About Our Chapter House
In the early years, meetings were held four times a year and then progressed to every other month in the homes of different members. Large celebrations, which included guests, were held in the Propylaeum, a women’s club started by May Wright Sewell, at North and Pennsylvania streets. In 1923, this Propylaeum building was torn down to create the War Memorial Plaza at North Meridian and East Michigan streets.
The next meeting place was the College of Musical Art building located at 824 North Pennsylvania which the chapter purchased for $28,000. This building was erected in 1884 for May Wright Sewell’s Classical School for Girls. $5,000 was estimated for repairs. $15,000 was required as the down payment and was raised quickly through subscription. Dues were $5.00 with $2.00 assigned to the retirement of the chapter house mortgage. The first meeting was held here on September 27, 1923. It was with great ceremony and celebration on February 28, 1938, at the chapter’s 44th Birthday Party, the mortgage was “burned.”
In 1952, the chapter decided to search for another site to meet. A Search Committee found the property, and plans for the colonial design which would blend into the residential area were created. Agreement was reached with the Indianapolis School Board to purchase the Pennsylvania Street property for $60,000, and the chapter could continue to meet in the building until its new quarters were ready. The old chapter house was eventually razed and the Public Library parking lot was extended. It was a proud day in September 1956, when the first meeting was held in the new quarters. Many fundraisers later, the mortgage was paid off in four years!
Our chapter house is also a DAR recognized museum.