At The New Northwestern, we are excited to highlight the rich history of this building and the East Village neighborhood in our magnificent city. We hope you enjoy a glimpse of the elegance and grace of passenger rail at the turn of the century combined with our modern twist.
We are excited to highlight the rich history of this building and the neighborhood in our magnificent city. We hope you also enjoy a glimpse of the elegance and grace of passenger rail at the turn of the century with a modern twist.
CN&W PASSENGER RAIL
Alison graduated with a Bachelor of Science from the University of Florida with a degree in Event/Hospitality Management and a Masters of Science in Health Education from the University of Alabama. She has worked in restaurants her whole life and most recently a culinary college both in admissions and as a nutrition instructor. Partnering with local artists, she is responsible for the beautiful Gallery restaurant details. Everything from the unique tables and light fixtures to the refurbished furniture and metal work are her design. She is an active member of Indy Women in Food, Visit Indy, Indiana Grown, among others and contributes her time to local startups and charities.
Planned to be fireproof, the Northwestern Hotel married the latest construction techniques with the stately style and use of classical detail typical of Proudfoot, Bird and Rawson.
OLD BECOMES NEW
This building, which opened on August 22nd, 1916, was known as the “New” Northwestern Hotel because it replaced the “Old” Northwestern Hotel, which was built on this site in 1887. The hotel catered to the employees and passengers of the C&NW railroad, legislators, and state fairgoers. The passenger depot was located just across Walnut Street along East 4th and the freight depot was a block north where the Scenic Route Bakery and Café is currently located. When trains arrived, representatives from the hotel went across the street to the depot and rang a gong to encourage arrivals to stay at the Northwestern.
The original owner, Otto Starzinger, selected the prominent architectural firm of Proudfoot, Bird and Rawson to design his hotel. Planned to be fireproof, the Northwestern Hotel married the latest construction techniques (light tan concrete aggregate “bricks” on the ground floor exterior, cast concrete structural system, plumbing laid on absorbent sand, fireproof four-inch gypsum block) with the stately style and use of classical detail typical of Proudfoot, Bird and Rawson.
A FULL REGISTER
The hotel was especially filled during Christmas and state fair times. During the holiday season a huge Christmas tree towered over the lobby. During the fair, weary sightseers asleep on cots were more likely to fill the space. The guest register for the original hotel for August 28, 1910, showed 258 registrants, many of whom were assigned a cot number instead of a room number. Up to five people shared a room, and the prices were higher—around $0.75 to $1.00 a night—than at other times of the year.
During the Fair, up to five people shared a room for $0.75 to $1.00 a night.
The passenger depot was located just across Walnut Street along East 4th and the freight depot was a block north where the Scenic Route Bakery and Café is currently located.
This was a busy block in the East Village. The building that houses the Iowa Taproom was a printing and litho shop. Directly across the street, was a chick hatchery, machine shops and auto repair shops. Across East 4th, stood the Grand Hotel and the Nelson and Goldstone Hotels were close by.