Exploring the History of the Butler-Tarkington Neighborhood

The Butler-Tarkington neighborhood in Indianapolis is bounded by 38th Street to the south, Meridian to the east, and the Central Canal and Michigan Road to the north and west. The original Euro-American settlers in the area centered around the community of Mapleton at Illinois and 38th Street, while farms dominated the remainder of the neighborhood.

 

With the expansion of Indianapolis in the early 1900's, the future Butler-Tarkington was defined by Fariview Park, which became the site of Butler University in the 1920's. The neighborhood began to be platted for residential blocks in the early 1900's and through the 1950's. With the advent of the Civil Rights era, the neighborhood, through the efforts of its residents and the Butler-Tarkington Neighborhood Association, underwent a peaceful integration as race-based housing restrictions were struck down.