Welcome to Lockerbie Square: A Historic Haven in the Heart of Indianapolis.

Lockerbie Square sidewalk covered in leaves

Nestled in the heart of downtown, living in Lockerbie feels like being transported back in time. People walk their dogs on cobblestone streets beneath a canopy of towering trees. The neighborhood is quiet and peaceful despite the bustling city, and all the homes date back to the mid-1800s, surrounding us with history. 

But Lockerbie is more than just a quiet haven of historic homes. It’s a place where people care about one another and regularly celebrate how special our neighborhood is. 

My husband and I moved to Lockerbie in 2020, during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. At the time, we couldn’t meet our neighbors in person, but they still tried to make us feel welcome. The community hung a large “Welcome!” sign with all their names and addresses in front of our house, introducing us to our new neighbors. 

Like many homes in Lockerbie, our house came with beautiful architecture and a rich history. It was originally built back in 1890 on a plot of land owned by Calvin Fletcher. (Yes, that Calvin Fletcher!) He passed the land down to his son Timothy, who then sold the place to Sarah Kessler (and yes, those Kesslers!) 

Now, over a century later, our home has preserved its historic design, including some of the original hardwoods, transom windows, high ceilings, and a beautiful brick fireplace. In fact, our house was renovated in the late 1970s by one of our neighbors, who lives just down the street! 

We’ve learned that renovating homes is fairly common for Lockerbie residents. Families love this neighborhood so much, they stay here for generations, moving from house to house as they grow older, get married, and have kids of their own! 

Lockerbie Square

Fun Facts

Lockerbie has some of the oldest streets in the city! In fact, Park Avenue and College Avenue date back to the 1850s—when they were called Liberty Street and Noble Street.

Although Lockerbie is nestled in the center of Indianapolis, our neighborhood has a different zip code than the rest of downtown.

Lockerbie Square was home to the historic Indianapolis Glove Company factory, built back in 1910! The original building was carefully rehabilitated in 1982 and divided into sophisticated downtown lofts.

Lockerbie Street Signs
People walking in Lockerbie Square

Lockerbie Square is at the center of downtown Indianapolis history.

Less than a mile from Monument Circle, Lockerbie is the oldest residential neighborhood in Indianapolis. Records of Lockerbie’s first residents date back to the 1800s—with many people arriving during the Civil War. 

The majority of these early residents were German immigrants who couldn’t find housing in Indy’s “Germantown.” That’s why Lockerbie has so many German-style homes today! The local German community expanded into the neighborhood and helped build some of the most iconic landmarks in the area. 

You can still visit St. Mary’s Church on New Jersey Street, Emmanuel Church on East Street, and the historic Das Deutsche Haus-Athenaeum. Over a century later, the Athenaeum remains a bastion of German heritage, where you can find the Indiana German Heritage Society and the Rathskeller—a traditional German restaurant with a hopping biergarten! 

After World War I, Lockerbie Square experienced a decline, as many affluent and middle-class residents left the area. The War brought commerce and industry to downtown Indianapolis, but it also brought noise, traffic, and pollution. This drove many residents north to the suburbs and led to the demolition of many historic Lockerbie properties. 

Fortunately, the community banded together in the 1970s to officially preserve the neighborhood. Civic organizations and city planning bodies partnered with the Indianapolis Historic Preservation Commission, making Lockerbie the first historic preservation district in the city. 

Meanwhile, local residents formed Lockerbie Square, Inc. to help restore endangered buildings, so they can stand alongside new structures in the neighborhood. They even wrote the Historic Preservation Plan for Lockerbie Square, which outlined restoration needs, economic incentives, and design standards for the future. 

Together, these groups worked diligently to restore Lockerbie Square’s homes and streets, while encouraging new construction that visually matched the historic neighborhood.

House Before Renovation

Home Pre-Renovation (1976) – Courtesy of Indiana Landmarks

House After Renovation

Home Post-Renovation (2020)

Lockerbie inspired artists like James Whitcomb Riley.

Lockerbie Square was named after Scottish immigrant George Murray Lockerbie, who moved here in 1831. But Lockerbie’s most famous resident was author and poet James Whitcomb Riley!

From 1893 until 1916, James Whitcomb Riley lived at 528 Lockerbie Street during the peak of his career. Riley is often called the “Hoosier Poet” because his work often focused on life in Indiana—and the unique culture around the Hoosier identity. He even wrote a poem about “Lockerbie Street”, painting a vivid picture of the neighborhood he loved!

In the words of Riley himself:

“Such a dear little street it is, nestled away

From the noise of the city and heat of the day,

In cool shady coverts of whispering trees,

With their leaves lifted up to shake hands with the breeze

Which in all its wide wanderings never may meet

With a resting-place fairer than Lockerbie street!”

