Delphi Courthouse Square Historic District
Delphi's rich architectural merit has resulted in the listing on the National Register of Historic Places for the Courthouse Square Historic District including the blocks immediately surrounding the public square and extending east to include the City Building and Delphi Public Library. Forty-three buildings are included within the boundaries, many dating from the 1850s through the 1870s. Within the district are three buildings previously listed individually on the National Register: the 1864 Old Delphi City Hall and Opera House, the 1874 Niewerth building, and the 1916 Carroll County Courthouse. Of the forty-three buildings within the district, thirty-one are listed as "contributing" and only twelve as "non-contributing." This is an unusually high percentage of contributing structures.
You can take a photographic tour of the district by following the tabs. It is sure to make you want to visit Delphi, Indiana in person!
Delphi Courthouse Square Historic District: Courthouse Interior
Carroll County Courthouse--First floor.
As beautiful as is the exterior of the courthouse, it pales in comparison with the interior. This view captures the marble columns and the mosaic tile floor.
The mosaic tile rosette on the floor of the rotunda repeats some of the design elements from the stained glass dome overhead.
Note the symmetry in the design elements carried through from the stained glass dome segments to the wall pilasters; and note the elegant railings on the second and third floor balconies. Graceful curving stairs with oak and cast iron railings are visible in this view from the stairs leading to the third floor.
Stained glass panels adorn the ceiling of the Circuit Courtroom on the 3rd floor of the Carroll County Courthouse.
Detail from the stained glass dome covering the rotunda.
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Delphi Courthouse Square Historic District: East Side of the Square
The third courthouse to grace the public square, the handsome limestone classical revival structure was designed by Elmer Dunlap and built in 1916 at a cost of $171,000. It was separately listed on the National Register in 2001.
101-111 South Washington Street.
The center of the block houses the Assion-Ruffing City Hall built in 1864-1865 and replacing the frame Northwestern Hall. "City Hall" refers to the grand hall on the third floor spanning all three bays and which was converted in 1881-1882 to the Lathrope & Ruffing Opera House. The building was separately listed on the National Register in 1998. On the alley is the 4-story Italianate structure built in 1865-1866 by John Brookbank. It was a hotel through much of its life as the Greenup, European, and Crosby Hotel. The top two floors were rented by John Lathrope to provide dressing rooms and sleeping accommodations for the Opera House. 101-103 S. Washington is the Ruffing block built in 1870 and replacing the frame Buford House. Edmunds Drug Store operated on the corner as did Margowski's in a later period. Clawson Appliance's occupies the south bay today as it has from the 1960s.
105-109 S. Washington Street.
Since 2006 the Delphi Preservation Society has been restoring the facade of the Assion-Ruffing City Hall building. In this August 2011 picture, the restored prismatic glass transoms are clearly visible. The C.O. Julius transom dates from the 1920s and refers to Charles Otto Julius who owned the Julius Clothing Store that operated on the square until the early 1940s. The retail bays now house MarthaRose Gifts & Interiors at 105 S. Washington, the Garden Gate Teahouse at 107 S. Washington, and the Opera House Gallery of Contemporary Art at 109 S. Washington Street. 105-109 S. Washington Street.
This detail highlights the limestone entablature "City Hall" on the Assion-Ruffing building completed in 1865. Never a government building, "City Hall" refers to the grand hall on the third floor spanning all three bays. Decorative wooden corbels support the cornice. The center window is the "signature window" used in the logo design of the Delphi Preservation Society.
113-121 S. Washington Street.
On the alley at 113 S. Washington Street is an 1890s brick structure replacing the part of the Bolles block that had burned. It houses Bill's Rock Shop today, but is remembered as Goff's 5 and 10. The two-bay brick block to its right was built in 1851 and is the oldest surviving brick on the square. It was the Bolles General Store and William Bradshaw's Jewelry and insurance business when built. The Ben Franklin Store was here for many years and currently houses the Delphi Antique Mall. The four-story 3-bay Italianate structure is the Spears & Case building erected in 1855. James Spears, canal merchant, and Reed Case, engineer for the canal, owned and operated slaugherhouse, grain warehouse, and other enterprises in Delphi. The Spears & Case Bank anchored the corner. The facade of the building was modified in 1865 to match the newly built C & G Moore block diagonally across the intersection. The parging coat of concrete was added by 1906 to resemble cut stone.
