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Embracing History: Crafting New Horizons and Timeless Spaces

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.

Tinker House history Polk Building dairy factory
Tinker House original furnace radiator
Original red brick Tinker House building
Tinker House construction

Fast forward to 2017 when the abandoned building found new owners and became a home for local businesses, including Tinker House Events, located on the second floor. The transformation of the space was met with admiration, as the team behind Tinker House Events executed a remarkable build-out. They incorporated elements of the building’s history, preserving the original wood floor and conveyor belt on the front of the second-floor bar and repurposing a large tumbler drum as a unique bench for intimate conversations and photo opportunities.

With the help of our friends at Steven’s Property Group, we repurposed everything we could from the rumble. Among these transformations were the creation of a charming and unique bench from an old recycled tumbling barrel and the innovative use of repurposed flooring and a conveyor belt, ingeniously employed at the front of the bar.

Tinker House Events, along with other businesses within the building, infused the space with new life, blending old remnants with new masterpieces by local artists. Today, Tinker House is a beautiful and versatile venue that welcomes people from all walks of life. Whether it’s a wedding, corporate function, or any other special occasion, Tinker House provides a captivating backdrop for diverse gatherings and celebrations.

When you step into Tinker House, you not only experience a beautiful venue but also become part of the ongoing story of this remarkable building. It is a place where the community can gather, celebrate, and forge new connections. Tinker House Events is proud to be a steward of this historic space, providing a welcoming and inclusive environment for all. Come and experience the magic of Tinker House for your next event!

The preservation of the building’s original features and the incorporation of local artistry have resulted in a space that exudes charm, character, and a sense of history. Tinker House has become a place where people can come together, connect, and create lasting memories. It stands as a testament to the power of revitalization and the importance of honoring a building’s past while embracing its future.

Adjacent to us, the historic Polk Stables building, formerly the Polk Sanitary Milk Company, is undergoing revitalization. Once restored, it will be the home to COHATCH, hosting a variety of community-based initiatives, serving as a haven for start-ups with private offices, offering a coworking space, and functioning as a social hub.

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