Ovid Butler-Shaw House, "Forest Home"
1306 North Park Avenue
 c. 1875, c. 1885, c. 1901
One of the city's earliest great estates, this structure was originally built in the Greek Revival style of Ovid Butler. In 1870, an Italianate cornice was added, Still later the roof was raised and a third story was constructed by John M. Shaw. Shaw was also responsible for acquiring the porte cochere, originally from the Bates House, which stands to the west.
The large carriage house is a good example of Queen Anne style usually associated with Richard Norman Shaw. The red brick, open gables, asymmetrical elevations and plasterwork details can be found on many Queen Anne houses.
Ovid Butler (1801-1881) was a renowned lawyer and educator. He came to Indianapolis in 1836 and set up a successful law practice with Calvin Fletcher and Simon Yandes. He retired in 1846 and bought this property. The son of a Christian minister, he was a staunch abolitionist and established a newspaper, "Free Soil, Free States, Free Men" about 1850 as an anti-slavery publication. Butler is most renowned for his establishment of North Western Christian University in 1850. Now Butler University, the school was one of the few at the time which admitted women students on an equal basis with men. Ovid Butler served as its first president for 20 years. After his death in 1881, the house was occupied by a son, Scot Butler, briefly before being sold to John M. Shaw about 1891.
Shaw (1852-1925) was an Irish immigrant who came to this country when he was 22. He worked as general manager of Kingan and Company, meat packers, and was extremely successful. He lived at Forest Home until his death in 1924.
Old Northside Historic Area Preservation Plan, 1979
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