Photo: House at 116 Indiana Avenue, historic district contributing property, Maryville. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1989. Photographed by user: Brian Stansberry (own work), 2010, [cc-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons, accessed October, 2023.
The Indiana Avenue Historic District [†] is a residential area located to the south of the downtown area of Maryville. The district contains ninety residences of which eighty were built between ca. 1880 and ca. 1939 and .is the largest collection of historic architecture in the city. The earliest residences in the district were built along Indiana Avenue and later subdivisions resulted in the construction of Bungalows throughout the rest of the area. Since the 1940s new construction has been limited in the district and it retains its original character. Of the ninety residences in the district, eighty are contributive and there are also forty-two contributing sheds and garages from the late 19th and early 20th centuries which are extant. Also included in the district is a section of the abandoned Southern Railroad right-of-way which is a non-contributing structure. The district is bordered on the north by the Maryville College campus, on the south and east by modern residential areas and on the west by Lamar Alexander Parkway.
This section of Maryviile was rural farmland until after the Civil War and it was not until the 1880s that development occurred in this area. At the crest of a hill to the west of Maryville College a street was laid out which was called Indiana Avenue in honor of several residents who came to Maryville from that state. This hillside was conveniently located adjacent to the college and close to the downtown area. The earliest residences built on the street were Italianate influenced designs or T-plan forms such as at 113 and 209 Indiana Avenue. Most of these residences were two-story frame structures with gable roofs and decorative woodwork at the porch and eaves.
During the 1890s, construction continued along Indiana Avenue and additional streets were laid out to the north towards town. Several fine frame Queen Anne designs were built during these years such as the residence at 119 Indiana Avenue and the Barnes House at 116 Indiana Avenue. The Barnes residence is a good example of a towered Queen Anne design and was designed by the mail order architectural firm of George Barber of Knoxville. Another notable home built into the early 1900s was the brick Romanesque influenced Combs House at 128 Indiana Avenue.
The 1909 Sanborn Insurance Map of Maryville shows approximately 30 residences built along Indiana, Stanley, and Mill Avenues and Clark Street. All are shown as frame construction with the exception of the Combs House on Indiana Avenue. In addition to these residences numerous outbuildings such as sheds and stables are also shown. On Stanley Avenue a two-story frame grocery is illustrated west of Clark Street but this building no longer exists. The right-of-way of the Knoxville and Augusta Railroad formed the western boundary of this neighborhood and the section between the railroad and the downtown area was not sufficiently developed to warrant mapping at this time. With the development of the Alcoa Aluminum Plant after 1913 the population of Maryville increased substantially and the area west from the K<3cA Railroad to Pistol Creek was extensively developed. During these years Clark Street and Gates Street were extended and Goddard Street and Bryan Lane were laid out. Vacant lots throughout the area were purchased and new frame and brick residences were constructed. The 1917 Sanborn Insurance Map shows approximately sixty structures built in the district area. By 1925, this number had risen to seventy-five. All of the properties were residences or related outbuildings with the exception of the commercial building on Stanley Avenue. In addition to these properties dozens of frame single and double stall garages and sheds were built in the district during these years. Most have shiplap or weatherboard siding, gable roofs and diagonal braced doors.
The majority of properties built after 1910 in the district were Bungalow or Craftsman influenced designs. The Bungalow and Craftsman style residences were popular throughout the country during these years and are the most common house form of the period in the district. Common elements are frame or brick veneer construction, one or one-and-one-half stories in height, large porches on the main facade, multi-light sash or casement windows, and large eaves with brackets. Bungalows make up the majority of houses located along Goddard Avenue and Court Street and good representative designs are found at 221 Goddard Avenue and 132 Miller Avenue. House plans came both from local builders and from mail order companies such as the residence at 613 Court Street whose plans were supplied by Sears and Roebuck.
By 1930, the Indiana Avenue area was considered one of the city's best residential neighborhoods and was populated by leading citizens of Maryville. Its quiet, tree-lined streets and fine homes made it one of the most desirable sections of the city. With the growth of suburbs on the edge of the city in the 1960s and 1970s many of the large residences were converted from single family homes into apartments. For the most part, however, the Indiana Avenue district area continues to be a stable section of the city and in recent years numerous residences have been restored. The Indiana Avenue area has maintained its late 19th and early 20th century architectural character to a greater degree than any other area of Maryville and it contains the largest collection of historic architecture in the city.
The Indiana Avenue Historic District is significant under criterion C as the largest and most representative collection of late 19th and early 20th century architecture in Maryville. This section of the city was settled after 1880 and the majority of properties in the district were built prior to 1930 although construction continued in this decade. Within the district are fine examples of the Queen Anne and Bungalow styles as well as Folk Victorian T-Plan and Colonial Revival, and Foursquare designs. The district contains ninety residences of which eighty are contributive to the character of the district. In addition to these properties there are forty-two contributive outbuildings in the district such as garages and sheds. There are no major intrusions and the district retains its integrity of setting and location. No other substantial area of historic residential architecture exists in Maryville.
