes, you can read Indianapolis Home Show: Its History, Evolution, and Centerpiece Homesan impressive and informative thesis written by Shannon L. Hill, for her Master of Science in Historic Preservation from Ball State University. Copies are available in Archives and Special Collections, as well as in the Architecture Library.

Images: Indianapolis Home Show booklet, 1941. Fran E. Schroeder Architectural Records, Drawings + Documents Archive, Archives and Special Collections, Ball State University Libraries.

Popular Home, 1947. Pierre & Wright Architectural Records, Drawings + Documents Archive, Archives and Special Collections, Ball State University Libraries.


  1. Nice post good information in this post thanks for sharing about the real estate and house buildings very informative post.