ABOUT THE VILLA INN
The Villa Inn History
The Villa, in all its exotic splendor, reflects the desire for the unusual, which was popular in the late nineteenth century. Many houses had "Persian Rooms" complete with decorative tiles, carpets, brassware and sometimes fountains. Here the exoticism is on the exterior with its unusual battlemented parapet, trefoil window details and stone trim. It was designed by Herbert W. Foltz and modeled after a Florentine villa seen by the builder, William J. Reid and his wife, on a trip to Italy.
Reid was an exectutive in the Kingan Company, a large pork packing firm in the city. He and his wife lived in this house until 1909, when it was purchased by Fred C. Dickson.
Early in his life Dickson (1876-1936) was involved in the theatrical business with Henry Talbott. Their firm, Dickson and Talbott, operated a chain of theaters. The last 30 years of his life were involved in banking. He retired as vice-president of Union Trust Company in 1923 to become president of the Indiana Trust Company in 1925. He also served as director of Merchants National Bank and the Indiana Hotel Company. Dickson left this address in 1930.
Much of the Villa's life has been spent in service as a commercial use building. It has housed a caterer, bed & breakfast, concert hall and office space for the Indianapolis Construction League. One of it's most unique occupants was the Army Corps of Engineers. Housed here during WWII, the Corps rendered blueprints for the war effort in Europe. It was at this time that the walk-in vault off of the Hearth Room was installed.
Purchased in 2001 by Ben & Elaine Life, their daughter Jeneane Life, the property under went 4 months of extensive renovations to become...
The Villa ~ Inn/Restaurant/Spa