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Location: Central Indiana, United States, North America
Motto: Crossroads of America (state motto)
Flag: Blue field with white cross; in the center, a white star on a red circle represent the center of the city.
Flower: Peony (state flower)
Time Zone: 7 am Eastern Standard Time (EST) = noon Greenwich Mean Time (GMT)
Ethnic Composition: White 77%, Black 21%, Hispanic origin 1%
Elevation: 219 m (717 ft) above sea level. The city is situated on level to gently rolling terrain.
Latitude and Longitude: 39°71'N, 86°09'W
Climate: Temperate continental climate with precipitation evenly distributed throughout the year. Warm summers and cold winters that can be affected by blasts of polar air from the north.
Annual Mean Temperature: 11°C (52°F); January–2°C (28°F); July 24°C (75°F)
Seasonal Average Snowfall: 58 cm (23 in);
Average Annual Precipitation (rainfall and melted snow): 101.3 cm (39.9 in)
Government: Mayor and 29-member council
Weights and Measures: Standard U.S.
Monetary Units: Standard U.S.
Telephone Area Codes: 317
Postal Codes: 46201–46290
Indianapolis, the capital of Indiana, is the twelfth-largest city in the United States. Located on land set aside for a state capital in the early nineteenth century, it was modeled after Washington D.C., with streets radiating outward from the seat of government. Although it is not located on a navigable body of water, the city's central location—in relation to the state and to much of the country—has made it an important transport and distribution center since the nineteenth century. Since the 1970s Indianapolis has established a reputation as a sports center by constructing major athletic and visitor facilities and energetically promoting itself as a venue for a wide variety of amateur sporting events. However, its most famous athletic event remains the Indianapolis 500 motor race, held annually at the Indianapolis Speedway.
Indianapolis is located east of the White River in central Indiana. It is the largest city in the United States that is not situated on the banks of a navigable body of water. Its major thoroughfare is Washington Street (I-40), which runs east-west through the city, as part of a larger grid pattern that governs the layout of the city's streets.
The Indianapolis metropolitan area is ringed by I-465, which has junctions with the three major highways that pass through the city: I-70 (east-west), I-69 (intersects from the northwest), and I-65 (northwest to southeast). Indianapolis has more interstate highways junctions than any other metropolitan area in the United States.
Bus and Railroad Service
Indiana is served by the Greyhound and Trailways bus lines. Both the bus station and the Amtrak train station are located in the renovated Union Station downtown on S. Illinois Street. Amtrak service is provided to Washington, D.C. and Chicago, with three weekly departures to each city.
Nearly eight million passengers a year use Indianapolis International Airport, which is located seven miles southwest of downtown Indianapolis. It is the largest U.S. airport managed by a private firm (the same company that runs London's Heathrow and Gatwick airports). Serving 18 airlines, it offers more than 175 daily departures to 76 different destinations. It is also a package-sorting hub for FedEx and a U.S. Postal Service hub as well.
The layout of Indianapolis, the nation's twelfth-largest city, is a grid pattern modeled on that of Washington D.C. Its major thoroughfares intersect at the Soldiers' and Sailors' Monument, in the heart of the city. The major east-west artery is Washington Street (I-40). The primary north-south road is Meridian Street, which is a major commercial center.
Indianapolis Population Profile
Area: 1,043 sq km (402.8 sq mi)
Ethnic composition: 77% white; 21% black
Nicknames: City of Churches, Crossroads of America
Description: Nine-county area including Boone,
Hendricks, Morgan, Hamilton, Marion, Johnson, Madison, Hancock, and Shelby counties
Area: 8,000 sq km (3,089 sq mi)
World population rank 1: 364
Percentage of national population 2: 0.4%
Average yearly growth rate: 0.9%
Ethnic composition: 85.2% white, 13.5% black, 1% Asian or Pacific Islander
- The Indianapolis metropolitan area's rank among the world's urban areas.
- The percent of the United States' total population living in the Indianapolis metropolitan area.
Bus and Commuter Rail Service
The Indiana Public Transportation Corporation (METRO) operates 138 city buses and provides service to the disabled through the Metro Transit Open Door program. The base fare for local mass transit is 75 cents.
Walking tours are offered of the Mile Square area in the heart of downtown Indianapolis.
According to U.S. Census Bureau 1997 estimates, Indianapolis has a population of 813,670, up 2.1 percent since 1990 when its population was 731,327 (47 percent male, 53 percent female).
The total population of the nine-county Indianapolis Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) is 1.5 million, up from 1.38 million in 1990. It is the thirty-first largest metropolitan area in the United States, and Indianapolis is the twelfth-largest city.
In 1990, the population of Indianapolis was 77.1 percent white; 21.1 percent African-American; 1.1 percent Hispanic; 0.2 percent American Indian; and 0.4 percent other. The city's African-American community is the sixth largest in the Midwest and the sixteenth largest in the country.
Indianapolis has historically been home to members of a variety of religions. Although the majority of its residents today are either Catholics or Protestants, over 100 different religious denominations are represented among the city's population, including religions such as Zen Buddhism that are outside the mainstream of Western religion. The following denominations have significant membership among residents of Indianapolis: Catholic, 84,033 members; Black Baptist, 56,403; United Methodist, 37,027; Christian Church (disciples), 20,596; Presbyterian, 17,990, and American Baptist, 11,483. There are also significant numbers of other Protestant denominations, as well as a Jewish population of 6,379. Altogether, Indianapolis has about 1,100 religious congregations. In addition, a variety of religious organizations, including the Church Federation of Indianapolis and the Islamic Society of North America, are located in the city.
Beginning in the 1970s there was a resurgence of interest in older residential districts in the central city, leading to the revitalization of neighborhoods such as Lockerbie Square, Woodruff Place, Old Northside, and Herron-Morton. With its cobblestone streets, Lockerbie Square, once home to poet James Whitcomb Riley (1849–1916), is regarded as an outstanding example of Victorian renovation. The Midtown area boasts fountains, bridges, walk-ways, and new residential and commercial construction in the hearth of the city. Chatham Arch has become an increasingly popular area for residential renovation. Other city neighborhoods include historic Fletcher Place and Fountain Square, University Heights, surrounding the University of Indianapolis, Homecroft, and the Old North-side, as well as the exclusive Meridan-Kessler neighborhood. Suburban areas include Carmel, which is north of the city, and Greenwood, to the south.
Since the 1970s, urban renewal projects, including the City-County Building and Riley Center, have significantly improved the quality of life in Indianapolis. There are over 300 registered neighborhood organizations in Indianapolis, including the Front Porch Alliance, which supports community-oriented efforts by churches, neighborhood associations, and other groups.
