1 Collection # M 1258 BV BRENDONWOOD COMMON COLLECTION, CA Collection Information Historical Sketch Scope and Content Note Series Contents Processed by Melanie Hankins November 2017 Manuscript and Visual Collections Department William Henry Smith Memorial Library Indiana Historical Society 450 West Ohio Street Indianapolis, IN
2 COLLECTION INFORMATION VOLUME OF COLLECTION: COLLECTION DATES: 5 manuscript boxes, 1 box of black and white photographs, 1 OVB folder, 2 bound volumes, 1 flat file folder, 1 rolled item PROVENANCE: Sally Rowland, Indianapolis, Indiana. October RESTRICTIONS: None COPYRIGHT: REPRODUCTION RIGHTS: Permission to reproduce or publish material in this collection must be obtained from the Indiana Historical Society. ALTERNATE FORMATS: RELATED HOLDINGS: ACCESSION NUMBER: Brendonwood Common, Inc. Collection, ca P NOTES:
3 HISTORICAL SKETCH Brendonwood is a residential subdivision located between Fall Creek and 56th Street in Indianapolis. Charles Sumner Lewis, an Indianapolis real estate developer, purchased this land in several parcels between 1909 and He wanted to develop the land as a private, residential subdivision that would be legally protected from future commercial development. Lewis contacted George E. Kessler, well-respected landscape architect, to design Brendonwood Common in Kessler had designed parks and boulevards for the Indianapolis Board of Parks Commissioners from 1908 to his death in Kessler's designs include University Park (1914), Garfield Park (1915), and Riverside Park (1922). According to his plan for Brendonwood, over 115,000 shrubs and rows of oak trees were planted to improve the environment. Additionally civil engineer, A.H. Moore, and consulting architect Frederick Wallick contributed to Brendonwood's development. Together, these architectural consultants established high standards for every aspect of Brendonwood. As the chief civil engineer of Brendonwood, A.H. Moore coordinated and supervised the land clearance, grading, road construction, and utility installation. Beginning in 1920, Brendonwood received national recognition when Theodora Kimball Hubbard, a Harvard librarian, wrote several letters to Charles Lewis inquiring about the status of his new community. Her husband was Henry Vincent Hubbard, the Dean of Harvard's School of Landscape Architecture, and these documents and correspondence about Brendonwood remain in Harvard's Graduate School of Design's library. Brendonwood is comprised of a 110 private home residential subdivision. Regulations of Brendonwood Common Inc. prohibited the division of original plots and contained provisions to ensure the protection and preservation of the natural features and landscape designs. The first homes in Brendonwood were completed in The 350 acres in Brendonwood was divided into 110 house sites, with the remaining 100 acres assigned to roadways, paths, and other park-like spaces. The largest planned public area in Brendonwood is known as The Mall. While the rest of Brendonwood's landscape was considered to be naturalistic, The Mall is the most formal in design. This 800-foot dual-drive is the main gateway into the subdivision. The Mall's landscape treatment was inspired by the 17th century English landscape gardener, John Evelyn. Evelyn greatly admired the Mall of Tours, France with its rows of tall elm trees. Charles Lewis recreated this image with rows of American elm trees that lined the entranceway. In order to reforest the Mall and the rest of the landscape in Brendonwood, Kessler and Lewis developed a nursery on the south side of 56th Street. This nursery would provide thousands of trees and shrubs that would line homes and roads in the neighborhood. Recreation and relaxation was an integral part of Lewis' vision for Brendonwood. In 1924, Lewis used Brendonwood Common Plot #90 to build a Common House that could be used by members of the neighborhood. The Common House has hosted a variety of activities
4 over the years including holiday celebrations, picnics, neighborhood pitch-in dinners, Garden and Bridge Club gatherings, tennis, golf, swimming, Easter egg hunts, football games, and for the Brendonwood Common and country club meetings. Lewis also set aside land for a golf course. The golf course was later designed by Lawrence V. Sheridan and completed in The maintenance of the golf course slipped during World War II, and part of it was used as a victory garden. The golf course was eventually restored to its former conditions in 1956 when the Brendonwood Recreation Club retained responsibility for the course grounds. The Brendonwood Recreation Club eventually evolved into the Brendonwood Country Club, and manages most of the communities events for Brendonwood residents today. Today, Brendonwood Common is considered a community of firsts as it has served as a model for other private residential developments throughout the country. Many of the homes located in Brendonwood Common are known for their distinctive architecture. As a result, Brendonwood Common was registered as a historic district on the National Register of Historic Places in Sources: Materials found in the collection. O Day, James. Brendonwood: The Legacy of George E. Kessler Upon the Indianapolis Landscape. A Historic Landscape Report. Muncie: Ball State University, 1988.