Now, Lockerbie is home to the James Whitcomb Riley Museum—a National Historical Landmark that gives a glimpse into his past residence. Guests are welcome to visit the museum, admire the historic architecture, and learn more about Riley’s legacy!  

But Riley wasn’t the only author inspired by Lockerbie Square. During the height of Lockerbie, our neighborhood was the “main drag” of Indianapolis! Hoosiers across the city came to Lockerbie for its bakeries, furniture shops, general stores, and more. One of those neighborhood shops was the inspiration for Johnny Gruelle’s book: Raggedy Ann and the Kittens.

That’s one of my favorite things about living in Lockerbie. Everywhere you go, you’re surrounded by history! Our 4×4 block community is home to several historical markers that talk about past landmarks like St. Vincent’s Infirmary or The Little Sisters of the Poor home for the elderly. 

If you are interested in learning more about Lockerbie, the Lockerbie Square Neighborhood Association has organized a self-guided walking tour!

Walk Score


Bike Score



  • Arsenal Technical High School
  • Center for Inquiry at School 2
  • Washington Irvington Elementary School


  • Vida
  • The Great Divide 
  • Livery


  • Easley Winery
  • Midland Arts & Antiques Market
  • Silver in the City


  • Mass Ave Cultural District
  • James Whitcomb Riley Museum
  • The Rathskeller


  • 15 Miles from Indianapolis Airport
  • 20 Minute Drive

Dog Parks

  • Metazoa Dog Park
  • Highland Park
  • The Dog Park at Immanuel

Lockerbie Square is one of Indy’s best-kept secrets.

My husband and I have always lived near downtown, so we’re pretty comfortable with the “sounds of the city.” We love the late-night Saturday laughter, the highway surround sound, the bands playing at the Rathskeller, and the occasional sirens in the background. But we didn’t realize how peaceful Lockerbie would be! The large trees around the neighborhood drown out the noise, making Lockerbie a quiet oasis from the city. 

In the fall, all those beautiful trees change color and lose their leaves, which means it’s time for L’Oktoberfest! Every year, Lockerbie Square hosts an evening block party in honor of our German history. There’s always live music, a traditional German biergarten, and fun and games for the whole neighborhood. 

Around that time, Lockerbie residents also organize a huge, annual yard sale that’s open to the public. They even provide a map of participating locations, so everyone can join in on the treasure hunt!

Throughout the year, Lockerbie residents host a variety of fun gatherings—from summer concerts at the Riley Museum to workout classes in the street. In December, our neighbors on Park Avenue open their doors to celebrate the holidays together. And in 2021, a long-time Lockerbie resident invited the neighborhood to her wedding! She got married in the grassy area next to the Riley Museum, and they even closed off North Park Avenue for the reception. We all enjoyed dinner together and danced the night away! 

House in the Lockerbie Square neighborhood

Walk over to downtown Indianapolis in a heartbeat!

One of the main reasons we chose to buy our home was the walkability. Our house is just 30 minutes from Fountain Square, 15 minutes to Monument Circle, five minutes to Needler’s Market, and three minutes to Mass Avenue. Being close to Mass Ave is especially great—with plenty of bars, shops, restaurants, and music venues in walking distance. 

Whether you’re walking or biking, Lockerbie has everything you need to safely get around town. There are nice sidewalks all around the neighborhood, bike lanes on the surrounding streets, and easy trail access. The Cultural Trail is just a block from my house, and from there, you can take the Monon Trail north to Broad Ripple or even Carmel.

Another advantage of our location is that we’re near Bottleworks—a new shopping district that opened in the old Indianapolis Coca-Cola Factory. Bottleworks is just a ten-minute walk down Mass Ave, and it has just about anything you could ask for.  There are cute shops like Good Neighbor, exercise hubs like YogaSix, innovative restaurants like Bodhi and Modita, and—of course—the amazing Garage Food Hall!

What’s not to love about Lockerbie?

Lockerbie Square has quickly become one of my favorite places in the city! We love our neighbors, our quiet community, and how living here feels like traveling back in time. Our neighborhood is booming with history, surrounded by vintage lampposts, 100-year-old trees, and horse-drawn carriages down cobblestone streets. 

But in just a few blocks, I boomerang back to the 21st Century—with everything downtown Indianapolis has to offer! There are amazing bars, funky shops, and one-of-a-kind restaurants. We can catch a game at Lucas Oil Stadium or go see a concert at Gainbridge Fieldhouse. And we’re only minutes away from everything in the I-465 loop.

Moving to Lockerbie truly was the best decision we could have made! Since moving in, I’ve convinced two of my friends to buy houses nearby, and I recommend our neighborhood to anyone and everyone who’s house hunting. No matter your stage in life, anyone can find what they’re looking for in our 4×4 block of heaven.