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Historic Structures of

Indianapolis, Indiana

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Indianapolis, in the central part of the state, is the capital of Indiana and seat of Marion Co. In 1821 the community was named Indianapolis, and the U.S. engineer Alexander Ralston who assisted the French architect Pierre L'Enfant in planning Washington, D.C., was commissioned to lay out the community.

Incorporated as a city 1847, and the largest city in Indiana, Indianapolis is a commercial manufacturing, transportation, and cultural center situated in the productive Corn Belt agricultural region.

Points of interest include the home of President Benjamin Harrison; the home of the Hoosier Poet James Whitcomb Riley; the State Capitol (completed 1888); Union Station; the Soldiers and Sailors Monument (1902), in Monument Circle, the heart of the city; Woodruff Place and Lockerbie Square historic districts; Indiana World War Memorial Plaza, including the American Legion national headquarters building; and the Gothic-style Scottish Rite Cathedral (1929)--see below.

Numerous cultural institutions and museums are in Indianapolis. In addition, the city supports modern dance and ballet companies, a symphony orchestra, an opera company, and several theater groups, including the Indiana Repertory Theatre.

In the 1960s and '70s major programs of urban redevelopment were undertaken by the city. Indianapolis does not have the most progressive attitude toward historic preservation in the state, but a growing awareness of the city's architectural assets has resulted in a thriving preservationist community.

Three Part Vertical Block Building Indianapolis Indiana

Rink Building

Three Part Vertical Block

401 North Illinois

Indianapolis Indiana

Building Two part Vertical Block Indianapolis Indiana

Oxford Building

Two part Vertical Block

316 East Vermont

Indianapolis Indiana

Stacked Vertical Block Building Indianapolis Indiana

Marott's Shoe Building

Stacked Vertical Block

18 East Washington

Indianapolis Indiana

The grand old Indiana Theatre Vault style of architecture; Indianapolis Indiana

The grand old

Indiana Theatre

Vault style of architecture; generally two to three stories high, the vault has a facade penetrated by a large, tall and generally narrow central opening, and sometimes smaller ones on either side.

134 West Washington

Indianapolis Indiana

Blacherne Building Indianapolis Indiana

Blacherne Building

402 North Meridian

Indianapolis Indiana


A truly grand work.

Scottish Rite Cathedral (1929)

650 North Meridian

Indianapolis (Marion County)

This church is a fine example of the Gothic Revival style of architecture, characterized by pointed arches and ribbed vaulting. This broad style of architecture stemmed from a movement of the 18th and 19th centuries aimed at reviving the spirit and forms of Gothic architecture.

These photos are courtesy of the photographer, Mike Habeck ( Mike is with EcoIndiana and, in addition to being concerned about historic architecture, is also looking out for the state's natural environment. Our thanks to Mike for sharing these photos with us.

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