5 SCOPE AND CONTENT NOTE The Brendonwood Common materials consist of three series. Series 1: Organization and Legal Documents, contains papers related to the organization, public notices, and legal documents related to Brendonwood Common. This series consists of Brendonwood membership list (1917), Brendonwood Board of Directors meeting minutes ( , , , 1989), Brendonwood Common notices to residents ( ), Brendonwood Board of Directors correspondence ( and ), and Brendonwood Board of Directors resolutions (1950s and 1970s). Series 1 also includes two ballots: one to vote on the creation of a pond in Brendonwood (1941) and one to vote Board of Directors (1957). This series also contains materials related to legal documents of Brendonwood Common. These legal documents include abstract of title for lots in Brendonwood Common, legal agreements dealing with the widening of 56th Street, and other foreclosure documents ( ). Series 2: Social Clubs and Events contains materials related to holiday events, social clubs, and membership of Brendonwood community. As a private subdivision, Brendonwood Common established their Garden Club in 1948 and the Recreation/Country Club in Series 2 contains Brendonwood Country Club materials ( ), event flyers distributed in Brendonwood Common ( ) Brendonwood Common Newsletters (1979, , 2005), Brendonwood Directory of Residents and Country Club Members ( ), and newspaper clippings of special events in Brendonwood ( ). The materials related to the Brendonwood Garden Club include their meeting minutes ( , , 2004), events flyers, garden landscaping plans, a questionnaire, and membership lists ( ). Series 3: Historical Background and Architectural Planning, consists of research materials and other reports about the establishment of Brendonwood Common. Materials include a scrapbook ( ), advertising materials and brochures, National Register for Historic application and designation, and the report "Brendonwood: The Legacy of George Kessler Upon Indianapolis Landscape." This series also contains a USB Drive with digital copies of files like: Brendonwood aerial views, Brendonwood photographs, National Register documents, personal interviews with past residents of Brendonwood, lists of Brendonwood Presidents from 1924 to 2016, plot owners and architectural information of each lot. Series 3 also contains black and white photographs depicting Brendonwood landscape and plots before development. Finally, this series includes early architectural plans of Brendonwood's plots and the golf course.
