Review: Indianapolis then & now 

An updated look into Indy's past


by Nelson Price and Joan Hostetler

Do you already have the 2004 book? Get this new version to savor the changes occurring during a decade.

Co-author Nelson informed me the 2004 edition "went through 10 printings. Last year the London-based publisher contacted us (including co-author Joan Hostetler and photographer Garry Chilluffo) to do a "slightly revised" version. So much has changed in Indy during the last 11-12 years that the book is way more than 'slightly' revised. It's more than half new."

The "half-new" shows a slew of transformations including new ownerships, remodeling and political references — such as replacing a photo of Mayor Bart Peterson at the Cottage Home neighborhood Block Party with the makeover that went into effect after the 2003 kick-off campaign. (Pages 60-61; continuously designated a NUVO "best block party.")

The intersection of Massachusetts, Delaware and New York streets gains new insights about the odd-shaped flatiron building that was saved from the wrecking ball. Same for Fountain Square, Monon Railroad/Monon Trail and Bankers Life Fieldhouse — new depictions to bring those sites up to date.

"The biggest thing that 'dated' the original book: it had an RCA Dome spread, not Lucas Oil," commented Nelson Price during an email exchange about the new book. "The biggest challenge for Joan was tracking down a 'Then' photo from 100 or so years ago of the Lucas Oil site. It was just warehouses and modest homes.

Nelson Price, a fifth generation Hoosier, hosts the weekly "Hoosier History Live" radio show Saturdays noon - 1 p.m. on WICR-FM. His other books include The Quiet Hero: A Life of Ryan White and Indiana Legends.

Historian Joan Hostetler rescues and tracks down historic photographs. Her newest project is the Indiana Album, a community digitization project inviting everyone to bring old photographs to be digitized and catalogued for safe-keeping and ongoing research.

Garry Chilluffo, who handled the 'now' photography, specializes in architectural and advertising photography.

2015; London: Pavilion Books; 144pp. b/w & color photographs; $19.95; 2004 book is still available in all the regular outlets


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Rita Kohn

Rita Kohn

Rita Kohn has been covering craft beer and the arts for NUVO for two decades. She’s the author of True Brew: A Guide to Craft Beer in Indiana.

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