West Indianapolis

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West IndianapolisWest Indianapolis has been a family-friendly, blue-collar neighborhood since it was incorporated in 1897. Developed to house workers from the nearby Belt Line Railroad and Union Stockyards. WI’s working class tradition is alive and well today. Eli Lilly, Ingredion, IPL, Rolls Royce and Vertellus all call the neighborhood home.
The West Indianapolis/Harding Street Neighborhood is one of the older neighborhoods in the city. The earliest residents arrived in the 1820s, many coming from Kentucky,Tennessee and southern Indiana. The area between White River and Big Eagle Creek, south of the Conrail tracks and north of Raymond Street was first incorporated as the town of West Indianapolis in 1882, and in 1890 had a population of 3,527. West Indianapolis became an incorporated city in 1894, and was annexed into the City of Indianapolis in1897. Much of the housing stock in the neighborhood was built prior to 1900. Parts of the neighborhood have been industrialized for well over 100 years. The West Indianapolis/Harding Street Neighborhood is part of the largest area of industrial concentration within the city. Industries such as National Starch and Chemical Corporation and the Indianapolis Stockyards were established before 1880. The former site of the General Motors Chevrolet Division factory, located on Oliver Avenue, just north of the study area, was in use as early as 1911 by the Perry Manufacturing Company, which built carts, wagons, and carriages.The residential areas of the West Indianapolis neighborhood developed as a result of growth of the factories along the Belt Railroad constructed in the 1870’s around the southside of the city.
Neighborhoods within West Indianapolis include:

  • The Bottoms
  • The Valley
  • The Hollow
  • The Hill

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The Valley

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The Valley was named after the Great Flood of 1913 and sits between the White River and Harding Street. City officials say The Valley is historically one of the most industrialized areas of the city. The roots of the neighborhood can still be found in original houses from the 1800s. Some homes have been kept in the family for generations.
The neighborhood has two Ethiopian/Aretrian churches, a Hispanic grocery store, and recently opened Round Town Brewery and the Edison School for the Arts. It’s the closest neighborhood to the downtown district.
The Valley has the only established neighborhood association in West Indianapolis. The association was founded two years ago during conversations about the future of the GM Stamping Plant. The conversations resulted in a group of residents working to preserve and improve the quality of life in The Valley.
“I’m proud to highlight The Valley as the Neighborhood of the Month for January, 2017,” said Mayor Hogsett. “With celebrated cultural assets and a rich history of hardworking, committed citizens, The Valley serves as an example of what is possible when Indianapolis residents are dedicated to the success of their community.”

The Valley In The News

One of the most interesting redevelopment related activities in Indianapolis is in The Valley.  In the future this the neighborhood may contain a proposed $550 MM project for apartments, offices, retail, a hotel and green space along the river.
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West Indianapolis has been a family-friendly, blue-collar neighborhood since it was incorporated in 1897.
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The mission of WIDC is to identify community resources, promote community assets and implement programs and activities that increase housing opportunities and improve the quality of life in West Indianapolis.
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