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Delphi Courthouse Square Historic District: East Main Street
107-111 East Main Street. Delphi's first I.O.O.F. Lodge, No. 174, is located at 107-109 E. Main Street. Built in 1874, this 3-story Italianate is characterized by its triangular sheet metal pediment capping the entrance. The cornice brackets and decorations are also pressed tin. Currently it is home to Bradshaw Insurance, which has operated continuously since 1851. The Hanrahan Block on the alley was built about 1876 as a saloon and is a 2-story brick Italianate structure.
113-121 East Main Street.
The Carll Bros. Centennial Block was built in 1878 by George and John Carll. A saloon was on the ground floor until the early 1900s and the Carll Bros. Opera House was on the third floor. This was one of three Opera Houses in Delphi around the turn of the century. The building shows the increasing ornamentation of later Italianate buildings, as does its neighbor at 117-119 E. Main Street. Built by A. H. Bowen in the late 1870s, this building has excellent examples of pressed tin window hoods and cornice brackets. Delphi residents might remember this as home to the Bythe Furniture or the Sugar Shack. Currently it is the home of J. D. Young's Culligan Service.
222 East Main Street.
The Delphi Public Library is neo-classical revival brick and limestone building dating to 1905. Carnegie donated $10,000 for the construction after the City purchased the site for $2,000. The Oracle Club, formed in 1886, was instrumental in its construction. Prior to that time, the library collection was housed in the high school and then in the Bowen Bank building. A tasteful addition in 1990 blends with the historic building and nearly doubles its space.
201 South Union Street.
Italian Renaissance and Romanesque styling are featured in the handsome brick and limestone facade of the Armory and City Building Annex built between 1926 and 1929.
114-124 East Main Street.
A handsome tinwork frieze adorns the circa-1890 2-story Italianate building once housing the Journal and later Broadlick's Bakery. Next door at 118-122 East Main Street is the Ren Julien building constructed in 1911 as a veterinary building. Clawson Chevrolet was here from the 1930s and now the NAPA Auto Parts store. On the corner is the Niewerth building dating from 1874; Hamling's Tavern was here for many years. It was also the former home of Times Past Antiques and currently houses the Stone House Restaurant.
124 East Main Street.
Built by Frederick Niewerth in 1874, this fine Italianate structure was home its early years to saloons and boarding rooms. The Hamling Tavern was there was many years. Delphi residents remember Times Past Antiques being here before moving to the Masonic Temple building on South Washington Street. The Niewerth building was separately listed on the National Register in 1984 and has fine examples of Italianate styling, including the arched windows and the oculus window over the entryway.
124 East Main Street.
Broadlick's Bakery was a fixture in this building until 1930 when it was sold to the Delphi Journal. The Journal signboard was repainted in a 2007 restoration of the building's facade. The details of the pressed metal frieze board were also brought out by the choice of colors and painting applications.
102-112 East Main Street.
The Sandwich Shop is located at 112 E. Main Street in the oldest brick building on this side of the street dating to the late 1850s or early 1860s. It has been the Snack Shack and then Sandwich Shop for as long as current residents can remember. West at 108-110 E. Main is a 2-story, 2-bay brick with some Craftsman-style influences in the brick facing added in 1911. Now home to Q Graphics, it housed the Welcome Inn before that restaurant moved to West Main Street in the 1940s. The building at 106 E. Main is notable only in that it once was a three-story building. On the corner is I.O.O.F., Lodge No. 28 built in 1880. It's style is Second Empire although the mansard roof and cupola that once distinguished it were destroyed in a January 2, 1955 fire. It remains a handsome structure with limestone quoins on its corners and with sheet-metal window hoods. The Odd Fellows still own the building and hold meetings here. The Clifford Model Clothing Store was here for many years; now it houses the Flower Shoppe II.
