1204 North Park Avenue
Dietrich A. Bohlen, Architect
The Morris-Butler House is a classic example of the Second Empire Style. The chief style characteristic is the Mansard roof. Here it takes a concave form. The asymmetrical facade and tower were attempts at bringing a picturesque quality to the house. It was designed by Dietrich A. Bohlen, a noted local architect, for John D. Morris.,
Morris, a member of a pioneering Indiana family, was employed as a railroad clerk for a time before becoming vice-president of Capitol City Planing Mill in 1874. At this same time he was a partner in the firm Clazier & Morris, dealers in coal, coke and lime. His business ventures apparently did not prosper, as in 1887 he declared bankruptcy.
Morris sold this house to Noble C. Butler (1844-1933) in 1881. Butler was a native of New Albany who came to Indianapolis as a clerk in the U.S. District Court. Later he became vice-president of Capitol National Bank. Butler lived here until his death in 1933. His daughter, Florence, held the house until she died in 1958. Historic Landmarks Foundation of Indiana purchased the residence in 1964 and converted it into a museum of Victorian decorative arts.
Old Northside Historic Area Preservation Plan, 1979
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