WELCOME TO CHATHAM ARCH / MASS AVE
The Chatham Arch historic district in the northeast corner of downtown Indianapolis is a neighborhood of both historical and architectural significance. Its irregular street pattern, most of it dating to before the Civil War, recalls life in Indianapolis when the city was just beginning to expand beyond the original Mile Square plat.
This artsy, active neighborhood surrounds the Mass Ave Cultural District with its thriving retail, restaurants, art galleries and theaters; there's never a dull moment! Green spaces soften Mass Ave's urban setting, linking the commercial areas with the surrounding residential neighborhoods. Chatham Arch has a variety of housing options, many newly developed, accented by brick alleys and tree-lined streets. Chatham Arch features original architecture and residents are treated to a variety of boutiques and jogging trails, including the Indianapolis Cultural Trail.
The northern portion of Chatham Arch illustrates an unusual mixture of housing types. Here, workers’ cottages, middle-class residences, rental duplexes, apartment buildings and flats, commercial buildings with second-floor sleeping rooms, and a few large homes of the wealthy all existed at the turn of the century.
The area also boasts a group of Civil War-era workers’ cottages on Arch, St. Clair and 9th streets. These houses represent the presence of working people in the early stages of Indianapolis’ growth into an industrial metropolis. Only a few pockets of these 1860s and early-1870s cottages survive in the downtown.
Massachusetts Avenue is the primary commercial district in Chatham Arch, and it exhibits several fine post-Civil War and early-20th-century commercial buildings, which recall the close relationship between the neighborhood merchants on the Avenue and the neighborhoods to the north and south. The Real Silk Hosiery Mills complex, formerly home of one of the country’s main silk hosiery factories, is evidence of the neighborhood’s industrial significance