Not packed in a bus. Not herded with a group. Self guided walk is the SAFEST way to sightsee while observing SOCIAL DISTANCING!

Architecture Tour (Self Guided), Indianapolis

Indianapolis contains many unique constructions throughout the city that gives it an inimitable identity. Some of its best buildings are located along the diagonal avenues coming from Mile Square, according to the city plan of Alexander Ralston in 1821. Many of them are registered on the National Register of Historic Places. Explore Indianapolis’ architectural treasures in the following tour.
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Architecture Tour Map

Guide Name: Architecture Tour
Guide Location: USA » Indianapolis (See other walking tours in Indianapolis)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 11
Tour Duration: 3 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.3 Km or 3.3 Miles
Author: Sandra
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • Union Station
  • Indiana Repertory Theater
  • Indiana State Library and Historical Building
  • Test Building
  • Circle Tower
  • City Market
  • Athenaeum Building
  • Old National Centre
  • Indianapolis Central Library
  • Indiana Freemasons' Hall
  • Madame Walker Theatre
Union Station

1) Union Station

The Indianapolis Union Station was the first union station in the world, opening on September 20, 1853, by the Indianapolis Union Railway within the Wholesale District of Indianapolis. The three-story Union Station is built of granite and brick, with a battered water table and massive brick arches characteristic of the Romanesque. It features an enormous rose window, slate roof, bartizans at section corners, and a soaring 185-foot clock tower. The 1888 station included a large street-level iron train shed.
Sight description based on wikipedia
Indiana Repertory Theater

2) Indiana Repertory Theater

The Indiana Theatre was built as a movie palace and ballroom in 1927 and today is the home of the Indiana Repertory Theatre. It was added to the U.S. National Register of Historic Places in 1979. The building is six stories and is of concrete frame construction. The front of the building is sheathed in white terra cotta. The main feature of the facade is the curving triangular arch with churrigueresque framing that fills the central bay above the marquee. The original marquee is still in place. The basement originally contained bowling alleys and billiard rooms. Upper floors were divided between office space and theater space. The interior included an entrance lobby, 2.5-story main lobby and a 3,200-seat auditorium. The auditorium was distinguished by elaborate plaster ornamentation based on Spanish Baroque motifs.

The building is topped by the Indiana Roof Ballroom, a large atmospheric ballroom decorated to resemble a square surrounded by buildings with a stage at one end. The ballroom has an elliptical dome with sky effects. The theater is a major example of the American motion picture palace. The building was restored and the auditorium was extensively remodeled in 1979–80 to accommodate the needs of the Indiana Repertory Theatre.
Sight description based on wikipedia
Indiana State Library and Historical Building

3) Indiana State Library and Historical Building

The Indiana State Library and Historical Bureau is a public library building, it is the largest public library in the state of Indiana, housing over 60,000 manuscripts. Established in 1934, the library has gathered a large collection of books a vast variety of topics. In 1934, when the current building was opened, the public in large were allowed to use it.

The building is made of Indiana limestone, sandstone, and walnut. Interior features include brassaccents, fanciful murals, walnut-paneled walls, stained glass windows, and woodcarvings. The library has six main divisions: Braille, Genealogy, Government Services, Library Development, State History, and State Demographics. A 1993 inventory of the library's holdings included 60,000 books and pamphlets, 3,500 collected manuscripts, 1,500,000 images, and 1,000 maps. Some of this included not only the history of Indiana, but that of the Old Northwest as well. It has been on the National Register of Historic Places since 1995.

The Indiana Historical Bureau has a home at the library. Founded in 1915 as the Indiana Historical Commission, its initial purpose was to prepare for the centennial of Indiana's statehood. The Bureau largely concentrates on the placement of new historical markers across Indiana and encourage education in Indiana history. The bureau runs a gift shop at the Library.

Operation hours: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday & Friday: 8 am - 4.30 pm; Thursday: 8 am - 7 pm; Saturday: 8 am - 4 pm.
Sight description based on wikipedia
Test Building

4) Test Building

Located on Monument Circle, the Test Building is a splendid example of 1920’s architectural design. Its noble facade, designed in a neoclassical style, utilizes Indiana limestone. Originally a six-story construction, three more floors were added. The third level of this Indianapolis landmark is decorated with stone panels created by Alexander Sangernebo.
Circle Tower

5) Circle Tower

Circle Tower, the tallest building on Monument Circle at 57.91 meters, was erected in 1930. An example of Art Deco architecture, with its ziggurat peak and sculptures, it is made of Indiana limestone. Its facade and entrances are decorated with Egyptian elements. Included on the National Register of Historic Places, it serves as an office building.
City Market

6) City Market

Construction of the City Market and the adjoining Tomlinson Hall was completed in 1886. D.A. Bohlen designed this arched structure in a mixture of German styles. Using brick and stone details, remnants of its original flanking towers and pilasters can be seen.
Athenaeum Building

7) Athenaeum Building

The Athenæum, originally named Das Deutsche Haus (German:The German House), is the most ornate and best-preserved building affiliated with the German American community of Indianapolis. Once used as a German American turnverein and clubhouse, it currently houses many groups, organizations, and businesses. It was founded in 1897 as the, the Musikverein (Music Society) and included a 60-piece orchestra, a male choir, and a mixed choir. The Athenaeum Orchestra is now the oldest orchestra in Indianapolis.

