Among cookie-cutter neighborhoods and strip mall construction, the unique structures of Indiana’s architectural past stand separate.
The structures combined the tall spires and pointed accents of Gothic construction with long veranda porches and gingerbread decoration. Arched panes and pointed hood molds accent the windows. Gables and turrets give the grand homes the feel of a medieval castle.
In Johnson County and throughout central Indiana, Victorian-era homes are the oldest original architecture style still standing in relatively large numbers. The style has become a focus of preservationists, who hope to save the existing structures and bring back those that have fallen into disrepair.
From Greek Revival to Italianate to Gothic, some of the era’s best designs are on display locally. An increasing number of people are working to ensure those structures stick around.
“The buildings and designs back then were not constructed like they are now. They tend to be better built than they were today. Even with all of the varieties and gingerbread going on, there was a sense of discipline and proportion that is lacking today,” said Marsh Davis, president of preservation group Indiana Landmarks.
Driving through the neighborhoods of downtown Franklin, evidence of the rich Victorian architecture can be found up and down the city’s older streets. Ornate trim and arched windows, architectural details borrowed from ancient traditions, decorate what used to house the city’s wealthy class.
Boxy and symmetrical Federal style houses stand next to quaint French Romanesque buildings.