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Avriel Shull, Architect, Master Builder and Innovator from Carmel, Indiana

Avriel Shull‘s name made its way to the list of famous people from Indianapolis by virtue of her stunningly modern architectural designs and their influence on architecture in general during the middle of the 1900’s.

Shull became a nationally famous architect over her brief, twenty-year career, which was cut short when she died of diabetes complications in her mid-forties.

Though Avriel Shull attended the Herron School of Art and Design and Butler University in Indianapolis, she never studied architecture formally. She was born in Carmel, Indiana, a suburb of Indy, and she designed many homes and other buildings in the metropolitan area of Indianapolis and other cities in Indiana. Many of these then-innovative Avriel Shull-designed structures are now famous chapters in Indianapolis history.

Shull created her first architectural design at the age of 23, without any particular training under her belt. Many of her creations remain intact in the form of striking homes just west of the upscale sector of downtown Carmel, her home town.

Between the years of 1956 and 1971, Shull designed some 21 houses in Carmel at a facility called Christie’s Thornhurst Addition, or simply “Thornhurst.” She is responsible for some of the best-designed greater Indianapolis real estate.

Probably her best-known architectural accomplishment is called Ladywood Estates, which are now condos in Indianapolis. This facility has become an example of Mid-Century Modern Architecture. Avriel Shull also designed libraries, including one in West Virginia, and restaurants in Indianapolis, elsewhere in the state of Indiana and even one in California.

Modern designs for the Twentieth Century, or “Mid-Century Modern,” were spearheaded by Avriel Shull and other top architects of her ilk. Clean lines, functionality, elegance and artistry were their hallmarks. Though some aspects may be labeled “retro” or “vintage” today, the ideas that grew out of this pivotal epoch are still in use today.

The Indiana Historical Society maintains collections of Avriel Shull designs, and she is widely considered a master builder and innovator in her field.


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