A near eastside historic district bounded by 10th, Oriental, and Michigan streets and I-70, Cottage Home takes its name from the style of houses built in the neighborhood between 1870 and 1892. Residents built modest frame cottages in a variety of vernacular architectural styles, including gable front, L-plan, and cross gable.

Pink Victorian cottage built in the 1880s in the Cottage Home neighborhood, ca. 1990
Credit: The Indiana Album: Carol Beck Collection

One brick Queen Anne-style residence, located at 711 Dorman Street, was the distinctive home of Frederick Ruskaup, the neighborhood’s leading citizen. Ruskaup opened a prosperous grocery store, then built a Dorman Street commercial building, five duplexes, and his home, designed by the prestigious architectural firm Vonnegut And Bohn.

Like Ruskaup, many of the early residents of Cottage Home were German Americans. The nearby railroad provided employment to some. while others worked as machinists, tradesmen, custodians, carpenters, and factory laborers. Irish and a small number of African American families also lived in the area, which remained a working-class community well into the 20th century.

Cottage Home lunchroom interior, 1921
Credit: The Indiana Album: Karen Celestino-Horseman Collection

Cottage Home was never exclusively residential, and land use remains mixed. Few buildings have been demolished since the 1930s. Many have retained their historic architectural integrity. In 1990, the area was placed on the National Register of Historic Places and named Cottage Home. This 150-home community experienced a restoration boom in the 1980s and early 1990s, spurred by rising property values and an active neighborhood organization.

Frederick Ruskaup House, 711 Dorman Street, ca. 1980s
Credit: Indiana Landmarks via Indiana State Library
Revised April 2021

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