| Click on image titles for larger views. || |
The Stokely mansion, known as "Hawkeye" when it belonged to the original owner, Frank H. Wheeler, is an excellent example of the work of nationally renowned architect William Price and the firm of Price and McLanahan. A highly stylized home in the Arts & Crafts tradition, the mansion features work by master craftsmen such as Henry Chapman Mercer and Louis Tiffany. It was designed to resemble a Mediterranean villa, a contemporary but conservative design for the time.
The Wheeler mansion is also important because of its association with Frank H. Wheeler, a nationally important entrepreneur in the automobile industry and a co-founder of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and its internationally recognized signature event, the Indianapolis 500. Wheeler also was an important figure in the early history of Indianapolis, a leading local businessman in the fledgling automobile industry then flourishing in Indianapolis, and the owner of the Wheeler-Schebler Carbureto Company and the Langsenkamp-Wheeler Brass Works.
In addition to the mansion, the original estate included a 320-foot colonnade leading to a heated 7-car garage, a four-story water tower (that included an office, apartment, and handball court), a man-made lake complete with an island and a Venetian gondola, a gazebo, a tennis pavilion and courts, and an authentic Japanese teahouse. In 1927, the estate was sold to G. Monty Williams, the CEO of the Marmon Motor Company of Indianapolis. Williams modified the estate significantly, filling in the lake and installing a large swimming pool. In 1937, the estate was sold to William B. Stokely of the Stokely-Van Camp Company, who lived on the property until 1963 when it was sold to Marian College.
Initially, Marian College used the Wheeler mansion as the music building. Currently, the mansion is used for receptions, conferences and special events and serves as the Office of the President and the communications and marketing department. The swimming pool installed by G. Monty Williams is used by Marian college students and summer camp participants, and the Japanese teahouse is sometimes used for tea ceremonies. The tennis pavilion and courts, gazebo, water tower and garage, no longer exist.
The Mansions of Marian. Indianapolis, IN: Marian College, ca. 1990.