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Historic Structures of

Franklin, Indiana

Commercial Structures

Franklin (pop. 14,000), about 20 miles south of Indianapolis, is the seat of Johnson Co. The town was laid out in 1822, and the county was established May 5, 1823.

Baptists founded Franklin College here in 1834.

Historic Structures of Franklin, Indiana - Commercial - August Zeppenfeld House - Italianate

August Zeppenfeld House (c.1872)

300 W. Jefferson


This building is on the National Register of Historic Places


Franklin, Indiana - Masonic Temple

Masonic Temple (1924)

135 N. Main St.

Sign across front entryway reads: "175th Anniversary / CELEBRATE / City of Franklin & Johnson County"

According to site visitor Kathleen Branigin,

"The 1924 Masonic Temple in Franklin is a NeoClassical structure -- also referred to as Classical Revival -- a style which was popular during the 1920s and which revived the Classical elements of Greek Revival and Georgian architecture. The Masonic Temple in Franklin is not a Greek Revival structure. Greek Revival was an early 19th century architectural style popular roughly from 1820-1860 in this country."

Ms. Branigin was born and raised in Franklin, Indiana and recieved an MS in Historic Preservation from ball State in 1995. She is now curator of the Lanier Mansion SHS in Madison, Indiana,.


Franklin, Indiana - Johnson County Courthouse

Johnson County Courthouse (1881)

Courthouse Square

This is actually the fifth courthouse of Johnson County (not counting the courts that were held in town member's homes).

The first courthouse was a log cabin. The two following it were destroyed by fire. The fourth was a temporary structure.

Finally, County Commissioners made plans for the current-day courthouse and resolved to erect it on March 26, 1879. Four months later, they adopted the plans of architect George W. Buenting. The contract to erect the courthouse was awarded on September 8, 1879, to Farman & Pierce for approximately $100,000.00.

The construction of the courthouse took a little more than two years. On August 31, 1882, county officers moved into the new building.

In 1982 an annex was built. In 1983 and 1984 the courthouse itself was rennovated.

We doubt that any of the previous courthouses were grander than this one.

The building is on the National Register of Historic Places

These photos are courtesy of the photographer, Mike Habeck ( Mike is with EcoIndiana and, in addition to being concerned about historic architecture, is also looking out for the state's natural environment. Our thanks to Mike for sharing these photos with us.

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