Our Historic Building

The Hammond Block Building: Rich In History

The Hammond Block Building is one of the most important structures in the Massachusetts Avenue Historic District. The Italianate style flatiron building was erected in 1874, led by Rezin R. Hammond. At the time of construction, the three hundred block of Massachusetts Avenue was developing as a new shopping district in Indianapolis.

A Walk Down Memory Lane

During its 130-year history, the building has been home to a wide range of individuals and companies:

  • In 1875, physician and surgeon, J. Swigart, bought the building and used it as both his office and residence.
  • By 1886, John Whitson’s Saloon occupied the building.
  • In 1887, the property became Lee Quaon’s Laundry.
  • From 1887 to 1891, the Central College of Physicians and Surgeons used the upper floors.
  • The history of the building is vague from 1891 until 1945 when it became the Budnick Building. Beverly Goldstein bought it for her husband, Joe Budnick, to open a liquor store. After this plan failed, he started selling fishing supplies instead. Budnick’s fishing supply store became an Indianapolis institution, the city’s equivalent to L.L. Bean.
  • Renovation & Revitalization

    An extensive renovation followed under direction of Schmidt-Claffey Architects. The exterior was restored as authentically as possible, including removing brick from all the first floor windows and raising the flow to its original position above street level.  The end result was a success.

    The renovation was recognized as an “Outstanding Contribution to the Beautification of Downtown Indianapolis” by the Commission for Downtown, Inc., and in 1981 won the Merit Award of the Indianapolis Chapter, American Institute of Architects.  It qualified and was placed on the National Register of Historic Places. Since 1985, the law firm completely restored and renovated Hammond Block Building.

    The Price Hammond Block renovation led to the renaissance of Massachusetts Avenue as a business and restaurant district and demonstrated the possibilities of historic preservation.

    If you’re interested in learning more about what Mass Ave now has to offer, visit www.discovermassave.com.