Submitted by: Tom Mote, MD (Past Resident) and Pat McGuffey, Esq. (Current Resident), Old Northside Foundation Directors
It is with great sadness that the ONS says so long to Rick and Cyndi Patton as they move to Florida.
Rick and Cyndi were one of the early pioneers to move into the Old Northside. Newly wed, they revitalized 1508 Broadway, one of the most Victorian and beautiful homes in the ONS. The house had been divided into apartments. Rick tells of shooting rats through the front door’s mail slot before they could start. He and Cyndi had to remove some of the undesirable squatters that were living in the Broadway house. What a vision they had- Cyndi said she walked into the house and said “I want this house Rick”. She tells that many were surprised at how hard they were willing to work to make the dream home come to fruition.
Both Cyndi and Rick were active on the Board of the OLd Northside Association, and spearheaded tree and flower plantings among other projects. Rick was a founding board member of the ONS Foundation and its second president from roughly 2000-05. After the success of the Foundation in building the neighborhood’s second park, Great Oak Commons, Rick and Tom Mote suggested a third park on the 16 acres east of Bellfountaine on 16th street to act as a buffer from the rough area east of the ONS. Rick suggested soccer as it was becoming popular and Tabernacle Church had a program. He was instrumental in working with First Lady Judy O’Bannon and the Foundation in getting a 99 year lease from the State on the property. The Army Corps of Engineers Reserves devoted their summer project to site preparation. Rick and his son Seth, and Tom Mote mowed the property as volunteers. This continued burden of maintenance led the Foundation to transfer the lease to Indy Parks but not before the site became a vital mixing bowl for children from the ONS and surrounding neighborhoods. The Frank and Judy O’Bannon Soccer Park also lead the way for the Monon Trail.
Rick and Cyndi raised two children, Kirsten and Seth in the ONS. Cyndi told how parents of their children’s classmates from Brebeuf and Cathedral would call and ask if it was safe for their children to visit. Their children’s friends as well as their parents were soon educated on what a gem the ONS was for families!
Improvements to the ONS including the parks, historic street lighting and banners, street side trees, Central Avenue Art project and others would not have happened without Rick and Cyndi. They relished the history of the neighborhood and were great cheerleaders for the area. Their pioneer spirit and can do attitude was responsible for many beautiful homes from being destroyed by the wrecking balls! Rick and Cyndi will always be a part of the ONS’s incredible history as they have left an indelible mark for all to see. They will be greatly missed!!
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