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This incredible Second Empire style house was built in about 1864, but it has since been restored as a museum home, from 1964-69, although daily tours are no longer offered, unfortunately. It's located in the beautiful Old Northside Historic District of Indianapolis, which was a suburb located a short distance from the city at the time. It was built for John D. Morris, a businessman, the son of Morris Morris (interesting...), one of the city's early settlers. The house was reportedly designed by Diedrich A. Bohlen, of the famous architectural firm, the oldest in the city: the firm also designed other monumental structures, including the Roberts Park Methodist Church, Crown Hill Cemetery's Gothic Chapel, and the Saint John the Evangelist Catholic Church, all on the National Register of Historic Places. Four successive generations of architects have worked at the firm, including Diedrich, the founder, his son, grandson and great-grandson.

The Morris family occupied the house until the 1878, when it was sold to Noble Chace Butler, a bankruptcy lawyer and clerk of the US District Court. He lived in the home with his wife and seven children until his death in 1933. Their daughter Florence continued to occupy the home until 1957, so it was at lest maintained until that time, but the neighborhood had become quite run-down, and many of the stunning Victorian homes became neglected. After Florence's death, the Morris-Butler House became an art studio, and was even used as an apartment house from 1957-1964. The Historic Landmarks Foundation of Indiana, now the Indiana Landmarks organization purchased the house in 1963, with funds from Eli Lily, a wealthy philanthropist who had known Florenece Butler. Following years of restoration efforts, the home was opened to the public in 1969, complete with Victorian-era furnishings, although the house itself is Civil-War era, and it was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1972. Visitors can still wander around the grounds and see the exterior, which is magnificent. Although it's no longer open for daily tours, the public can rent the space for special functions.

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Additional Photos by Terez Anon (terez93) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 89 W: 78 N: 979] (1783)
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