Indianapolis Things to Do Tips by sambarnett Top 5 Page for this destination
Indianapolis Things to Do: 186 reviews and 201 photos
From the front porch of this Italianate-style home Benjamin Harrison gave a number of speeches, leading to his election to the Presidency in 1888. One of the United States' least distinguished Presidents, Harrison is best remembered for signing the Sherman Anti-Trust Act and being the grandson of the ninth President, William Henry Harrison.
Before serving in Washington DC, Harrison ran a successful law practice and served from 1881-87 as a United States Senator. He returned to Indianapolis following his defeat in the 1892 Presidential election.
Address: 1230 N. Delaware
Directions: In the Old Northside Historic District
Located between Univeristy Park and Veteran's Memorial Plaza, the Indiana World War Memorial Plaza is an impressive tribute to Indiana soldiers killed in World War I. General John Pershing laid the cornerstone on July 4, 1927 but delays in funding prevented completion until 1965.
At its heart is the 210 foot memorial building, which contains a very interesting war museum, an auditorium and two meeting rooms. The museum is free and is open 9 am - 6 pm, Wednesday through Sunday.
union station clock tower
Opened in 1888, Indianapolis' Union Station is, according to Indiana: A New Historical Guide, "one of the last remaining Victorian train stations in the Midwest."
In the 1980s Union Station was turned into a restaurant and shopping center. According to reports I read during one of my last visits to Indy that idea isn't fairing too well anymore. I guess folks got their fill of rock'n'roll T-shirt shops and Left-handed stores.
If you're looking for Amtrak service, head to the nearby Greyhound bus station at 350 S. Illinois Street.
Following her divorce, Madame C.J. Walker, daughter of Louisiana slaves, moved her cosmetics and hair care business from Denver to Indianapolis. Business flourished and she became the first African American female millionaire. Walker passed away in 1919 and this wedge-shaped building was built in 1927 under the direction of her daughter A'Lelia.
Located at the triangular intersection of West Street, Indiana Avenue, MLK Jr. Street and North Street, this building was the focal point for Indy's famed Indiana Avenue black community. Great black artists like the Ink Spots, Ella Fitzgerald, Josephine Baker and local guitar legend Wes Montgomery all graced the stage here. Renovated in the early 1980s, the Walker Building serves as a center of Indy's black culture.
Your traveling companions want to shop but you'd rather walk the streets and admire some fine buildings (or vice versa)? If it comes to that, head to the Wholesale District, bounded by Capitol Avenue, Maryland, Delaware and South Streets, south of the Circle Center mall. In addition to all kinds of "theme" restaurants, shops and other touristy distractions are over 50 buildings on the National Register of Historic Places. Constructed mainly between 1867 and 1930, Victorian and Terra Cotta splendor abounds.
One of the most spectacular Native American museums I have ever seen. It's hard to me to really describe, I was so impressed with the facility. Excellent paintings (period and contemporary) capture the essence of the west, documenting landscapes, people, horses, etc. Even some well-known artists like Georiga O'Keefe and Charles Remington are represented.
Even the building itself is impressive. Made of Minnesota dolomite and German sandstone, the warm earth tones make one feel much farther west than they really are. Four sculptures stand on the grounds including an untitled piece of five white tail deer (pictured here) and a beautiful 12 foot statue entitled The Greeting.
The museum is named after local philanthropist Harrison Eiteljorg, an avid collector of Western, American Indian and African Art.
Adult admission is $7, less for students, children and seniors. Hours:
Tuesday - Saturday 10 a.m. - 5 p.m .
Sunday noon - 5 p.m .
Open Mondays, Memorial Day through Labor Day
Address: 500 W. Washington St.
Directions: On the east end of White River State Park, at the corner of West and Washington. An easy walk from downtown, take the Canal Walk there!
Formerly known as Obelisk Square, the Veteran's Memorial Plaza sits between the Indiana World War Memorial and the American Legion Mall. In the center is the Obelisk Fountain and north of that is the 100 foot, black granite Obelisk, sculpted by Henry Henring in 1929. Four bronze tablets, representing law, science, religion and education, surround the structure.
Located at the very heart of Indianapolis, you cannot miss the Soldiers and Sailors Monument.
Dedicated on May 15, 1902 to the common soliders and sailors of the Civil War, the only monument in the country to do so, is a beautiful tribute. Designed by German architect Bruno Schmitz at the cost of $600,000 it now stands as a tribute to all of Indiana's military service personnel in all wars previous to World War I.
At top is 'Miss Victory,' standing at 30 feet, only 15 feet shorter than the Statue of Liberty. Inside is the Colonel Eli Lilly Civil War Museum and an observation deck at the base of the statue. Both are open at the same hours as the Indiana World War Memorial.
Pick up a brochure at any of the tourist sites for a detailed explanation of the monument.
Directions: Right smackdab in the center of town.
At 231 feet, you wouldn't think the observation deck of the Soldier and Sailors Monument would offer much in the way of views, considering it is surrounded by a number of skyscrapers. But the views are surprisingly good, and it is easy to pick out the various Indy landmarks. You'll also get a sense just how flat the land is around these parts.
Climb the 330 steps up or buy a ticket ($1) for the elevator. I recomend the elevator.
As I said earlier, I got a personalized tour by my Great Uncle so I don't exactly know what an organized tour shows the visitor. But the 1880 Rennaissance Revival building is open to the public from 9 am to 4 pm weekdays and is free.
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