Arden Neighborhood Association

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Arden Neighborhood Association

A BRIEF HISTORY OF ARDEN

At the turn of the century, the acres that now comprise Arden were part of what was known as the Walter Johnson Farm. The Johnson home was located at 440 East 71st Street, and at that time there were few trees to obstruct the view to the south, across the wheat fields to the White River. The inter-urban going to Noblesville ran parrallel to and just east of College Avenue. Just west of College, on the south bank of the White River, was a large bathing beach which attracted quite a crowd on hot summer days.

Around 1910, 14 acres were sold by the Johnsons to the Van Zant family and the English Tudor home at 445 East 71st Street was erected.

In 1922, the Van Zants platted 12 of their acres into 13 lots called "Van Zants Subdivision". That same year, the Johnsons platted 112 acres into 207 lots and named their subdivision "The Highlands of the Meridian Hills District".

According to records in the City-County building, only one house was built in either subdivision and that was in 1927 at 7045 North Central. In 1928, a petition was filed with the city to vacate "Van Zants Subdivision" and the following year "The Highlands of the Meridian Hills District" was also vacated.

A new subdivision, ARDEN, containing 280 lots, was platted in 1929 by the Arden Realty Corporation. The first house to be built in Arden was at 7002 North Park Avenue. Then the Depression hit!

No further construction took place in ARDEN until 1931 when Henry Simons, a well-known builder of Meridian Street homes, constructed a "show house" at 6996 Washington Boulevard. It was hoped that this house would be the first of many large homes to be built in ARDEN, but that was not to be. During the early 1930's no new construction took place. The WPA was busy removing the beach on the south side of the river and replacing it with a levee to prevent future flooding. Meanwhile, the north bank was being shored up and trees were planted all along the river bank.

Building finally started up again in the 1930's and by 1945 65 houses had been built in ARDEN. The 6900 block of Warwick was the first block to be completely developed with new homes.

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