The Chatham Arch Neighborhood
The Chatham-Arch Historic District exhibits both historical and architectural significance. Â Its irregular street pattern, most of it dating before the Civil War, recalls life in Indianapolis when the city was just beginning to expand beyond the original Mile Square plat. Â The area also boasts a group of Civil War era workers' cottages on Arch, St. Clair, and 9th Streets. Â These houses represent the working man's presence in the early stages of Indianapolis' growth into an industrial metropolis. Â Only a few pockets of these 1860's and early 1870's cottages survive in the downtown.
The northern portion of Chatham-Arch illustrates an unusual mixture of housing types. Â 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.
Massachusetts Avenue is the primary commercial district in Chatham-Arch and it exhibits several fine post-Civil War and early twentieth century commercial buildings, which recall the close relationship between the neighborhood merchants on the Avenue and the neighborhoods to the north and south. Â 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 along College Avenue.