Get to know your Knoll neighbor: The story of one long-term resident

Photo by Marissa Weiner.


Receiving an apple pie home-baked by your new neighbors is always a special surprise. Though, when your neighbors are 6 foot, 250 pound Butler football players, it feels a bit more special. 

Lined with mostly four and five-bedroom homes for senior students, a stretch of Berkley Road — known more colloquially as the Knollspans nearly the entire length of the back of Butler’s campus from Sunset Avenue to Haughey Avenue. For Butler students, the Knoll is synonymous with senior housing. For 24-year-old Makaela Modlin, however, the Knoll has always been home. Her grandmother owned the home on Berkley Road from 1976 until her passing in 2016.

Modlin has seen the Knoll change from a treeless street with homes occupied by primarily families and older adults to a grassy area with college students on both sides. The Knoll, until about the 90s, was a road that could be driven across. 

“As a kid growing up, my family never had to worry about cars,” Modlin said. “We could always play outside safely. It’s just really secure.” 

Modlin, who works at the newly named business building cafe The Butler Brew, currently lives on the Knoll with her child, mother and three siblings. Though the area has physically and demographically changed since she arrived at the home in the mid-90s, one thing has stayed the same. 

“The students have always been very respectful through the years,” Modlin said. “Every year the residents introduce themselves to my family.” 

That’s where the apple pies come in. 

One year, after her grandfather underwent an operation that claimed his leg, her neighbors came over to help. 

“We needed help from men, because my grandma, my mom and I could not assist him,” Modlin said as she teared up. “We went next door to get them, and they came right over and helped us. They got him from the wheelchair to the bed. No problem, no complaints.”

Modlin completed two years of college in the Indianapolis area and plans to finish her final two years shortly. Until then, she urges Butler students to enjoy these four years. 

“Just enjoy it,” Modlin said. “It’s an experience you’ll have that you’ll never get back.” 


Related posts