The Indiana Avenue area was rural farmland located to the east of Maryville in the years after the Civil War. The area's growth was influenced by the relocation of Maryville College just to the north after the war and by its gently rolling terrain. During the 1880s a street was laid out along a hillside which was named Indiana Avenue. This name was given to the street in honor of the home state of several of the residents. By 1890, a number of two-story frame houses had been built on the street such as the house at 304 Indiana Avenue which was built for attorney A.G. Lowe. Other houses built at this time include the Hastings House at 131 Indiana Avenue and Wilson House at 400 Indiana Avenue.
By the 1890 the demand for lots resulted in the subdivision of lands adjacent to Indiana owned by Dr. W.C. Stanley and Dr. H.P. Huddleston. Stanley and Miller Avenues were laid out from Court Street (then known as Crooked Creek Road) for several blocks and several homes were built on these lots by 1900. The Knoxville and Augusta Railroad built their right-of-way through the area soon after but because of the slope of the hill the tracks were depressed well below grade and are not readily visible.
Early residents of the area included prominent merchants, physicians, and educators. The house at 304 Indiana Avenue was occupied for a number of years by Dr. Royal Jennings a local dentist while the house at 116 Indiana Avenue was owned by Jasper Barnes who was a Dean of Maryville College in the early 1900s. By the early 1900s the Indiana Avenue area was a popular residential section for middle and upper class residents of the city and thirty homes are illustrated on the 1909 Sanborn Insurance Map of Maryville.
By 1910, this area contained a fine collection of Victorian house styles. These included Folk Victorian T-Plan forms, Italianate and Queen Anne influenced residences. Most of these were of frame construction, of two-stories in height and had large porches on the main facade. While several of these were ornate such as the towered Queen Anne design at 116 Indiana Avenue, most were simpler asymmetrical plan residences embellished with vergeboard trim at the porches and eaves and decorative wood shingles in the gable field. In addition to these homes there were also Colonial Revival influenced houses such as the Foursquare design at 125 Indiana Avenue and the Neo-Classical style residence at 903 Court Street. These residences were built with symmetrical designs and classically influenced decoration such as dentils, modillion blocks and Ionic and Doric columns and pilasters.
With the construction of the Alcoa Plant at Maryville after 1913, the population of the city increased significantly. Many of the existing lots in the Indiana Avenue area were purchased and homes constructed and additional areas were also laid out and subdivided. The largest area was a tract purchased by James A. Goddard in 1905 to the west of Miller Avenue. Streets were laid out and by 1915 a number of residences had been built along Goddard Avenue and Clark Street. By 1920, the number of residences built in the district since 1910 had doubled.
The majority of these buildings were one to two-story Bungalow or Craftsman influenced designs of frame or brick veneer construction. A wide range of Bungalow designs were built in the district but most share common elements such as large porches, multi-light windows, wide eaves with knee brace brackets and hipped or gable roofs. Notable examples of this style were built for Dr. A.M. Gamble at 122 Indiana Avenue and the William Caldwell House at 120 Stanley Avenue. Dozens of other Bungalow designs were built throughout the district including the house at 613 Court Street whose plan was provided by Sears and Roebuck. In addition to these designs many simple frame garage buildings and sheds were built to the rear or adjacent to the main residences. Three dozen of these outbuildings survive in the district.
Construction of Bungalow designs continued in the district well into the 1930s and the area was considered one of the finest residential sections of Maryville. During the late 1930s the Indiana Avenue was the home of many well known Maryville citizens. These included: F.D. McClelland, Dean of Maryville College (311 Goddard Ave.); Robert Pflanze, President of the Cherokee Lumber Co. (321 Goddard Ave.); W.M. Caldwell, Director of the Bank of Maryville (226 Stanley Ave.); E.W. Davis, Professor at Maryville College (230 Miller Ave.); and W.F. Alien of the Maryville Electrical System (304 Indiana Ave.).
Since the 1930s the area has remained an important residential neighborhood in the city. Construction in the district area has been limited since 1940 and no major intrusions have been built in the district. Several of the larger homes have been subdivided into apartments but most houses remain single family dwellings. In recent years renovation has occurred to a number of properties especially along Indiana Avenue. The Indiana Avenue area continues to display its original late 19th and early 20th century character and is the largest collection of historic residential architecture in the city.
† Adapted from: Philip Thomason, Thomason and Associates, Indiana Avenue Historic District, 1989, nomination document, National Register of Historic Places, Washington, D.C.
Bryan :Lane • Cates Street • Clark Street • Court Street • Elm Street • Goddard Avenue • Indiana Avenue • Miller Avenue • Stanley Avenue