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Delphi Courthouse Square Historic District: South Side of the Square
The South Washington Street side of the Oddfellows' buildiing reveals more of the decorative sheet-metal window hoods, some with terra cotta medallions. 209-211 South Washington Street. Built in 1888 by Mrs. Swegman, the 3-story brick structure is in the Romanesque Revival style. Notable are the terra cotta keystones. It has been the home of many different businesses over the years, including a shooting gallery. Clawson Appliances was located there before moving to its present location at 103 S. Washington.
213-217 South Washington. Built in the 1860s, this 2-story Italianate had arched windows and a brick facade which matched that of the C & G Moore Block across the street. The building was operated as the Occidental Hotel, Sabin House, Clifton Hotel, and Iona Hotel. During the 1890s mineral baths were added with artesian water pumped from a spring in the area. In 1913, the Swegman family sold the hotel to the Masonic Building Association which converted it to the Masonic lodge. The hotel rooms and baths were removed; the ceiling height on the second floor was altered to accommodate a dome over the lodge area and the parapet increased in height as well. The building was parged with a concrete surface about this same time. The Masonic Lodge was sold after the merger of the Delphi and Camden lodges and is presently owned by Times Past Restorations.
102-108 West Main.
The corner building was erected in 1863 by Cameron and George Moore replacing the general store of Noah Dewey which operated there for many years prior. It is a 4-story Italianate structure. Next to the Moore block to the west is the the 3-story Robert Barnett building where Barnett sold stoves and tinware. Notable are the original, triple-hung windows on the third floor. The 4-story brick at 106 W. Main Street was built by Lewis Martin in the mid 1860s and originally housed a hardware store. Its facade matched those of the Moore and Barnett blocks. For many decades it housed the Burr and Brewer shoe stores. An elephant appearing in many period photographs was the symbol of the Brewer shoe store. Constructed in 1858 by Vine Holt and Enoch Rinehart, the 3-story, 3-bay Italianate was the first brick building on the block. An ironwork balcony appears over the storefronts in a photograph from the late 1860s. The 3rd floor housed the Holt & Rinehart Hall which was the early center for entertainment gatherings on the square. Holt & Strawbridge operated a dry goods store here. Benjamin Strawbridge left the business to return to Pennsylvania where he founded the famed Strawbridge Clothiers in Philadelphia. From the 1870s to 1911, the storefront nearest the alley was home to Murphy's Drug Store. The Murphys donated the Water Maiden fountain on the southwest corner of the square. Elless & Orr and later Orr drug stores operated here as well. All of the buildings on this quarter block received a concrete parging coat to resemble cut stone sometime in the late 1890s or early 1900s.
114-124 W. Main Street.
At 114-116 W. Main Street is the Italianate built in 1891 by Christian Gros Hardware and H.C. Best Tailor on the site where the Dunkle & Kilgore business sat for many decades during the mid 1800s. The handsome building is noted for its terra cotta stringers and medallions. The cast iron store fronts remain, though covered by the shake awnings popular in the 1970s. The storefronts were home to L. M. Pletcher Hardware for many decades. At 118-120 West Main Street is the early 1990s building that once housed the Arc Theater and later, the Dixie Theater. The Welcome Inn served up meals here from the 1940s into the 1970s. Next door at 122 West Main is one of the two frame buildings remaining on the square; the other is Sassy's Hair Salon and Spa on North Washington Street. On the corner, built in early 1960s is the concrete block building housing Johns Liquor Store.
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Delphi Courthouse Square Historic District: West Side of the Square
211 S. Market Street.
Likely built in the late 1850s is this 2-story Italianate brick which once housed the Rinehart Paper Mill Office. It sits behind the beautiful Italianate residence on Front Street built by Enoch Rinehart in 1858.
202 W. Main Street.
Michael Lehnert built the original portion of this building in 1869 to house his furniture and upholstery business. His sons Frank and Charles joined him in the business until it was sold to Delphi Furniture Company in 1900. The Knights of Pythias bought the building in 1911, doubling it to its current size and adding the parging coat. The K of P met on the second floor. The building is currently the Del Main Apartments with offices for Birthright, H & R Block, and Gangwer Insurance. 204 W. Main Street houses Lucas Family Dentistry in a single story brick.
