T.C. Steele lived at Tinker Place upon his return to Indianapolis from Germany in 1885. The family rented the Tinker mansion (Talbott Place) at Sixteenth and Pennsylvania Streets. Steele also maintained a studio downtown, where he could paint and display his work while he earned a living primarily as a portrait painter and art teacher (see painting of Tinker Place on this site). Around 1886 Steele had a studio built on the Tinker property, and the home, already an Indianapolis landmark, became a hub for the local arts community. While making a living primarily painting portraits, Steele also painted Plenair (landscape paintings which are physically created “in the open air”) during his time at Tinker Place (1886-1901).
Meridian Street, the focus of the painting is the primary north-south street in Indianapolis and is now a historic district. To learn more about the history and development of North Meridian Street, refer to the book The Main Stem: The History and Architecture of North Meridian Street.