The front part of the building is the East Wing. It is built in the German Romanesque style. The entrance is flanked by two Roman Doric columns, and is arched with a semicircle of limestone. The West Wing is done in the German Renaissance Revival style and incorporates German architecture with Renaissance elements.The facade is decorated with terra cotta grotesques. One figure in particular is Athena, the building's namesake, who is placed in the top arch.
Sight description based on wikipedia
Old National Centre

8) Old National Centre

The Old National Centre, founded in 1884 by Freemasons, is home of the Murat Theatre, the Egyptian Room and other attractions. Since 1909, this building has also served as the Freemason’s headquarters.
Indianapolis Central Library

9) Indianapolis Central Library

The Indianapolis Central Library, adjacent to the World War Memorial Plaza, was designed by Paul P. Cret. Completed in 1917, it is regarded as a unique architecture. Bronze gates, Solemn Greek columns, extensive steps, limestone, Vermont marble and carved stone elements make up its stunning exterior. Its collection consists of over 2.1 million items in various formats.
Indiana Freemasons' Hall

10) Indiana Freemasons' Hall

Indiana Freemasons' Hall, located in downtown Indianapolis, was built in 1909. This eight-story building covers 113,000 square feet, accommodating many lodges and related organizations, chapter rooms, an auditorium, ballrooms and others. Designed by Rubush & Hunter Architects, who are responsible for many other outstanding Indianapolis landmarks, this Greco-Roman Neoclassical low-rise is made of Indiana limestone.
Madame Walker Theatre

11) Madame Walker Theatre

The historic Madame C.J. Walker Building, which houses the Madame Walker Theatre Center, has long symbolized the spirit of creativity and community pride in the City of Indianapolis. Named after America’s first self-made female millionaire, Madam C.J. Walker, the site represents the achievements, art forms, culture and history of African American people. As Madame C.J. Walker Manufacturing Company, it was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1991.

Walker began the development of the Walker Building and Theatre prior to her death in 1919. The project was subsequently completed by her daughter A'Lelia Walker and opened to the public in December 1927. The Walker Building, located in the heart of the Indiana Avenue Cultural District, was the center of entertainment, business and pride for the City’s African American community. Through the vibrancy of dramatic dance, the smooth, cool sounds of jazz and the evocative spirit of the theatre, the Walker Building builds bridges between artists and patrons.
Sight description based on wikipedia

Walking Tours in Indianapolis, Indiana

Create Your Own Walk in Indianapolis

Create Your Own Walk in Indianapolis

Creating your own self-guided walk in Indianapolis is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
White River State Park Tour

White River State Park Tour

White River State Park, spread across 250 acres, houses the Indianapolis Zoo and and White River Gardens, theater and concert venues, museums, bridges, abundant green spaces, waterways and many other amazing attractions. Follow this tour to discover Indianapolis’ White River State Park.

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.7 Km or 1.1 Miles
Indianapolis Introduction Walk

Indianapolis Introduction Walk

Indianapolis’ rich history is reflected in its multiple landmarks. Monument Circle, a traffic circle in the center of Indianapolis, contains the famous Soldiers & Sailors Monument, and a concentration of the city’s tallest buildings surrounding it. Take the following tour to discover Indianapolis’ best landmarks.

Tour Duration: 4 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.9 Km or 3.7 Miles
Indianapolis Museums Tour

Indianapolis Museums Tour

Indianapolis’ variety of museums and galleries appeals to those interested in the city’s history and architecture. Following this tour you can see its most popular museums, libraries and houses, and discover the historical, cultural and social life of Indianapolis.

Tour Duration: 3 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 6.5 Km or 4 Miles
Fountain Square Tour

Fountain Square Tour

The Fountain Square district is a more than century-old mercantile and cultural center. It is famous for its fine art galleries, significant antique trading, unique restaurants, live entertainment and multiple retailers. Remarkable constructions such as the Town Square Fountain, churches, Fountain Square Theatre Building and other landmarks can be found here. Take the following tour to discover...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.1 Km or 0.7 Miles
Indianapolis Religious Buildings Tour

Indianapolis Religious Buildings Tour

Indianapolis contains an extensive variety of churches which have influenced the social geography of the city. The following tour will guide visitors to the city’s oldest and most significant religious architecture.

Tour Duration: 3 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 7.3 Km or 4.5 Miles