In 1990 Indianapolis had a total of 319,980 housing units, and the average cost of a single-family dwelling was $82,864. By the beginning of 1999, this figure had risen to $125,307.
|City Fact Comparison|
|Population of urban area1||1,002,000||10,772,000||2,688,000||12,033,000|
|Date the city was founded||1816||AD 969||753 BC||723 BC|
|Daily costs to visit the city2|
|Hotel (single occupancy)||$65||$193||$172||$129|
|Meals (breakfast, lunch, dinner)||$40||$56||$59||$62|
|Incidentals (laundry, dry cleaning, etc.)||$2||$14||$15||$16|
|Total daily costs||$107||$173||$246||$207|
|Number of newspapers serving the city||1||13||20||11|
|Largest newspaper||The Indianapolis Star/News||Akhbar El Yom/Al Akhbar||La Repubblica||Renmin Ribao|
|Circulation of largest newspaper||230, 223||1,159,339||754,930||3,000,000|
|Date largest newspaper was established||1869||1944||1976||1948|
|1United Nations population estimates for the year 2000.|
|2The maximum amount the U.S. Government reimburses its employees for business travel. The lodging portion of the allowance is based on the cost for a single room at a moderately-priced hotel. The meal portion is based on the costs of an average breakfast, lunch, and dinner including taxes, service charges, and customary tips. Incidental travel expenses include such things as laundry and dry cleaning.|
|3David Maddux, ed. Editor&Publisher International Year Book. New York: The Editor&Publisher Company, 1999.|
Like Washington, D.C., on which it was modeled, Indianapolis is a city deliberately planned as a capital. In 1820 the state legislature of Indiana selected ten commissioners to choose a site for the state capital, which was established at the site of a small, recently formed settlement called Fall Creek, chosen for its location at virtually the exact center of the state. Ten square kilometers (four square miles) were allocated for the new capital although only two-and-a-half square kilometers (one square mile) were initially plotted. The city was designed by Alexander Ralston, who had assisted Pierre L'Enfant (1754–1825) in the plans for the nation's capital, and the new city was similarly designed as a grid of streets radiating outward from a central circle in which the seat of government was to be situated. The name "Indianapolis" (Indiana plus polis, the Greek word for "city") was chosen in 1821.
It took a while until the city grew significantly, at least partly because it was not situated near a navigable body of water—the nearby White River was too shallow for navigation. However, with the construction of the National Road (today I-40) through the city in 1830 and the completion of the Central Canal in 1839, industrial activity increased, and the arrival of the first rail lines in 1847 provided access to the Ohio River, eventually turning Indianapolis into a commercial center. By mid-century, immigration, especially by Germans, increased the city's population to 18,611 by the beginning of the Civil War.
During the last two decades of the nineteenth century, the city underwent significant development that included the construction of Union Station and a new statehouse, as well as the introduction of paved streets and, in 1881, electric street lights (among the first in any American city). In the 1890s an enduring link between Indianapolis and the automobile was forged with the development by Charles H. Black of the first gasoline-powered auto. By 1911 the first car race was held at the Indianapolis Speedway. By 1920 Indianapolis had become an important industrial city, with a population of 300,000. However, the 1920s were marred by the rise to prominence of the Ku Klux Klan in the city's political and social life, but the Klan's power had declined by the 1930s. During the Great Depression of the 1930s, the Public Works Administration oversaw the construction of Lockfield Gardens, one of the nation's first public housing developments.
Indianapolis's central location and extensive transportation network made it a center for troop transport during World War II (1939–45), as well as a hub of wartime manufacturing. In the 1950s and 1960s, however, rail traffic declined and the city stagnated. A major revitalization effort was begun in 1970 with the administrative reorganization that merged some functions of the municipal government with those of the Marion County government to create a unique governmental entity known as UniGov, which has furthered the growth of the city and enhanced its national reputation. Soon afterwards, the city adopted a strategy of achieving growth by promoting itself as a center for sporting events, beginning with the construction of the Market Square Arena home of the Indiana Pacers since 1974.
The focus on sports continued during the 16-year tenure (1976–82) of Mayor William H. Hudnut, under whose leadership Indianapolis spent more than $126 million on construction athletic facilities, aided by the Lilly Endowment and other private donors. A highlight of this effort was the creation of a new 61,000-seat football stadium. The city's development efforts, which continued into the 1990s, have also included the ambitious Circle Centre project, a $300 million urban mall with over 100 retail outlets.
In 1970 Indianapolis's city and county governments merged to form a distinctive governmental system known as UniGov. Executive power is wielded by the mayor, who is elected to a four-year term and heads an administration consisting of six departments. He governs in conjunction with a 29-member City-County Council also elected to four-year terms, either by district or at large. In 1995, Indianapolis's government employed 12,000 persons.
In 1996, 60,404 crimes were reported to police in the Indianapolis Metropolitan Statistical Area, of which 12 percent were violent crimes. In 1997 Indianapolis ranked fortieth nation-wide—between Boston, Massachusetts, and Arlington, Texas—in the number of crimes committed per 100,000 population. The Indianapolis Police Department jurisdiction is divided into five districts: north, east, south, west, and downtown. The department employs approximately 1,025 sworn officers and 290 civilian personnel. The average length of service for sworn officers is 14 years. The police department's general fund for 1999 was $82.7 million. As of November 1998, the activities of Crime Stoppers of Central Indiana had led to the arrest of 1,317 felons.
The Indianapolis Fire Department served a population of 350,000 in 1997, answering a total of 49,212 calls, of which 13,408 were fire calls. The department operated 25 engines and had a budget of $46.7 million.
Government, industry, and services are all components of the Indianapolis economy. Manufacturing was the dominant sector until the 1980s, when it was surpassed by services and retail trade. Indianapolis's manufacturing industries include food and food products, paper, chemicals, printing and publishing, petroleum, plastics, bricks, apparel, fabricated metal products, machinery, transportation equipment, medical and optical products, and electronics. At the end of 1996, manufacturing employed 126,100 people in Indianapolis. Top companies with corporate headquarters in the city include Eli Lilly and Company (pharmaceutical manufacturer), Allied Gas and Turbine, Allison Transmissions, and the Associated Group (an insurance firm that has been recommended as one of the top companies nationwide in which to invest).
Although Indianapolis is the largest major city in the United States not situated near a navigable body of water, it is still a major transport center because of its geographically central location. Five railroads, four interstate highways, and an international airport provide shipping services, and shipping costs are among the lowest in the nation.
The city's employment picture is bright, with the number of workers employed having increased without interruption since the mid-1980s. At the beginning of 1999 its labor force totaled 835,990, and unemployment stood at 2.7 percent. Major employment sectors at the end of 1996 were (in descending order) wholesale and retail trade, services, manufacturing, government, and finance, insurance, and real estate. The top employers (with number of people employed) were local government (62,700), state government (28,800), U.S. government (18,200), Indiana University-Purdue University at Indianapolis (8,250), and Eli Lilly and Company (7,500).
The private and public sectors have cooperated to keep the city's economy strong by fostering new development. The Indianapolis Economic Development Corporation (IEDC) was formed in 1983. Revitalization of the city's downtown, guided by the Regional Center Plan, has benefited from public and private expenditures of over $4 billion since 1990. One of its major achievements was the construction of the new $319.5 million Circle Centre Mall, which opened in 1995.
Although the site for Indianapolis was chosen deliberately for its proximity to the White River, it turned out that the river was too shallow to support navigation for most of the year. Thus Indianapolis became the world's largest city not situated on a navigable waterway, and development of the city was forced to focus on its major remaining asset—its central location, which prompted the growth of highways and railroads that ultimately made the city "the Crossroads of America." Today, the White River anchors the 101-hectare (250-acre) White River State Park located near the heart of the city.
In 1995 the $319.5 million Circle Centre Mall opened in downtown Indianapolis. Skywalks connect it to the city's major convention center. Other shopping facilities include the Castleton Square Mall, the Glendale Shopping Center, the Indianapolis Downtown Antique Mall, Keystone at the Crossing, Lafayette Square Mall, and Washington Square Mall. There are also stores at Union Station and, reachable on U.S. Highway 31, the Greenwood Park Mall.
In the 1995–96 school year, the Indianapolis Public Schools enrolled 44,896 pupils and employed 2,491 teachers, with a pupil/teacher ratio of 18 to one. There were a total of 97 schools in the school system. There are 19 institutions of higher learning in Indianapolis, ranging from two-year colleges and technical schools to private and public four-year universities. The largest is Indiana University-Purdue University at Indianapolis, which offers associate, undergraduate, and graduate degree programs, and enrolled 26,336 students in the fall of 1998. Private four-year institutions (with fall 1998 enrollment figures) include Butler University (4,126) and the University of Indianapolis (3,414). Other institutions of higher education (with 1998 enrollment figures) include IVY Tech State College (7,116), Marian College (1,229), and Martin University (590).
