Neighborhood Information

History

The discovery of vast natural gas reserves in the 1880's in the Muncie area attracted businesses that could take advantage of the cheap source of energy. Most notably, the Ball brothers moved their famous Ball Brothers Glass Manufacturing company in Muncie. With the influx of new money and citizens, the downtown core could no longer provide enough land for residential development. The local developers at the time then looked east and what is now known as the East Central Neighborhood was born.

The new industrialists in the city constructed many of the early homes. As a consequence, these homes were often large and ornate. By the time the gas reserves were largely exhausted in the early 1900's, the size of the newer homes were smaller and less grand. This history created the eclectic mix of housing sizes and styles in the neighborhood.

As the bulk of the houses in the neighborhood were constructed in the 1880's and 1890's the predominate style of architecture was Victorian. Later infill construction provided some Arts and Crafts homes.

Historic Districts

The East-Central Neighborhood is home to two different historic districts. The Emily Kimbrough Historic District was established in 1976 as a City of Muncie historic district and was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1980 (the area of the district was expanded in 1989). The Kirby Historic District was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1999.

Beautification

The East Central Neighborhood Association (ECNA) contributes to many projects that improve the appearance of the neighborhood. These projects include maintaining the traffic island at the corner of Madison and Wysor streets, planting and weeding the flower beds located at many of the street corners in the neighborhood, and the organization of twice yearly neighborhood wide alley clean-ups.

Parks and Recreation

Two different linear park recreation trails serve the East-Central Neighborhood. The Cardinal Greenway trail is the longest rail-to-trail greenway in Indiana and passes through the neighborhood roughly from northwest to southeast (only a portion of the complete trail is shown on the map). Also, the White River Greenway Trail is immediately adjacent to the neighborhood. The White River trail runs along the banks of the White River, which forms part of the northern boundary of the neighborhood and flows through the center of Muncie.

Famous Residents

The most famous neighborhood resident was Hoosier author Emily Kimbrough (born 1899) who lived in a house at 715 East Washington Street in the early years of the 20th century. Her writing reflects Muncie's past, with reminiscences of the "East End", a former name for the area.