Forest Hills is a northside residential area bounded by Kessler Boulevard, the Monon Trail corridor, Northview Avenue, and College Avenue. It also is considered part of thearea. A curvilinear street pattern, hilly terrain, and a cohesive architectural style make Forest Hills a distinct neighborhood.
Known originally as “Stevenson’s Woods,” the land was deeded to Benjamin Stevenson and his two sisters at the turn of the 20th century. In 1911, Benjamin Stevenson built a home there as a gift for his wife, Earla. Located at 718 East 57th Street, the Stevenson house is an excellent example of Prairie-style architecture, featuring black walnut woodwork from trees felled at the site. Earla was an expert gardener and an excellent golfer. The Stevenson garden attracted many visitors, and Earla won the first Indiana Golfer’s Association Championship in 1922.
That same year, Benjamin subdivided the property and named the new housing development Forest Hills. The majority of the 237 homes were built from 1924 to 1935, with a few constructed as late as 1945.
Although the Stevenson house was built in the Prairie style, most of the homes are in the English Tudor Cottage style. Leaded windows, arched doorways, brick construction, and high-pitched slate roofs are typical features.
Other styles prevalent in the area include American and Dutch Colonial and Cape Cod. There are similar houses nearby, yet Forest Hills is set apart by its distinctive winding streets, older-style streetlights, and brick columns flanking the entrances. Over the years, business executives and professionals have lived in the area.
The Forest Hills Neighborhood Association, incorporated in 1922, is one of the oldest such associations in the city. Residents have successfully defended the neighborhood against intrusive construction and commercial expansion. In June 1983, Forest Hills was placed on the National Register of Historic Places. In the 21st century, the neighborhood has remained virtually unchanged.