13. Health Care
Indianapolis is home to the country's second-largest medical school and its largest school of nursing, as well as one of its most prestigious pediatric hospitals. The affiliated Indiana University Medical Center is the nation's largest university medical center, comprising three hospitals and some 90 clinics, many offering services based on cutting-edge medical technology. Some of the world's leading athletes have been treated for orthopedic injuries at Methodist Hospital, the state's largest medical facility. Among the city's other hospitals are St. Vincent's Hospital and Health Care Center, a specialized surgical facility, and the Winona Memorial Hospital, which has a sleep disorders clinic. There are almost 3,000 practicing physicians in the city. The American College of Sports Medicine also has its headquarters in Indianapolis.
Indianapolis has two daily newspapers: the Indianapolis Star, a morning paper published seven days a week, and the Indianapolis News, an afternoon daily. The Star has a weekday and Saturday circulation of 230,223 and a Sunday circulation of 391,496. The circulation of the Indianapolis News is 35,602. The Indianapolis Business Journal, published weekly, is a tabloid-sized business journal with a circulation of about 17,000. Indianapolis Monthly is a popular and respected general-interest magazine that publishes annual "Best and Worst" and restaurant issues. Indianapolis has network-affiliate television network broadcasters for ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox, and PBS. There are a total of 19 radio stations, including both AM and FM stations.
Through promotion efforts and construction of new facilities since the 1980s, Indianapolis has earned a place as a major venue for amateur sports events and sports-related activities. Major league sports teams in Indianapolis include the National Football League's Indianapolis Colts and the National Basketball Association's Indiana Pacers. The Colts play at the 60,500-seat RCA Dome (formerly the Hoosier Dome); the Pacers play at the Market Square Arena.
In the minor leagues, baseball is represented by the Triple-A Indianapolis Indians, who play at the new Victory Field stadium in White River State Park, which seats 13,500. The Indianapolis Ice play minor-league hockey at Market Square Arena.
The best-known sporting event hosted in Indianapolis is the Indianapolis 500-Mile Race (popularly known as the "Indianapolis 500"), which takes place annually on Memorial Day weekend at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, attracting over 350,000 visitors and drawing professional race car drivers from around the world.
Indianapolis hosted the Pan American Games in 1987 and the National Collegiate Athletic Association's Division I Men's Basketball Championship (the "Final Four") in 1991, 1997, and 2000.
The entrance to the 101-hectare (250-acre) White River State Park lies on West Washington Street, near the heart of downtown Indianapolis. It is home to the Indianapolis Zoo, the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indian and Western Art, a new IMAX 3-D theater, and Victory Field baseball park. Indianapolis' largest park (and one of the largest municipal parks in the country) is Eagle Creek Park, which covers 1,538 hectares (3,800 acres) and boasts a newly renovated nature center, more than 16 kilometers (ten miles) of trails, and a marina that offers sailing, canoeing, kayaking, and other water sports. There is also a one-hectare (three-acre) beach and a half-hectare (one-acre) ecology pond. Garfield Park, established in the 1860s, is the city's oldest park. It houses the Garfield Park Conservatory, which has a wide-ranging collection of rare plants and tropical birds, and also has sunken gardens and an amphitheater. Other city parks include Holliday Park, Ellenberger Park, Broad Ripple Park, Riverside Park, and Marott Park. Altogether, Indianapolis has almost 140 parks.
17. Performing Arts
The Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, founded in 1930 and currently directed by Raymond Leppard, has been ranked by the New York Times as one of the nation's ten best orchestras. It performs in the renovated Circle Theatre and at other venues throughout the state. Indianapolis is also home to an opera company, ballet and contemporary dance companies, and the state's only repertory theater.
Artsgarden, a glass-domed performance and exhibition space in the heart of the city was completed in 1995. Connected to the major convention center and the RCA Dome by sky-walks, the facilities hosts over 300 events annually.
The Indianapolis-Marion County Public Library has its main building downtown and 21 neighborhood branches throughout the city. Founded in 1873, the library has a staff of 460 and an annual circulation of 8.4 million items. Its holdings include 1.7 million book volumes, over 45,000 compact discs, and 100 CD-ROM titles. Among the areas in which it has special collections are early children's literature, first editions of Indiana authors, and James Whitcomb Riley. Altogether, Indianapolis is home to about 80 public and private libraries, including several university collections, as well as the Indiana State Library. The collection of the Indiana University-Purdue University at Indianapolis Library comprises over 360,000 volumes. There are also numerous private and government research institutions throughout the city, including the Hudson Institute, which conducts research on public policy.
The Indianapolis Museum of Art is considered one of the outstanding art museums in the Midwest. Situated in a picturesque park that includes a botanical garden, it is noted for its Chinese and Neoimpressionist collections, as well as the country's most extensive collection of paintings by nineteenth-century British artist J. M. W. Turner (1775–1851). Other noteworthy museums include the Children's Museum (the world's largest children's museum), which provides a multitude of hands-on science exhibits; the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indian and Western Art; the Indiana State Museum, which focuses on the history of the state; a sports museum; and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Hall of Fame Museum.
Since the 1980s, Indianapolis has actively promoted tourism by marketing itself as a center for amateur sporting events, building new sports facilities, and expanding its hotel facilities. In addition to the time-honored Indianapolis 500, held annually at the Indianapolis Speedway, the city has hosted the Pan American Games (1987) and the NCAA Final Four (1991 and 1997).
Downtown Indianapolis has 19 hotels with over 4,000 hotel rooms; the greater metropolitan area has 153 hotels with approximately 20,000 rooms. The major convention center is the Indiana Convention Center & RCA Dome. In 1995 Indianapolis attracted over one million convention delegates.
St. Patrick's Day Parade
Hoosier Horse Fair & Expo
Broad Ripple Art Fair
Indianapolis 500 auto race and the 500 Festival
Middle Eastern Festival
Indy Jazz Fest
Talbott Street Art Fair
Indiana Black Expo
Indiana Avenue Jazz Festival
Indiana State Fair
Brickyard 400 auto race
Heartland Film Festival
Massachusetts Avenue Fall Festival
Penrod Arts Fair
Hoosier Storytelling Festival
Circle City Classic
Celebration of Lights
21. Famous Citizens
Benjamin Harrison (1833–1901), twenty-third president of the United States.
David Letterman (b. 1947), television personality.
Eli Lilly (1885–1977), businessman and philanthropist.
Steve McQueen (1930–80), actor.
Jane Pauley (b. 1950), television news anchor.
James Whitcomb Riley (1849–1916), writer known as "the poet of the common people".
Wilma Rudolph (b. 1940), track star.
Booth Tarkington (1869–1946), novelist and dramatist.
Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. (b. 1922), satirical novelist.
Office of the Mayor. [Online] Available http://www.ci.indianapolis.in.us/mayor. (accessed October 14, 1999).
Official Website of the City of Indianapolis and Marion County, Indiana. [Online] Available http://www.ci.indianapolis.in.us. (accessed October 14, 1999).
200 E. Washington St.
Indianapolis, IN 46204
Indianapolis Planning Division
200 E. Washington St.
Indianapolis, IN 46204
200 E. Washington St.
Indianapolis, IN 46204
Tourist and Convention Bureaus
Indiana Convention Center & RCA Dome
100 S. Capitol Ave.
Indianapolis, IN 46225
Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce
320 N Meridian St. Suite 200
Indianapolis, IN 46204
Indianapolis Convention and
200 S. Capitol Ave. 1 RCA Dome
Indianapolis, IN 46225
Indianapolis Business Journal
41 E. Washington St., Suite 200
Indianapolis, IN 46204
950 N. Meridian St. Suite 1200
Indianapolis, IN 46204
307 N. Pennsylvania St.
Indianapolis, IN 46204
307 N. Pennsylvania St.
Indianapolis, IN 46204
Berry, S. L., and Jolene Phelps Ketzenberger. The Insiders' Guide to Greater Indianapolis. Indianapolis: Insiders' Publishing, 1997.
