The Tinker House building at 1101 East 16th Street in the Martindale-Brightwood neighborhood has a rich history that dates back to the late 1880s-1890s. Originally occupied by the Bank Furniture Company, the building played a vital role in the area’s development. In 1915, it was acquired by the Wiegel Cabinet Company, which made use of the convenient proximity to the Monon Railroad for transporting lumber.
Over the years, the building underwent various transformations. In the 1980s, it became the headquarters for different organizations, including a scrap yard. However, by the mid-1980s, the building was left abandoned, waiting for new life to be breathed into its walls.
In the 1990s, the building housed recycling companies, which possibly inspired the tall blue letters that were once painted on its north side, leaving a mark of its industrial past. It wasn’t until 2003 that the building was purchased by Tinker Development Corporation and named Tinker Flats. The name is a nod to the Tinker family, who were prominent landowners in the area during the mid-1800s. The famous Hoosier artist T.C. Steele even resided at their homestead for some time.