College Avenue Nodes: 42nd Street Edition

This is the last post in a series featuring College Avenue nodes in the Meridian Kessler neighborhood. Again, thanks to Mary Owens from the MKNA for all of the helpful information.   Parts 1, 2, 3, and 4 can be read here.


The northwest corner contains the 2 most prominent historic buildings at the intersection.  This one houses a barber shop, and is a former Kroger grocery store.

Proof of the former Kroger at the entrance of the building:

The other large building is a 3-story former Masonic Lodge.  It is now home to the Church of Christ as well as Taste of Philly pretzels.


The home of the College Avenue Library.  A nice-looking structure that is about a decade-old.


Originally a bank building (the safe deposit box still stands), this was until recently an outpost of the Indianapolis Police Department.  I’m not sure what is going on here any more, but it does still seem to be use by the Police Department in some capacity.  This was also the corner that housed the Uptown movie theater.


I did not take a photo of the Fire Department building at the southwest corner.  There’s also a large parking lot at the corner which should be ripe for potential development.

Comments 7

  • That was a former Kroger? Must’ve been ages ago. I’ve been driving by that area pretty much since I could drive and I only remember that building as housing a barber shop or whatever.

    I’ve heard good things about the pretzel place but haven’t tried it myself. Any of you regular readers/posters have opinions on it?

  • As noted in Historic Indianapolis’ blog, there was also a Kroger in the current Super 8 location at 46th St., making Kroger, and Bell telephone switching stations (the former Girl’s Inc and the current IPA on Central, the most reused locations in MK.

  • Kroger has hop-scotched its way all over College Avenue- the former pawn shop just north of Rally’s at 38th was a Kroger, they occupied both the northeast and southeast corners of 46th Street & College, then on up to 54th & College, finally to the current location in Broad Ripple on Guilford. As far as I know, only the 38th & College location was open concurrently with Broad Ripple. Must’ve been something of a topic of conversation “where’s Kroger going now?”.

  • The Broadway Branch Library was first established on June 1, 1924 in a frame house at 615 E. 42nd Street. The “library in a house” had limited shelf space for books and furniture. In spite of these limitations, 10,000 people used the library regularly and borrowed more than 100,000 books each year.

  • Does anyone remember Toby’s or Tobie’s barber shop on the 42nd Street side of the building? I can’t remember the owner’s last name…and I think the ship turned into a “penny candy” store for a while after it closed.

  • Our family moved to 42nd and College in 1943 and I left there when I was married in 1958. You didn’t have to go anywhere but a few hundred feet to get to any kind of shop you wanted. Through the years Colonial Furniture on the south east corner, Uptown Drutstore (formerly Krogers) on the south west corner, Haags Drugstore on the north west corner and the Pure Filling Station on North East corner. The post office, AFNBank, were on the east side of College along with the Uptown Theater, Vonnegut’s Hardware, a men’s store (later an interior design store that Francis Farmer was a part of), Stationers at one time. Across the street was a business furniture store/upscale furniture, a building that had a beauty salon and in the 50’s a record store where I bought an awful lot of vinyl that I wish I had now. On the street south of Conolonial Furniture on the second floor was a bowling alley and on the first floor a shoe repair shop and a house located at the end of those businesses was Dr. B. V. Klain and Dr. Sidney Herman’s Office. The only thing my memory can recall across the street was the tavern. Also on 42nd street east of College was the mom and pop grocery store owned by Mr. & Mrs. George Dell. They later moved west of college on 42nd Street near the alley. There were two cleaners along there also. My sister and I spent many hours at the library on 42nd street and walking up the creaking stairs to the 2nd floor. Many good memories.

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