Bodenhamer, David J., and Robert G. Barrows, ed. The Encyclopedia of Indianapolis. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1994.
Bowers, Claude Gernade. Ed. Holman Hamilton and Gayle Thornbrough. Indianapolis in the "Gay Nineties": High School Diaries of Claude G. Bowers. Indianapolis: Indiana Historical Society, 1964.
Cathcart, Charlotte . Indianapolis from Our Old Corner. Indianapolis: Indiana Historical Society, 1965 .
Goldsmith, Stephen. The Twenty-first Century City: Resurrecting Urban America. Washington, D.C.: Regnery Pub.,1997.
Jones, Darryl. Indianapolis. [photographs]. Text by Howard Caldwell. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1990.
Kriplen, Nancy, and Margaret Winter. Exploring Indianapolis. 3rd. ed. Indianapolis: Lexicon, 1982.
Leary, Ed. Indianapolis: The Story of a City. Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill, 1971.
Easily within driving distance for more than half of the country's population, Indianapolis has set out to make itself an attractive tourist destination by combining diverse cultural opportunities with first-class hotels and fine shopping and dining. Revitalization of the downtown core, where modernized nineteenth-century buildings stand adjacent to futuristic structures, has made Indianapolis an architecturally interesting city.
The street grid, modeled after Washington, D.C., makes the center-city Mile Square a compact and convenient area for walking tours. In Monument Circle the Soldiers' and Sailors' Monument observation platform offers a panoramic view of the city and the surrounding countryside. The Indiana War Memorial Plaza, a five-block downtown mall providing urban green space, contains a 100-foot granite monolith, flags from all 50 states, and a fountain at University Square. The plaza houses the national headquarters of the American Legion; a museum of martial history is located in the Memorial Shrine building.
Indianapolis has turned its attention back toward the city's most prominent natural feature—the White River. Ignored for generations, the river is now the centerpiece of White River State Park, a 250-acre urban greenspace just blocks from the city's commercial heart. The park is home to the Indianapolis Zoo, the White River Gardens, the NCAA Headquarters and Hall of Fame, the Congressional Medal of Honor Memorial, Victory Field, the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indian and Western Art, the new Indiana State Museum (opened in 2002), and Indiana's only IMAX movie theater. Common spaces in the park attract personal events, such as weddings, family reunions, and picnics, to large festivals, concerts, and even conferences. The Lawn, opened in 2003, features a waterfront bandstand and space for 5,000 people.
The Indianapolis Zoo, the first urban zoo to be built in several decades, houses more than 2,000 animals. The zoo is located on 64 acres in the urban White River State Park. The whale and dolphin pavilion presents shows with bottlenose dolphins, beluga whales, and false killer whales. Piranha and giant snakes live in a simulated Amazon forest; the desert conservatory, covered by an acrylic dome, features plant and animal life from the world's arid regions.
Capitol Commons contains the Indiana Statehouse, which houses the governor's office and the General Assembly. Garfield Park, home of Garfield Park Conservatory, features more than 500 examples of tropical flora, rare carnivorous plants, and tropical birds; the park contains formal gardens, fountains and limestone bridges. The Scottish Rite Cathedral, built of Indiana limestone, is the largest Masonic temple in the world; its 54-bell carillon can be heard city wide.
Victorian architecture enthusiasts can visit the well-preserved James Whitcomb Riley Home; built in 1872, it was the residence—during the last 23 years of his life—of the Hoosier dialect poet who created Little Orphan Annie. The President Benjamin Harrison Home is a 16-room Italianate mansion, completed in 1875, where much of the original Harrison family furniture is displayed. The Massachusetts Avenue Historic Fire Station was restored in 1988 as a museum equipped with a children's fire safety laboratory.
Arts and Culture
The Indianapolis Art Center is a not-for-profit community arts organization whose mission is to make art accessible to all residents of Indianapolis. The center consists of the Marilyn K. Glick School of Art, designed by architect Michael Graves and comprising 13 art studios, a 224-seat auditorium, a library, and a gift shop; the Cultural Complex, which features a Fiber Studio and individual artist's studios, as well as the Writers' Center of Indiana; and ARTSPARK, opening in 2005. The 12-acre campus sits on the edge of White River and features a riverfront deck, outdoor stage, and sculpture gardens.
The Indianapolis renaissance is most evident in the city's dedication to the renewal of its cultural life. Artsgarden features an eight-story, 12,500-square-foot glass dome suspended over a downtown intersection. The $12 million Artsgarden is linked by skywalks to the RCA Dome, convention center, hotels, and Circle Centre. The Artsgarden serves as a performance, exhibition, and marketing space for the Indianapolis arts community, hosting 350 events annually. A number of historically significant nineteenth-century buildings have also been refurbished in order to present local arts organizations in the best possible environment.
The Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, founded in 1930, performs year-round in the restored historic Hilbert Circle Theatre and at parks and elsewhere throughout the city and state. Indianapolis Opera presents four full-scale operas per season. The Indianapolis Children's Choir has received international acclaim and has been performing since 1986. The Madame Walker Theatre Center, honoring the country's first female self-made millionaire, houses the Walker Theatre, where "Jazz on the Avenue" concerts are held on Fridays.
Ballet Internationale is a professional resident troupe that performs at Murat Center. Clowes Memorial Hall on the campus of Butler University is home to the Indianapolis Opera and the Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra. Dance Kaleidoscope is the city's contemporary dance troupe.
An active theater community contributes to the city's cultural life. The Indianapolis Civic Theatre, the nation's oldest continuously active civic theater group, performs at Marian Hall Auditorium at Marian College—the groups' interim home while plans are being made to build a new, multi-purpose community theatre facility. The Indiana Repertory Theatre, the state's largest equity theater, presents more than 300 performances annually and is housed in the restored Indiana Theatre. European-style performances are the specialty of American Cabaret Theatre, formerly of New York City. Beef and Boards Dinner Theatre presents Broadway shows, concerts, and dinner. Off-Broadway plays are staged by Phoenix Theatre, presenting 16 shows annually in a restored church in the Chatham Arch Historic District.
The Indianapolis Museum of Art (IMA) is located in a wooded cultural park. The Museum of Art holds the largest American collection of works by the nineteenth-century British landscape artist J. M. W. Turner. The J. W. Holliday Collection of Neo-Impressionist art, an extensive collection of Japanese Edo-period paintings, and the Robert Indiana Love painting, with a matching outdoor sculpture in large rusted letters, round out one of the most impressive collections in the Midwest. In 2003 and 2004, various parts of the museum were closed as part of a $74 million construction project, adding 164,000 square feet to the museum and renovating 90,000 square feet of existing space. A new entry pavilion, as well as new galleries and the new Deer-Zink Events Pavilion, two new restaurants, and an expanded museum shop were part of the expansion. Parts of the new IMA were opened to the public in May 2005 during a grand reopening celebration; remaining galleries will reopen in phases through 2006.
On the grounds of the IMA is the Oldfields-Lilly House & Gardens, featuring an eighteenth-century French-style chateau, formerly the residence of J. K. Lilly Jr. and now open for tours. The Virginia B. Fairbanks Art & Nature Park offers 100 acres of natural, wooded landscape, with paths, waterways, and opportunities for visitors to experience "interaction of art and nature."
