Ransom Place Apartments for Rent(hide neighborhood information)
Ransom Place developed as a small community of modest homes just northwest of the Mile Square, the original boundary of Indianapolis, Indiana. Ransom Place represents an early, intact neighborhood – in fact, the city’s most intact neighborhood – associated with its prominent black community.
The area was identified as a black settlement in writings as early as the 1830s. Over its long history, this district has been home to many black business and civic leaders, doctors, attorneys and other professionals.
Ransom Place was named after Freeman Ransom, an attorney and general manager of the Walker Manufacturing Company, a cosmetics firm founded by Madam C.J. Walker. He moved to Indianapolis and the neighborhood that would eventually bear his name around 1910. He and his family owned two houses on California Street, 828 and 824.
The houses of Ransom Place are primarily frame, one-story dwellings of modest vernacular styles typical of the late 19th- and early 20th-centuries. Queen Anne cottages were popular in the neighborhood. Most of these homes date from the 1890s, and most still retain their original plan; some retain the original trim. The lots are narrow, on grid-patterned streets, and have sidewalks and shallow setbacks. The district was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1992.
Today the area incorporates beautifully-restored homes dating back to the Reconstruction era; a 19th -century canal; the Walker Theatre, housed in the Madam C. J. Walker building; Crispus Attucks High School, the only all-black high school in Indianapolis; and the campus of Indiana University-Purdue University.
The university and the Ransom Place Neighborhood Association cooperatively sponsor the Ransom Place Archaeology project. The project uses archaeological excavations and oral histories to research and document the culture within Ransom Place. Volunteers are welcome to work alongside field school students.
Ransom Place Historic District is roughly bounded by West 10th, West, Camp and St. Clair Streets. Its homes are not open to the public.