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History of the 2023 
Decorators' Show House and Gardens  

History of the 2023 Decorators’ Show House and Gardens

The residence at 57 East 57th Street is located within the boundaries of several of Indianapolis’ most respected neighborhoods. They include the Meridian-Kessler Neighborhood Association, Meridian Street Preservation Commission, Meridian Street Foundation, and Midtown Indy.

 The land on which the home was built was originally planned as three separate residential lots in the Sillery Subdivision of Meridian Street Woods. The original owners bought all three lots, creating a property with a frontage of 161 feet and a depth of 142 feet. The residence was built on the middle of the three lots, thereby providing large yards on both the east and west sides of the residence. 

The architect who designed the home was Willard C. Osler (1885-1978). Osler designed many fine residences in the Golden Hill, Mapleton Fall Creek, and Meridian-Kessler neighborhoods. Among the larger projects that Osler designed were Trinity Episcopal Church, Second Presbyterian Church, and First Congregational United Church of Christ. 

Construction of the brick Tudor residence began in 1927 and was completed in 1928. The project was overseen by civil engineer and contractor Charles Latham Sr. (1881-1940). Latham specialized in residential projects, building upscale homes for prominent local families, primarily in the Golden Hill and Meridian-Kessler neighborhoods. The home contains approximately 6,670 square feet on three levels. It originally had 7 bedrooms, 4 full baths, and 3 half baths. In recent years, however, the enlargement of the master bedroom suite and the creation of an upstairs laundry room resulted in the loss of two of the original bedrooms. The home also has an attached 3-car garage. 

The home was built by Robert Burnett Failey (1884-1970) and Mary Rebecca Parrott Failey (1886-1970). Both were born in Indianapolis and into families whose ancestors were early settlers of Indianapolis. Mr. Failey was a graduate of Shortridge High School and Princeton University. He was President of the Indiana Mirror Manufacturing Company and a Director of Merchants National Bank and Trust Company. Mrs. Failey also graduated from Shortridge High School and Bennett College in Millbrook, NY. Mary was one of the seven women who founded The Orchard School and was active in numerous local organizations, including the Children’s Museum, Indianapolis Woman’s Club, Dramatic Club, Indianapolis Museum of Art, and the Indianapolis Garden Club. The Faileys had three sons: Robert Burnett Failey Jr., James Franklin Failey, and William Henry Comingore Failey. 

Following the 1970 deaths of both Robert Sr. and Mary, the residence was acquired by their oldest son, Robert Burnett Failey Jr. (1915-2007). Like his father, he graduated from Princeton University, and then Harvard Medical School. He practiced internal medicine at the Indiana University Medical Center. Bob was president of the University Club of Indianapolis and served on the Board of Corporators of Crown Hill Cemetery and the Ensemble Music Society.

In 1984, the property was purchased from Dr. Failey by his nephew, John Noël Failey, and Julia (Jill) Luros Failey. John is a graduate of Wabash College. After serving in the U.S. Army, John received a master’s degree from the Indiana University School of Business. He was President of Engineered Cooling Systems from 1984 to 2004. Since his retirement, John has served as President of the Ensemble Music Society. Jill graduated from Indiana University. She was a recreational and aquatic therapist and created the recreational therapy program at Hook Physical Rehabilitation Center and the Pain Center at Community Hospital. Jill was the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society 2013 Indianapolis Woman of the Year. She is a member of the Junior League of Indianapolis, Indianapolis Garden Club, National Society of The Colonial Dames of America, and St. Margaret’s Hospital Guild. John and Jill have two daughters, Julia Failey and Elisabeth Failey Wagner. 

After 82 years of ownership by members of the Failey family, the home was sold to Jay Metzler and Andrea (Toth) Metzler in 2010. Jay is the owner of Houseworks Building Company. Andrea is an Orthopedic Physician’s Assistant. She has a B.S. from DePaul University and an M.S. from Butler University. During the eight years of the Metzlers’ ownership, they made significant renovations throughout the home. In 2018, the couple sold the property to its fifth and current owners. The Metzlers now reside in Boise, Idaho. 

The current owners of the residence are Eugene C. Hsiao, M.D., and Tomi (Hill) Hsiao. Dr. Hsiao grew up in Indianapolis and graduated from North Central High School. He has a wide range of training in plastic surgery and reconstruction. His undergraduate degree is from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. He received his medical degree from the Indiana University School of Medicine. He also received post-graduate training at both the University of Louisville and Washington University in St. Louis. Tomi Hsiao is also a graduate of the University of Louisville. It was there that the couple met. Tomi enjoys being involved in her children’s school activities. Dr. and Mrs. Hsiao are the parents of Hannah, Zach, and Oliver. The family enjoys playing hockey, volleyball, and golf.

St. Margaret’s Hospital Guild is excited to present this unique residence as its 62nd Decorators’ Show House and Gardens. Proceeds from the annual event will be donated to the Behavior Health Academy at Eskenazi Hospital. The guild has pledged a gift of $1,000,000 to the facility.  

The History of the 2023 Decorators' Show House and Gardens was researched 
   by St. Margaret's Hospital Guild member, Sharon Butsch Freeland.

Email us: info@showhouseindy.org

Mission Statement
St. Margaret’s Hospital Guild is a volunteer organization committed to raising funds for the services and programs of Eskenazi Health.

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