The Children's Museum is the world's largest museum of its type and one of the 20 most-visited museums in the country. The 400,000 square foot facility features a variety of hands-on exhibits and touchable scientific experiments as well as a planetarium. Favorite exhibits include an Egyptian mummy, a Victorian carousel, and the largest public collection of toy trains. In "Passport to the World," children learn about foreign cultures through toys from around the world. Each year more than 1.1 million people visit the Children's Museum. The Eli Lilly Center for Exploration at the museum allows children to explore and experiment with current issues. A $50 million renovation was completed in 2004, opening the new Dinosphere exhibit, an immersive dinosaur experience that allows visitors a close-up look at how dinosaurs may have lived.
The award-winning Conner Prairie Pioneer Settlement, a living history museum, presents an authentic recreation of Hoosier life in the 1800s. The Indiana State Museum chronicles the history and culture of the state and features a collection of more than 400,000 artifacts and an IMAX theater. The National Art Museum of Sports is housed in the Indiana University-Purdue University at Indianapolis campus' University Place and contains ancient and modern art depicting sports motifs; 40 sports are represented in 800 paintings, sculptures, and paper works. Other museums in the city are Indiana Medical History Museum, Hook's Discovery & Learning Center, and Indianapolis Motor Speed-way and Hall of Fame Museum.
Festivals and Holidays
Each year Indianapolis presents a host of festivals and fairs that celebrate the city's history, traditions, and ethnic heritage. The most elaborate is the month-long annual 500 Festival in May, which combines events associated with the Indianapolis 500 race as well as other activities, like the Mini Marathon and 5K races, a parade, Mayor's Breakfast, a Kids' Day, and others. The St. Benno Fest in March celebrates the city's German heritage. April holds the Indiana International Film Festival, one of two film festivals in the city. Midwestern artists present their crafts and art work in June at the Talbot Street Art Fair. The Indiana Black Expo Summer Celebration celebrates African American heritage over 10 days in July at the Indiana Convention Center.
Oktoberfest takes place in early September, followed by Penrod Arts Fair, a commemorative celebration of Indianapolis author Booth Tarkington's most famous character, with art exhibits and entertainment at the Indianapolis Museum of Art. A three-day International Festival is held in late October; the Heartland Film Festival in October celebrates independent and theatrically-released films. The Madrigal Dinners ring in the year-end holiday season on the campus of Indiana University-Purdue University at Indianapolis with a grand banquet that recreates the customs, dress, and songs of medieval England. Other festivals and events are hosted throughout the year as part of the universities and museums events schedules; others are held throughout the warmer months as part of the park district's event schedule.
Sports for the Spectator
Best known for the Indianapolis 500 and the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard (formerly the Brickyard 400), Indianapolis made a conscious and successful effort in the 1980s to become an amateur sports capital and a major league city, a distinction that is undisputed today.
Motor sports abound at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, with three major events and a multitude of smaller ones. The Formula One U.S. Grand Prix began there in 2000; the celebrated event happens annually in mid-July. Since 1911, the Indianapolis 500 has fielded international racecar drivers testing their mettle at speeds above 200 miles per hour for 200 laps around the track; the "Indy 500" attracts more than 350,000 spectators and is held each Memorial Day weekend. The Allstate 400 at the Brickyard features NASCAR racing in August.
The 57,890-seat RCA Dome is home to the Indianapolis Colts of the National Football League (NFL). In early 2005, plans were finalized for a new stadium for the Colts, with groundbreaking on construction slated for August. The RCA Dome hosts many athletic events, and will be the site of the National Collegiate Athletic Association's Division I Women's Basketball Championship (Final Four) in 2005 and the Men's Final Four in 2006 and 2010. The RCA Dome also houses the National Track & Field Hall of Fame.
The Indiana Pacers of the National Basketball Association (NBA) moved to the 15-story, $183 million arena, Conseco Fieldhouse, in 1999; the structure blends old-style grace with modern conveniences. The Women's National Basketball Association expansion team, the Indiana Fever, also call Conseco Fieldhouse home. The Indianapolis Ice, a minor-league affiliate of the Chicago Blackhawks, play hockey at the Pepsi Coliseum. Kuntz Stadium, a soccer-only stadium, hosts the Indiana Blast soccer team. Professional tennis takes place at the Indianapolis Tennis Center.
The Triple-A Indianapolis Indians play baseball at Victory Field in White River State Park, an open-air, 13,500-seat stadium.
Sports for the Participant
Indianapolis's commitment to sponsor world-class amateur athletic competition has made available excellent facilities to the public. The Major Taylor Velodrome—named for the first African American to win a world championship in any sport—is a state-of-the-art oval bicycle track with a 28-degree banked concrete surface; it is open to the public from March to October. Joggers can try out the track at the Indiana University Track & Soccer Stadium; the university's natatorium offers public facilities, including swimming pools, weight rooms, and a gymnasium. The Indianapolis Tennis Center makes 24 tennis courts available for public use.
The Indy Parks and Recreation Department maintains more than 10,600 acres of land comprising 173 parks; among them is the 4,395-acre Eagle Creek Park, the country's largest municipally owned and operated park, which features a competition-quality rowing course. The park system includes 26 recreation, family, and nature centers; basketball, tennis, and sand volleyball courts; 13 golf courses; softball and baseball diamonds; football and soccer fields; and 22 swimming pools/aquatic centers. Indy Greenways is a series of paved pathways throughout the city; residents walk, run, bike, and skate on the paths.
Shopping and Dining
Circle Centre Mall, covering two city blocks in the heart of downtown Indianapolis, provides tourists and residents with many shopping, dining, and entertainment options. In addition to anchor stores Nordstrom and Parisian, Circle Centre has more than 100 specialty shops, restaurants, and nightclubs, plus a nine-screen cinema, a virtual-reality theme park, and the Indianapolis Artsgarden. Skywalks link Circle Center to seven hotels, the Indiana Convention Center, the RCA Dome, the Indiana Government Center, and offices, shops, and restaurants. Circle Centre has spurred a development boom in adjacent blocks, including the addition of a Hard Rock Cafe and several upscale restaurants.
The Indianapolis City Market, housed in an imposing nineteenth-century building, opened in 1886. Known for its fresh vegetables and meats, the year-round farmer's market is a favorite spot for downtown workers who lunch at small specialty shops. Broad Ripple Village, known as the "Greenwich Village of Indianapolis," is a renovated neighborhood of antique and other shops, art galleries, and nightclubs; a canal and paved walking trail run through it. Recent years have seen a revitalization of Massachusetts Avenue, a Soho-like downtown area of art galleries, dining establishments, and coffee houses. The Fountain Square neighborhood, which boasts both classic and trendy eateries, 1950s-style diners, dance and jazz clubs, antique shops, and bookstores, also attracts regular patrons and visitors.
Indianapolis enjoys its share of good restaurants serving a variety of ethnic and traditional food, ranging from Nouvelle American cuisine with a Hoosier touch to authentic German and French specialties. Health food restaurants are popular, as are Japanese, Middle Eastern, coffeehouses, Italian, and Mexican. Mystery Cafe gives patrons a chance to dine and solve a "Who Dunnit."
Visitor Information: Indianapolis Convention & Visitors Association, One RCA Dome, Suite 100, Indianapolis, IN 46225; telephone (800)311-INDY
Major Industries and Commercial Activity
Indianapolis is a primary industrial, commercial, and transportation center for the Midwest. Situated in proximity to the vast agricultural region known as the corn belt and to the industrialized cities of the upper Midwest and the East, Indianapolis is supported by a diversified economic base. Prior to the 1980s, the city's principal industry was manufacturing, which has been displaced by retailing and services. Having made a conscious decision to achieve prosperity through sports, Indianapolis quadrupled its tourism trade and doubled its hotel space during the period 1984–1991, largely by hosting amateur sporting events. Since that period, Indianapolis' role in the sports arena has magnified. Each major sporting event pumps tens of millions of dollars into the economy and leads to expanded business opportunities, more jobs, and increasing tax payments to the city. Tourism and conventions, including the hotel industry, are major economic factors.
