Noblesville: Upstairs Downtown
Writer / Kara Reibel . Photographer / Amy Unger
The 7th Annual Upstairs Downtown kicked off the First Friday series for Noblesville Main Street. Several downtown Noblesville properties not normally open to the public were available to tour as part of this annual event. The presenting sponsor, Adler, Tesnar and Whalin, is located in the Adler Building, a former church restored into office space.
“This is one of the great evenings in our downtown,” said Noblesville Main Street Executive Director Chris Owens. “Not only can participants see our downtown from new and unique perspectives, but it also serves as a chance to learn some of the history of downtown and connect with neighbors and friends.”
The tour started at the Adler Building, included a tour of two apartments across the street in the Richwine Building, and hit various highlights around the square, culminating at the Nickel Plate Arts to tour the Judge Stone House and the Stevenson Home as well as the Old Jail and Sheriff’s Residence. “We were happy to see over 300 visitors take advantage of the chance to view the square and downtown from some of these unique properties and mesh history with growth and expansion,” says Noblesville Main Street Executive Director Chris Owens. “Hipstoric Noblesville is all about people, places and experiences, and this event certainly highlights all three.”
The Richwine Building was named after George C. Richwine who ran a carriage and buggy manufacturing business out of the location starting in 1879. His original two-story home became engulfed by his business, leading to the construction of the building as we know it in 1914. Two of the apartments were on the tour, highlighting the innovations of the day and the appeal of then-modern amenities over 100 years later.
Apartment resident Dave Apodaca opened his home to the tour. “We enjoy living in downtown Noblesville,” shares Apodaca. “This building has a rich history, and the surrounding area is rich in history and shares a strong sense of community.”
Along the Historic Square is a brick, Victorian-era commercial building known as the Lacy Block Building. Albert H. Lacy constructed the building in 1888. The third floor was occupied by the Knights of Pythias for 60 years, and then The Boys Club utilized the space as is witnessed by the basketball court and locker room areas.
“Without the building owners and tenants’ willingness to open their second and third floor spaces, this unique exploratory event would not be possible. The people, places and experiences within downtown Noblesville are what strengthens the connectivity of a community,” said Alaina Shonkwiler, event chairperson.
“To be able to walk into an upper floor space, rooted in the history of Noblesville, and hear stories of how the floors still have burn marks from a fire in the early 1900s or that there is a basketball court on the third floor of one of the buildings, that is what sets us apart and gives tour-goers a feeling of being deeply connected to Noblesville’s heritage.”
Noblesville Main Street is a 501(c)(3) independent, nonprofit organization whose mission is to lead and organize community resources to develop and promote the economic and cultural vitality of downtown Noblesville, Indiana, while preserving and enhancing authentic historic assets.