102-110 S. Market Street.
At the right of the picture is Salin Bank. Bill Ruch Insurance is located in the building at 108 W. Market built adjacent to the gable front, 3-story brick at 110 W. Market. Built in the mid-1850s by Dr. George McFarlane, the 3-story Italianate brick has served dual purpose through much of its life as both a residence and business. Among its owners have been Charles Clay Pearson, county clerk and Delphi mayor and Tom Colvin who had a harness business next door. Ann Doerr Brooks had her home and hair salon there from 1962-1997.
110 S. Market Street. The "House on the Square" has stood sentry as many other buildings have come and gone. Delphi Wagon Works once had its buildings on the west side of the square to the north and Kerlin Grain and Livestorck office was on the corner with Franklin Street for many years. Marble and monument works, Dame's Ice Cream parlor, a Ford dealership with second-floor armory have all been erased from the scene.
201 W. Franklin Street.
The current U.S. Post Office with its classical revival style was built in 1936 and dedicated in 1937. It replaced the Landis building which burned in 1935 and which had housed the post office.
On the southwest corner of the courthouse square stands the "Water Maiden" or Murphy Fountain. The handsome monument is built of Vermont marble and the maiden cast in bronze. The City of Delphi commissioned the monument in 1918 with $3,300 donated by Mr. and Mrs. Mitchell M. Murphy whose drug store operated at 112 West Main Street from the late 1870s until 1911.
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Delphi Courthouse Square Historic District: North Side of the Square
The half block of 100 E. Franklin west of the alley houses the Heartland Screen Printing office. The west wall of the Ruffing building has long been used as a canvas for advertising. The mural with historic figures important to Delphi was painted in 2002.
114 E. Franklin.
Built in 1903 as the Citizen Times housing the newspaper run by A. B. Crampton, his daughter Mindwell, and son-in-law Henry Wilson. The two-story Italianate structure is now the office of the Carroll County Comet owned and operated by the third generation of the Moss family.
114 N. Washington.
One of only two frame buildings remaining on the square, this 2-story was built in the early 1870s. For many years it was the City Bakery and later a saloon. It is home today to Sassy's Hair Salon and Day Spa.
120 N. Washington Street.
Now the Mitchell's Mexican Grill, the Tudor-style building was erected in 1930 as Davies gas and service station. This is an interesting example of adaptive reuse of a historic structure.
101-111 West Franklin Street.
To the right at 101-103 West Franklin Street is the Dimmick & Allen 2-story brick Italianate structure that replaced their frame boots and shoe structure destroyed by fire in 1871. This corner was home for many years to Clifford's Corner Grocery. The oval oxeye window marks the separation to the adjoining structure at 105 W. Franklin Street. Presently home to the Pizza King, this building was built by William Bradshaw and housed the New York Store for many decades. The Star Theatre was located on the ground level in the early 1900s. The modern building at 107 W. Franklin replaced two ornate buildings from the 1870s, one of which housed the Roxy Theater when it was demolished in the mid-1970s. 109-111 West Franklin Street is the Christian Neff building dating from between 1871 and 1875 originally housing Haisley's Millinery in the east bay and the Nipper Saloon on the alley. McCain's Jewelry and now Fielding's Jewelry and Time, have occupied the east bay since the early 1900s.
113-121 W. Franklin Street.
At left is the Ryan Block built in 1899 originally housing Swatt's Livery & later Swatt's Auto Hotel. It replaced the frame Swatt's & Metsker's Livery in the only building to have survived the 1871 fire that destroyed most of the block. The Ryan Block has been home to the Carroll County R.E.M.C. (now Carroll White R.E.M.C.) since 1950. The China Buffet is the current business at 117 W. Franklin Street in a 2-story building originally constructed in 1886 as a saloon. On the alley at 113-115 W. Franklin Street is the C.M. Knight Block built in 1885. The 3-story Italianate structure once had a balcony over the storefronts. Now home to Ives Law Offices, the building housed Will Cowdin Plumbing & Heating and City Meat Market for many decades beginning in the 1930s.
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