Top-performing companies based in Indianapolis include Anthem Inc., Conseco Inc., Eli Lilly and Company, Guidant Corp., Duke Realty Corp., Hunt Construction Group, National Wine & Spirits, and Simon Property Group. Major employers include Clarian Health, Dow AgroSciences, Roche Diagnostics, and more than 20 others.
The insurance industry has long been established in Indianapolis; several insurance companies have located their headquarters and regional offices in the city. With the largest stockyards east of Chicago, Indianapolis is also an important meatpacking center.
Items and goods produced: food and allied products, furniture and woodworking, paper and allied products, printing and publishing, chemicals, petroleum and allied products, rubber and plastic products, primary metals, fabricated metal products, machinery, electrical and electronics equipment, transportation equipment, instruments, medical and optical goods, knitted garments, bricks
Incentive Programs—New and Existing Companies
Principal goals of Unigov are stimulation of business growth through a broader distribution of the tax base, streamlined business access to government services, and expansion of city boundaries. The Greater Indianapolis Progress Committee, an independent adjunct of the mayor's office, and the Corporate Community Council facilitate public and private business cooperation.
The City of Indianapolis offers a maximum $20,000 grant for remediation of brownfields in its Brownfields Grant Program. The Facade Grant Program offers rebates of up to 50 percent of total cost (or a maximum of $10,000) for facade improvements. Other programs include the Neighborhood Action Grant, tax abatements for Economic Revitalization Area designation, procurement opportunities, and Community Development Block Grants.
The State of Indiana offers tax credits for businesses expanding in Indiana or newly-operating in Indiana through its Economic Development for a Growing Economy (EDGE) program. Tax Credits are also available through the Enterprise Zone Program. The Skills Enhancement Fund reimburses eligible employee training costs, as does the TECH Fund, GET program, WIN program, and several others. The state grants loans and administers such programs as the Small Business Administration 7A Program, the Indiana Business Modernization and Technology Corporation, the Corporation for Innovation Development, and the Indiana Corporation for Science and Technology (research and development grants).
Job training programs
Indianapolis Private Industry Council Inc. provides job services through seven WorkOne centers throughout the city; it also contracts out federal Workforce Investment Act youth programs and assists businesses with hiring and training programs. IMPACT, Indiana's Welfare-to-Work program, assists in training and skills. JobWorks provides assistance to area businesses and job-seekers throughout Northeastern Indiana.
Indianapolis is in the midst of a cultural and quality-of-life resurgence that shows no signs of slowing. In 1999 White River Gardens, a $15 million "sister institution" to the Indianapolis Zoo, opened its 3.3 acres of botanical and water gardens and a five story conservatory. Also that year the $35.7 million Indiana Historical Society headquarters opened downtown, as did the Conseco Fieldhouse, a 750,000 square foot stadium seating 18,500.
In 2000 the Adam's Mark Hotel & Suites opened in a converted building near the state capitol, with 332 luxury suites and guest rooms at a price tag of $50 million. The Indiana Convention Center and RCA Dome added 100,000 square feet of exhibit space, placing the center among the top 25 in the country. At $45 million, the expansion was completed in 2001 and also added new meeting space, a new entrance, pre-function space, and a skywalk linking the center to the new Indianapolis Marriott Downtown (opened the same year).
In 2002 the Indiana State Museum opened a new 270,000 square foot, $105 million building constructed entirely of materials found in Indiana, including sandstone, limestone, steel, brick, and glass. New facilities at the White River State Park were completed in 2003 with a new park entrance, visitor center, and children's play area. That same year ground was broken for a new terminal at the Indianapolis International Airport, slated for completion in 2008. The Children's Museum of Indianapolis opened its new $25 million permanent exhibit, Dinosphere, in 2004; it is the largest exhibit of dinosaur fossils in the nation. Also in 2004 the Indianapolis Museum of Contemporary Art (iMOCA) opened downtown. The Conrad Hotel, the city's first five-star hotel, is under construction and expected to be completed in 2006.
In April 2005 a $900 million financing bill was passed for the creation of a new, multi-purpose stadium and expanded convention center; groundbreaking was expected to begin in the summer of 2005, with a completion date slated for September of 2010. The new facility would more than double the current convention center's space; while the current center just underwent its third expansion since its opening, feasibility studies concluded that still more space is needed. When complete, the project will provide the city with 733,700 square feet of exhibit space, including 583,700 square feet of exhibit space in the convention center, plus 150,000 in the connected multi-purpose stadium.
Economic Development Information: Division of Planning, City of Indianapolis, 200 East Washington St., Suite 1802, Indianapolis, IN 46204; telephone (317)327-5112
Indianapolis is a major transportation and distribution hub for the Midwest. As the most centrally located of the largest 100 cities in the United States, Indianapolis is within 650 miles of 55 percent of all Americans, or more than 50 million households. The city is served by four interstate highways, six railroads, an international airport, and a foreign trade zone. Three ports serve the entire state and are all within a three hour drive of Indianapolis.
The hub of an extensive rail network, Indianapolis has a total of 26 rail corridors in operation, and five key freight facilities. CSX and Norfolk Southern are the two Class 1 operations, and the four shortlines consist of Indiana Railroad Co., Indiana Southern, Louisville & Indiana Rail, and Central Railroad of Indiana.
Labor Force and Employment Outlook
Indianapolis employers draw from a workforce of about one million skilled and educated regional workers; the region boasts a higher than national average worker productivity rate. The economic diversity of the region contributes to its success, as does its attractiveness to companies due to the transportation infrastructure, skilled workforce, business incentives, and quality of life.
With central Indiana becoming less dependent on the automobile industry, manufacturing continues to be the strongest economic sector in Indianapolis. In the third quarter of 2004, Indianapolis manufacturing firms employed just over 13 percent of the labor force. Health care industries supported just over 12 percent of the area's jobs, with retail and accommodation and food service following, with 11.5 percent and 9 percent of the area's jobs, respectively.
The developers of the new convention center project (PricewaterhouseCoopers) estimate that the city could benefit by an additional 18-23 major conventions and trade shows annually as well as 4-5 additional consumer shows annually, generating an additional $165 million as well as creating about 2,700 new jobs.
The multitude of downtown development projects added, and continue to add, jobs in the area as well as to generate billions of dollars to the local economy. Indianapolis continues to attract high-profile companies, who headquarter or set up shop in the city.
The following is a summary of data regarding the Indianapolis metropolitan area labor force, 2004 annual average:
Size of non-agricultural labor force: 878,700
Number of workers employed in . . .
construction and mining: 51,900
trade, transportation and utilities: 188,700
financial activities: 63,500
professional and business services: 118,100
educational and health services: 106,100
leisure and hospitality: 84,800
other services: 34,400
Average hourly earnings of production workers employed in manufacturing: $21.48
Unemployment rate: 5.7% (March 2005)
|Largest corporate employers||Number of employees|
|Eli Lilly and Company||14,089|
|Indiana University-Purdue University at Indiana||7,066|
|Allison Transmission/Division of GMC||4,000|
Cost of Living
State taxes are consistently rated among the lowest in the country in terms of total state and local tax collections per capita. Utility costs are also relatively low. Overall cost of living consistently ranks at or below the national average.
The following is a summary of data regarding several key cost of living factors in the Indianapolis area.