6 SERIES CONTENTS Series 1: Organization and Legal Documents, CONTENTS CONTAINER Brendonwood Membership Certificate Book, BV 5235 Brendonwood Common Board of Directors Meeting Minutes, Brendonwood Common Notices to Residents, Brendonwood Common Notices to Residents, Brendonwood Common Pond Plot Change Ballot, Brendonwood Common Board of Directors Meeting Minutes, Abstract of Title for Lot Number 49 in Brendonwood Common, Brendonwood Common Notices to Residents, Brendonwood Common Board of Directors Meeting Minutes, Brendonwood Common Miscellaneous Board of Directors Resolutions, 1950s. Correspondence to Cassett Martz, Brendonwood Board Member, Box 1, Folder 1 Box 1, Folder 2 Box 1, Folder 3 Box 1, Folder 4 Box 1, Folder 5 Box 1, Folder 6 Box 1, Folder 7 Box 1, Folder 8 Box 1, Folder 9 Box 1, Folder 10 Brendonwood Common Correspondence, Box 2, Folder 1 Robert H. Clark, Secretary of Brendonwood Common Correspondence, Brendonwood Common Board of Directors Ballot, Box 2, Folder 2 Box 2, Folder 3
7 Abstract of Title for Lot Number 83 of Brendonwood Common, Box 2, Folder 4 Brendonwood legal documents and resolutions, 1970s. Box 2, Folder 5 Brendonwood legal documents, 1917, Box 2, Folder 6 Widening East 56th Street legal documents, Miscellaneous Board of Directors Correspondence, Box 2, Folder 7 Box 2, Folder 8 Brendonwood Common legal documents, Box 2, Folder 9 Brendonwood Common financial records, Box 2, Folder 10 Brendonwood Engineer Reports, Box 2, Folder 11 Brendonwood Board of Directors Meeting Minutes, , Box 2, Folder 12 Series 2: Social Clubs and Events, CONTENTS CONTAINER Brendonwood Country Club materials, Box 2, Folder 13 Event flyers for Brendonwood Common, Box 2, Folder 14 Brendonwood Common Newsletters, 1979, , Box 2, Folder 15 Newspaper clippings, Box 3, Folder 1 Brendonwood Garden Club Meeting Minutes, Brendonwood Garden Club Materials, , Box 3, Folder 2 Box 3, Folder 3 Brendonwood Garden Club Questionnaire, Box 3, Folder 4 Brendonwood Landscaping Plans, Box 3, Folder 5 Brendonwood Country Club golf scorecards, n.d. Box 3, Folder 6 Northeast suburban transit schedule, 1950s. Box 3, Folder 7
8 Mailbox Blueprints, n.d. Box 3, Folder 8 Brendonwood Garden Club Rosters, Box 3, Folder 9 Brendonwood Garden Club Rosters, Box 3, Folder 10 Brendonwood Garden Club Rosters, Box 3, Folder 11 Brendonwood Directory of Residents, Box 3, Folder 12 Brendonwood Directory of Residents, Box 4, Folder 1 Brendonwood Directory of Residents, Box 4, Folder 2 Registry of Brendonwood Residents and Roster of Brendonwood Country Club, Registry of Brendonwood Residents and Roster of Brendonwood Country Club, Box 4, Folder 3 Box 4, Folder 4 Series 3: Historical Background and Architectural Planning, CONTENTS Brendonwood Advertising and Marketing materials, CONTAINER Box 4, Folder 4 Brendonwood Scrapbook, BV 5236 Brendonwood, A Self Regulated Zones signed by Charles Lewis, August Brendonwood Residential Zone Map and Agreement, 1917.[Blueprint] Rolled Storage: Aisle, Bay, Row Rolled Storage: Aisle, Bay, Row Residence of Brendonwood Map, Flat Files: FF, Folder 1 Brendonwood: A Self Regulated Residential Zone, plot map, n.d. Brendonwood Golf Course Plans by landscape architect, Lawrence V. Sheridan, Residence for Mr. And Mrs. Harry V. Wade architectural plans, March Brendonwood: The Legacy of George Kessler Upon Indianapolis Landscape Report, Flat Files: FF, Folder 1 Flat Files: FF, Folder 1 Flat Files: FF, Folder 1 Box 5, Folder 1
9 Brendonwood National Register for Historic Places application and designation, Box 5, Folder 2 Brendonwood: History and Traditions, Box 5, Folder 3 Brendonwood: Partial Listing of Historic Events, December Brendonwood historical background USB Drive, Brendonwood landscape photographs, Brendonwood landscape photographs, Brendonwood landscape photographs, Brendonwood photographs from Mr. and Mrs. Montgomery Lewis, Brendonwood landscape photographs, n.d. Box 5, Folder 4 Box 5, Folder 5 Black and White Photographs, Box 1, Folder 1 Black and White Photographs, Box 1, Folder 2 Black and White Photographs, Box 1, Folder 3 Black and White Photographs, Box 1, Folder 4 OVB Photographs: Folder 5 of 5