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Old 04-01-2007, 04:57 PM
 
3 posts, read 32,126 times
Reputation: 11

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I'd love to hear your thoughts on the Woodruff Place neighborhood in Indianapolis.

It's historic homes appeal to my wife and I along with the close proximity to downtown.

However, I have some of the usual questions about the area:

Is it generally safe? I'm asking because I've not heard/read/seen great things about the crime in the downtown area, and specifically on the east side.

Along the same lines, does the area take on a different "personality" at night?

What is the proximity of such things as grocery stores to the Woodruff Place area? I've read that the Kroger store that served the area has closed.

I'd welcome any comments on the area.

Thanks!
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Old 04-02-2007, 06:46 AM
 
3,664 posts, read 9,341,677 times
Reputation: 6523
I live west of there on the other side of the interstate. This is personal opinion only.

The area is full of huge older Victorian and later homes. Seems to have a good neighborhood organization that has activities and tries to keep the historic aspects alive. Lots of renters still. We go to the neighborhood garage sale every year.

The houses seem to be a nightmare (my opinion) to maintain and cost a fortune to paint. Again many three story large wood victorians.

The closest grocery is now on my side of the interstate and it would not be a "nice" walk. The gentrified areas are creeping to meet Woodruff place on the west side. There are some lovely homes on Tecumseh on the east but it is iffy. I have a good friend that lives at 10th and Tecumseh and he would not advise living there due to crime. He had his radio stolen and there have been breakins. Houses are very cheap however.

There are nicer areas for the same prices.
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Old 04-02-2007, 12:26 PM
 
3 posts, read 32,126 times
Reputation: 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by sweetana3 View Post

There are nicer areas for the same prices.
This is what I have gathered while as I have continued my research.

We have decided to continue our search, but will also continue to keep an eye on the Woodruff Place area.

Thank you for your reply!
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Old 04-09-2007, 03:24 PM
 
3 posts, read 32,126 times
Reputation: 11
Any other remarks re: Woodruff Place?
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Old 04-09-2007, 05:07 PM
 
Location: Indianapolis Indiana
1,100 posts, read 3,173,724 times
Reputation: 836
Going back quite a few years Woodruff Place was on the serious skids. Landlords were turning the area into a rental ghetto. Then came the gay population and the area revived. They got the old lights up and got some of the fountains going. It was becoming quite beautiful last I heard. But that has been a number of years.
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Old 04-23-2007, 09:15 PM
 
12 posts, read 41,570 times
Reputation: 21
Default I live there!

I live in Woodruff, bought there a year and a half ago, moved in with our infant daughter and 2 dogs.

We bought the neighborhood as much as the house, and here's why:

We had lived in the exurb (distant suburb) of Danville, far west of the city. Actually, we didn't "live" there. We slept there. To do anything, we had to drive to Indy. As congestion moved out there, it became a longer and longer trip-- the same can be said of any 'burb. More on that in a minute.

We were expecting the first baby when we saw an ad for a house in WP. Looked beautiful... I found the neighborhood one day during lunch, and was stunned with the cohesive, park-like atmosphere. Definitely a "pocket" situation relative to the surrounding 'hoods (especially to the East). But while I was standing on the sidewalk admiring the house, a neighbor lady came over and chatted me up. As I was talking with her, a few other neighbors that were just walking about came by, and everyone seemed to know everybody else. I really liked that. A neighborhood with real neighbors, front porches and sidewalks that everybody used. Felt nice. Not to mention that I was speaking to an articulate hispanic lady, and among the neighbors was another minority couple, and families with children. I wanted my daughter growing up seeing that kind of diversity, not the Danville homogeneity and anonymity.

We ended up putting an offer on another house, one that was being remodeled. Two weeks before the renovations were to be completed (it had been six apartments, with some interesting characters), the place caught on fire! The official report was "Stain soaked rags, spontaneously combusted". The place was still standing, but a lot of new work needed to be done. We could have walked since we hadn't closed yet, and considered it.

Then we saw the newspaper. There was a photo of "our" house, with dozens of poeple on their hands and knees, crawling through the yard. The sellers, themselves neighbors, had told the neighborhood that the buyers (us) were expecting a baby--- and nobody wanted our baby to play in a yard full of broken glass (from the firemen "venting" the house). So all these folks came over one day to pick bits of glass out of the yard--- and they didn't even know us.

That kind of community just doesn't happen anymore. Certainly not in the 'burbs. At that point, we were committed to stick through the sale and join this nice group of people.

Now we've been here a year and a half, and love it. Lots of families with children our daughter's age or close. Lots of teenage babysitters. Yes, crime on the East Side is a concern, but there's an active Neighborhood Watch, and with proper precautions we feel very safe. Yes, a 120 year old house will always be a maintenance adventure, but so is any house. Properties are appreciating nicely in this part of town, with smaller homes just half a mile away now selling near and over half a million--- we're nowhere close to that, but will be in several years.

Now we are 10 minutes from the Zoo, 5 Minutes from the Circle Center, 10 minutes from the Children's Museum, and 20 minutes to the NW corner (86th and Michigan) thanks to the I-65 corridor and ramps nearby. The south end of the Monon is just a few blocks away, which means a bike ride to the State Fair gets free admission. Some of the best restaurants in town, not to mention concert venues (Murat, Hilbert Circle theatre, etc) again, just minutes. We live here. And we love it. Another baby on the way, too.
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Old 04-24-2007, 05:07 AM
 
Location: Turn Left at Greenland
17,698 posts, read 35,077,947 times
Reputation: 7941
What a great story. Congrats on everything and your young family!