2004 ACCRA (3rd Quarter) Cost of Living Index: 100.4 (U.S. average = 100.0)
2004 ACCRA (3rd Quarter) Average House Price: $241,667 (Hamilton County)
State income tax rate: 3.4% of adjusted gross income
State sales tax rate: 6.0%
Local income tax rate: 0.7%
Local sales tax rate: 1.0%
Property tax rate: 1.53 per $100 assessed valuation
Economic Information: Greater Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce, 111 Monument Circle, Suite 1950, Indianapolis, IN 46204; telephone (317)464-2200; fax (317)464-2217
Site Chosen for Central Location
The city of Indianapolis was established not by settlers but by proclamation when Indiana was granted statehood in 1816. The United States Congress set aside four sections of public land for the site of the capital of the Union's nineteenth state. In January 1820, the Indiana legislature picked 10 commissioners and charged them with the mandate to locate the new capital as near as possible to the center of the state, the purpose being to take advantage of western migration. The following February, George Pogue and John McCormick settled with their families on land that was to become the site of Indianapolis. Other settlers soon arrived and by the summer of 1820 a dozen families had built cabins along the riverbank in a settlement named Fall Creek. In June 1820, the commissioners selected for the capital a location that was close to the exact center of the state; on that spot was the cabin of John McCormick.
After the legislature approved the site in 1821, the name Indianapolis, a combination of Indiana plus the Greek word polis for city, was chosen. Four square miles were allotted for the city, but the chief surveyor, E. P. Fordham, plotted an area of only one square mile because it seemed inconceivable that the capital would ever be any larger. Alexander Ralston, who previously had helped plot the District of Columbia, was hired to design the future city. He decided to model it on the nation's capital, with four broad avenues branching out diagonally to the north, south, east and west from a central circle.
In 1821 Indianapolis became the county seat of the newly configured Marion County, and four years later, when the state legislature met for the first time, Indianapolis boasted one street and a population of 600 people. By the time the town was incorporated in 1832 the population had reached only 1,000 people. Growth was slow because Indianapolis—which now holds the distinction of being one of the world's most populous cities not situated near navigable waters—lay on the banks of the White River, which was too shallow for commerce.
Road/Rail Transport Create a Regional Center
The construction of the Central Canal from Broad Ripple to Indianapolis seemed to solve the problem temporarily, but the canal turned out to be useless when water volume decreased. The routing of the national highway through the center of Indianapolis in 1831 provided a more permanent solution, fulfilling the original purpose of the city's location. In 1847, the year Indianapolis was incorporated as a city, the Madison & Indianapolis Railroad arrived, soon to be followed by seven additional major rail lines, which gave the city access to the Ohio River.
On the eve of the Civil War the population, aided by an influx of German immigrants, had increased to 18,611 people; the city now provided modern services and supported a stable, manufacturing-based economy. With 24 army camps and a large ammunition plant, Indianapolis became a major wartime center for Union campaigns on the western front. Progress continued into the postwar period only to be set back by the inflationary recession of 1873. During the last two decades of the nineteenth century, Indianapolis experienced a period of growth known as the "golden age." It became, in 1881, one of the first American cities to install electric street lighting. Many downtown landmarks were erected in an explosion of public architecture that helped establish the city's identity. A new market, a new statehouse, and Union Station were completed in the late 1880s. The neglected Circle Park had deteriorated and was revived when the Soldiers' and Sailors' Monument was constructed in honor of the people who served in the Civil War. During this period, wealthy citizens built palatial Victorian homes on North Meridian Street, and as the result of the growth of new neighborhoods and suburbs along tree-lined avenues, Indianapolis became known as the "city of homes."
At the turn of the century, Indianapolis was a leader in the burgeoning automobile industry. Local inventor Charles H. Black is credited with building in 1891 the first internal combustion gasoline engine automobile, which eventually proved to be impractical because its ignition required a kerosene torch. Sixty-five different kinds of automobiles were in production before World War I, including Stutz, Coasts, Duesenberg, and Cole. Other Indianapolis industrialists originated many innovations and improvements in automotive manufacturing, including four-wheel brakes and the six-cylinder engine.
Sporting Events Attract International Attention
The most significant development was the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, a 2.5-mile oval track, which was inaugurated in 1911 when an Indianapolis-made car named the Marmon won the first race. The Indianapolis 500, held on Memorial Day weekend each year, has since become one of the premier international sporting events, drawing world-wide attention. Indianapolis was a major industrial center by 1920, with a population of more than 300,000 people, yet retained much of its small-town ambience.
A pivotal event in the total transformation of Indianapolis from a manufacturing to a sporting town occurred in 1969, when a change in federal tax laws required charitable foundations to spend more money. The Lilly Endowment, a local foundation based on the Eli Lilly drug fortune decided to concentrate on Indianapolis. The result was a massive capital infusion promoting sport business in the city and leading to the conversion of the city's convention center into a 61,000-seat football stadium.
In 1970 the creation of UniGov combined city government with Marion County government, immediately making Indianapolis the eleventh largest city in the nation. The city made dramatic strides in its national reputation through initiatives implemented by the UniGov structure. Indianapolis renovated its core historical structures, built new sports facilities, and invested in the arts and entertainment. The city positioned itself as an international amateur sports capital when, in 1987, it invested in athletic facilities and hosted both the World Indoor Track and Field Championships and the Pan American Games, second in importance only to the summer Olympics.
Indianapolis 2000 . . .
In January 2000 Bart Peterson, a Democrat, took office as mayor of Indianapolis. During his 1999 campaign for mayor, Peterson introduced "The Peterson Plan," a bold and detailed vision for Indianapolis in the new millennium. He focused on fighting crime more aggressively, improving public education in Marion County, and delivering better services to neighborhoods. In his first month as mayor, Mayor Peterson convened the nation's first citywide summit on race relations, bringing people together to discuss ways to bridge the gaps that sometimes exist between people of different races, religions and backgrounds. He also appointed the most diverse administration in the city's 180-year history.
. . . and Today
Indianapolis today is a cosmopolitan blend of arts, education, culture, and sports; a city with plenty of vision for its future. Building on momentum gained in the last decade of the twentieth century, the city is in the midst of a cultural and quality-of-life resurgence. World-class sports, a diverse economy, and the presence of healthy and successful businesses round out the story of Indianapolis in the twenty-first century.
Historical Information: Indiana State Library, 140 N. Senate Ave., Indianapolis, IN 46204-2296; telephone (317)232-3675. Indiana Historical Society, Willard Henry Smith Memorial Library, 315 W. Ohio St. Indianapolis, IN 46202-3299; telephone (317)232-1879; fax (317)233-3109
Indianapolis: Education and Research
Indianapolis: Education and Research
Elementary and Secondary Schools
Indiana's public school standards were retooled in 2000 after an education group criticized the state for not challenging its youth. The standards are applied in Indianapolis by the Indianapolis Public Schools (IPS) system, the largest district in the state. A nonpartisan, seven-member school board appoints a superintendent. IPS offers vocational education and alternative school programs; magnet/option programs include athletic careers, business and finance, communications arts, performing and visual arts, foreign language, and 12 others.
The following is a summary of data regarding the Indianapolis public schools as of the 2004–2005 school year.
Total enrollment: 39,115
Number of facilities
elementary schools: 49
junior high schools: 13
senior high schools: 5
other: 12 (including 8 mixed-grade schools and 4 alternative schools)
Student/teacher ratio: K-5, 20:1; 6-8, 22:1, 9-12, 23:1
Funding per pupil: $11,913 (2003-2004)
More than 120 other schools, including preschools, alternative centers, religious schools, academies, Montessori-based schools, academies, and others operate within Indianapolis.
