Naptown: Images of the ‘Hood: Indianapolis

Naptown: The Short Indianapolis Ghetto Story

One of the largest cities in the Midwest, known locally as Naptown, that may not get the recognition it deserves but the urban communities of the Indianapolis ghetto have developed a culture that is similar to many other Midwest and Mid-South cities, but with its own separate identity.

With the urban community accounting for more than a quarter of the entire population, as Indianapolis’ Marion County has around 1 million residents, there are many urban neighborhoods deep in the heart of the capital city of Indiana.

Majority of the urban communities are located on the East Side, expanding from Post Road to Fall Creek, and on the West Side, from N. High School Road to Crown Hill, with pockets on the South Side and a small section on the North Side around both 79th and 71st, between Ditch Road and Michigan Road.

The beginning of the Indianapolis’ black community was originally around the legendary community of Indiana Avenue. Indiana Avenue was one of Indiana’s most thriving communities and famously known for black businesses and entrepreneurs like the country’s first black female millionaire, Madame CJ Walker.

Eventually, Indianapolis’ black population expanded into other neighborhoods on the East Side like Brightwood along 25th Street and as the years went on the community grew further into areas like Devington (Arlington Ave) before finally growing as far as Mitthoeffer Road.


Naptown’s East Side

indianapolis ghetto


indianapolis ghetto

Baltimore Projects, officially Blackburn Terrace.

Beechwood, once known as the Terror Dome.

DimeLife, an area around 10th Street

Post Road, a large area of apartment complexes.

17th and Central, an area that formerly consisted of ‘hoods like Crew Life of 16th, MadDog around 24th, and others.  Today the neighborhood is completely gentrified.

The South Side is not as well known, but had its days of small housing complexes like Zooneyville (Officially known as Clearstream Gardens), Brick City (now rebuilt into the Red Maple apartments), and more.


Naptown’s South Side

indianapolis ghetto

Woodworks, the Laurelwood housing complex of the South Side.

On the West Side, some of the first areas were extensions to Indiana Avenue, like many communities around today’s Dr. MLK Street or in the Crown Hill section.

By the 1980s and 1990s, black flight began to occur out of the inner city West Side neighborhoods with residents relocating west of Lafayette Road from 30th to 46th.

Naptown’s West Side

High School Road, an area of a few apartment complexes and near Moller Road and the once ‘hoods of Fast Life/Murderville. 

The heart of the West Side, Haughville.

Along Martin Luther King there is 3rd War, LandLife and above, the apartments of the City of Crazy’s (COC).

Harding Street, divided between two sections of 2G and the Hard Part.

4th Ward, along 38th Street is a couple of neighborhoods around Crown Hill, like Kenwood and 40th and Boulevard.


Check out more on Indianapolis and other communities of Indiana.

*Note: All information is provided through people of the community, outside sources, and research. Some information might not be current and/or 100% accurate.

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