Quote:
Originally Posted by dvanbrunt View Post
I live in Woodruff, bought there a year and a half ago, moved in with our infant daughter and 2 dogs.

We bought the neighborhood as much as the house, and here's why:

We had lived in the exurb (distant suburb) of Danville, far west of the city. Actually, we didn't "live" there. We slept there. To do anything, we had to drive to Indy. As congestion moved out there, it became a longer and longer trip-- the same can be said of any 'burb. More on that in a minute.

We were expecting the first baby when we saw an ad for a house in WP. Looked beautiful... I found the neighborhood one day during lunch, and was stunned with the cohesive, park-like atmosphere. Definitely a "pocket" situation relative to the surrounding 'hoods (especially to the East). But while I was standing on the sidewalk admiring the house, a neighbor lady came over and chatted me up. As I was talking with her, a few other neighbors that were just walking about came by, and everyone seemed to know everybody else. I really liked that. A neighborhood with real neighbors, front porches and sidewalks that everybody used. Felt nice. Not to mention that I was speaking to an articulate hispanic lady, and among the neighbors was another minority couple, and families with children. I wanted my daughter growing up seeing that kind of diversity, not the Danville homogeneity and anonymity.

We ended up putting an offer on another house, one that was being remodeled. Two weeks before the renovations were to be completed (it had been six apartments, with some interesting characters), the place caught on fire! The official report was "Stain soaked rags, spontaneously combusted". The place was still standing, but a lot of new work needed to be done. We could have walked since we hadn't closed yet, and considered it.

Then we saw the newspaper. There was a photo of "our" house, with dozens of poeple on their hands and knees, crawling through the yard. The sellers, themselves neighbors, had told the neighborhood that the buyers (us) were expecting a baby--- and nobody wanted our baby to play in a yard full of broken glass (from the firemen "venting" the house). So all these folks came over one day to pick bits of glass out of the yard--- and they didn't even know us.

That kind of community just doesn't happen anymore. Certainly not in the 'burbs. At that point, we were committed to stick through the sale and join this nice group of people.

Now we've been here a year and a half, and love it. Lots of families with children our daughter's age or close. Lots of teenage babysitters. Yes, crime on the East Side is a concern, but there's an active Neighborhood Watch, and with proper precautions we feel very safe. Yes, a 120 year old house will always be a maintenance adventure, but so is any house. Properties are appreciating nicely in this part of town, with smaller homes just half a mile away now selling near and over half a million--- we're nowhere close to that, but will be in several years.

Now we are 10 minutes from the Zoo, 5 Minutes from the Circle Center, 10 minutes from the Children's Museum, and 20 minutes to the NW corner (86th and Michigan) thanks to the I-65 corridor and ramps nearby. The south end of the Monon is just a few blocks away, which means a bike ride to the State Fair gets free admission. Some of the best restaurants in town, not to mention concert venues (Murat, Hilbert Circle theatre, etc) again, just minutes. We live here. And we love it. Another baby on the way, too.
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Old 04-24-2007, 05:54 AM
 
3,664 posts, read 9,341,677 times
Reputation: 6523
Sometimes neighbors can trump the worst house. It is almost impossible for most of us to drag good neighbors in but when we find them, they are worth keeping.

However, the love of a Victorian has to come with full knowledge of the time and expense of maintenance. Do love them though.
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Old 04-26-2007, 10:20 AM
 
Location: Indianapolis Indiana
1,100 posts, read 3,173,724 times
Reputation: 836
Wow, whatta great story. Man, I miss Indy!
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Old 05-02-2007, 12:51 PM
 
1 posts, read 10,562 times
Reputation: 12
Default Life in Woodruff Place

Dvanbrunt summed up Woodruff Place very well. My wife and I moved here in 2003 and have since added a daughter and son to our family--we couldn’t live in a better location. We used to live “west of the interstate” in another historic neighborhood (which we thoroughly enjoyed) but moved in search of a larger house in an area more suitable for raising a family. We were familiar with the small town feel of Woodruff Place and knew that is where we wanted to be.

My family has never had any trouble with crime in our time in Woodruff Place. We walk in the neighborhood with our children virtually every evening and never get far without finding friends also out walking, on their porch, or in their yard. There is a nice diversity of residents from retirees, young singles, families, to gay couples that make the neighborhood welcoming to anyone. It is an urban neighborhood and has some of the same challenges that any urban neighborhood faces, but the pluses far outweigh the negatives.

The Woodruff Place Civic League is extremely active. So far this year, we have had Casino Woodruff (an adult’s only fundraiser at our Town Hall), a movie night at Town Hall, a community tree planting day, a neighborhood clean-up, an Easter egg hunt for the kids, a pitch-in dinner—and this is the slow part of our year. There are over twenty events planned this year, including the annual Flea Market on June 2-3 and the Home Tour on June 30-July1. We are returning more and more statues and urns to our esplanades, the fountains do indeed work (although we are working to come up with a plan for their full renovation), and the Woodruff Place Town Hall is being renovated as I write.

Property values have appreciated nicely in the last few years, but there is still quite a large price range depending on size and condition. I am a renovator and sought a large house that needed restoration, and there are still those types of properties around. There are also properties that have been renovated going on the market that will need little more than normal old house maintenance. Houses range from fifteen hundred square feet to eight thousand square feet, build dates from the 1870s to 1970s, and styles from Queen Anne, Eastlake, Revival, Four Square, Arts and Crafts, Tudor, etc.

Life is good in Woodruff Place and is only getting better.
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