Indiana historic buildings logo

Site Maintainer:


Images of Historic Indiana

Endangered Buildings of NW Indiana

10 Ways You can Help


Our Bookstore

Purchasing items through this link helps pay our hosting fees

Historic Landmarks of

Kokomo, Indiana

Kokomo, Ind., 50 miles north of Indianapolis, is a city of 44,962. It is the seat of Howard Co., N central Indiana.

Founded in the 1840s, the community is named for a Miami Indian leader. Industrialization was spurred by the discovery of natural gas in 1886 and by the inventions of Elwood Haynes (1857-1925), who lived here. In 1894, Haynes designed one of the first successful gasoline-powered cars. It is now on display in the Smithsonian Institution. Haynes's inventions included carburetors and mufflers.

The city is also the site of Indiana University at Kokomo (1945).

According to Indiana Business magazine, "Through the Main Street Association, Kokomo has spent more than $1 million on its ongoing Streetscape Project that upgrades sidewalks, storefronts and the general atmosphere with antique looking lampposts, brick and new benches. Other long-term investments have also help fortify downtown's growth. During the past 15 years, Fortune Management has invested more than $30 million in the downtown. "There is no longer a stigma that it is a decaying area," says Scott Pitcher, Fortune Management's president. It's an emerging district." Today, only about 5% of downtown commercial space is empty, and people of all ages fill up condos, which range anywhere from $85,000 to $500,000 and 1,200 to 5,000 square feet." New development in a city can be a good thing if it reverses urban decay and a bad thing if it's seen simply as a way to "Get rid of old buildings."

All buildings were photographed on 4/10/99

124 Walnut building, Kokomo Indiana

122-124 W. Walnut

Kokomo, Howard Co.

This building appears to be Arabian in fashion; of, or being in the style of arabesque. This may put it in the Exotic Revival style of architecture. Certainly it does not seem to fall into any other category of architecture, except that of combinations or exceptions. Date of this building and how much it may have been altered is unknown.


Maas Building, Kokomo, Indiana

Maas Building


105. W. Sycamore

This is a two-part commercial block building, the most common form of architecture for small and moderate-sized commercial buildings in the United States. The style is characterized by a horizontal separation into two distinct zones that, though separated, are nevertheless closely related visually to one another.


210 N. Main Building, Kokomo Indiana

An unusual arched window marks this building, although the original paned windows were obviously replaced with plate glass. Two-part commercial block.

210 N. Main


Sycamore Grill detail

West Sycamore Street

Kokomo Tribune Building

N.E. corner of Mulberry & Union


Superbly preserved shop, though apparently unoccupied as of this picture.

Note the rusticated brick and unaltered storefront level (unlike the building adjacent).

Two-part commercial block.

314 N. Main


Detail, 217 N. Main


College Building

Misguided modifications over the years have given this building an unsymetrical and boarded-up appearance.

Two-part commercial block.



Art-Deco Ameritech Building

200 block, E. Taylor

Art Deco was a style of design popular in the 1920s and '30s, with its sleek, streamlined forms and elegant, geometric aesthetic. Art Deco grew out of a conscious effort to simplify the elaborate turn-of-the-century Art Nouveau style, to make it more responsive to the new "machine-age" ideals of speed and glamour.

States Funk and Wagnall's New Encyclopedia: "It found expression in objects as diverse as locomotives, skyscrapers, roadside diners, radio cabinets, jukeboxes, and advertising displays.

"Primary examples of Art Deco in the U.S. are the interior of Radio City Music Hall (1931) in New York City, designed by Donald Deskey (1894-1989); and William van Alen's (1882-1954) Chrysler Building (1930, New York City), with its sleek aluminum- banded facades and arched and pointed spire."

Art Deco appears to be a popular style for telephone and telegraph buildings, as can be seen in the Indiana Bell Building in Evansville.


Ameritech Building

Entrance detail

200 block, E. Taylor


A handsome terra-cotta building, though with an unfortunately altered storefront level. Two-part commercial block.

116 N. Main


Howard Co. Courthouse

An example of Neoclassical architecture with Art Deco elements.


 100 block W. Walnut

The bane of historic buildings: those homely shingled awnings (and those yawn-inspiring fake facades, as seen on the adjacent building).

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.

[ Home | Images of Indiana Architecture | Endangered | Editorials | Site Store ]
[10 Simple ways you can help promote Historic Preservation! ]

Purchasing items through this link helps pay our hosting fees