Public Schools Information: Indianapolis Public Schools, 120 East Walnut Street, Indianapolis, IN 46204; telephone (317)226-4000
Colleges and Universities
Several public and private institutions of higher learning are located in Indianapolis. Affiliated with the two major state universities is Indiana University-Purdue University at Indianapolis; more than 29,000 students are enrolled in associate, baccalaureate, master's, and doctorate programs. Of the 18 programs and 185 majors offered, areas of specialization include art, engineering technologies, dentistry, law, medical technology, nursing, occupational therapy, and social work. Butler University and the University of Indianapolis, both private institutions, award undergraduate and graduate degrees in such fields as music, pharmacy, nursing, education, and physical therapy.
Among the colleges and technical schools in the Indianapolis metropolitan region are Marian College, offering a liberal arts curriculum, and Indiana Vocational Technical College (Ivy Tech), one of a network of 23 state training and education centers.
Libraries and Research Centers
In addition to its main branch downtown, the Indianapolis-Marion County Public Library operates 22 branches throughout the city. The library, with holdings of more than 1.9 million volumes, has an annual circulation of more than seven million items and maintains special collections of first editions of Indiana authors, early textbooks, and the poetry of James Whitcomb Riley, and is a U.S. document depository. In 2005 the central library existed in an interim home while undergoing expansion and renovation to the original library to bring it to 293,000 square feet of total space. The new central library, once completed in 2006, will include a 350-seat auditorium, a four-story glass atrium, a 400-space underground parking facility, and an Indianapolis Special Collections Room, among other features.
The Indiana State Library, also located downtown, houses more than 2 million printed items plus millions of manuscripts, photographs, microfilms, and federal and state documents. Special collections include the Indiana Academy of Science Library; an Indiana Collection; a large assortment of books on tape, Braille and large print books;. and a Manuscript Section housing almost three million items including war letters and eighteenth century fur traders' papers. The Indiana Historical Society Library specializes in the Civil War, early North American travel accounts, and the history of Indiana and the Northwest Territory.
The University Library at Indiana University-Purdue University at Indianapolis (IUPUI) houses more than 650,000 volumes and more than 4,000 periodical subscriptions; other libraries within the IUPUI system include the Herron School of Art Library, the Ruth Lilly Medical Library, the School of Dentistry Library, and the Ruth Lilly Law Library. Holdings in all the IUPUI libraries combined total more than 2.5 million items. Butler University's holdings include a music and fine arts collection.
Indianapolis is home to a variety of special libraries and research centers, many of them related to the universities. Among them is the Hudson Institute, the internationally renowned policy research organization. State agencies, such as the Indiana Department of Commerce, the Indiana Department of Education, and the Indiana Department of Environmental Management also operate libraries. Other specialized libraries are affiliated with law firms, hospitals, newspapers, publishing houses, museums, and churches and synagogues. Of unique interest are the Indianapolis Zoo Library and the Children's Museum of Indianapolis Library. Research is conducted at centers administered by or affiliated with Indiana University-Purdue University at Indianapolis, researching topics such as aging, the environment, biology, medicine, law, economics, and many others. Butler University research programs are conducted on a wide variety of topics.
Public Library Information: Indianapolis-Marion County Public Library, PO Box 211, Indianapolis, IN 46206; telephone (317)269-1700
INDIANAPOLIS , U.S. city in central Indiana. In the late 1960s the population of Indianapolis was over 600,000 and the Jewish community numbered about 10,000 (1968). The Jewish community, concentrated in the north-central area, was served by five synagogues. The Jewish population has remained surprisingly stable compared with the growth of the city, which now numbers 1,200,000.
The first-known Jewish settlers in Indianapolis were Moses Woolf, Alexander and Daniel Franco, who emigrated from London about 1850. The first congregation, which became the Indianapolis Hebrew Congregation, was founded in 1856, under Rabbi M. Berman. Funds from the Christian community helped equip the first synagogue, completed in 1868. Frederich Kneffler rose to the rank of major general, and is believed to have been the highest-ranking Jewish officer in the Civil War.
Indianapolis Hebrew Congregation (Reform), now one of the largest synagogues in the state, was the earliest congregation in Indianapolis, founded in 1856. Other synagogues of early Indianapolis history were formed by nationality groups: Shaare Tefila (about 1882), the "Polish Shul"; Knesses Israel (about 1883), the "Russian Shul"; and Ohev Zedeck (1884), the "Hungarian Shul." The United Hebrew Congregation was organized in 1904; Ezras Achim, the "Peddlers Shul," in 1910; the Central Hebrew Congregation in 1920; and Beth-El in 1921. In 1927, Beth-El, the Conservative congregation, merged with Ohev Zedeck to form Beth-El Zedeck (Reconstructionist / Conservative), one of the two largest synagogues in the state (*Milton Steinberg was its first rabbi). There are two Orthodox Congregations; Etz Chaim (Sephardic) and B'nai Torah, and Shaarey Tefilla (Conservative). Among the early leaders of the Indianapolis Jewish community were Rabbi Isaac Eli Neustadt, who founded the Jewish Educational Association (now the Bureau of Jewish Education) in 1910; Rabbi Morris Feuerlicht, who served the Indianapolis Hebrew Congregation from 1904 to 1946; and G.A. Efroymson, the first president of the Jewish Federation of Greater Indianapolis (formed 1905 under the name Jewish Federation of Indianapolis), one of the first such organizations in an intermediate-sized U.S. city. Gustave Efroymson not only served during the Federation's formative years (1905–1913), he guided the Indianapolis Jewish Community through the difficult years of the rise of the Ku Klux Klan and the Great Depression, serving as Federation president, once again, from 1919 to 1934.
The Indianapolis Jewish community is served through 5 constituent agencies of the Jewish Federation: the Jewish Community Center; the Jewish Community Relations Council; the Bureau of Jewish Education; Hooverwood, a nursing home facility and Park Regency, an apartment complex for independent elderly. The Jacobs Home provides group living for developmentally challenged adults, and the Albert & Sara Reuben Elder Source program provides a wide range of services for older adults.
Jewish education is maintained by the Bureau of Jewish Education, the Hasten Hebrew Academy (a day school providing elementary and middle school education) and congregational religious schools. Hebrew language is taught in 2 suburban public high schools.
Most Federation agencies and Federation offices are housed on the Max and Mae Simon Jewish Community Campus, developed in 1997. The 38-acre campus is considered one of the outstanding Jewish campuses in the United States.
Indianapolis Jews exert a great deal of influence in civic, humanitarian, and cultural affairs in the city. The Indianapolis Symphony was founded by prominent Jews, and Jews continue to have leadership roles with the orchestra which had its origins at Kirshbaum Center, the Jewish Community Center of its time. Jews have been in the forefront of leadership of the Indianapolis Museum of Art, the Children's Museum of Indianapolis, the Indianapolis Art Center, the Eiteljorg Museum of Western Art, the Indianapolis Opera and Ballet International.
In the past, Jews made their living primarily in retail, wholesale and service businesses, but today, more are in communications, property development, and the medical and legal professions.
Rabbis Dennis and Sandy Sasso of Congregation Beth-El Zedeck are the first married rabbinic couple in history. Rabbi Sandy Sasso was the first woman to be ordained by the Recontructionist movement. The Sassos have served as senior rabbis at Beth-El Zedeck since 1977.
The Jewish Federation receives excellent support from the community, enabling its agencies to provide a wide range of human services for every age. The Federation is proud of the fact that per capita giving to its annual campaign exceeds that of any Jewish community of any city in the country with a population of 10,000 or more. The Gene B. and Marilyn Glick and Jewish Federation Joint Endowment Fund for the Far Future will allow the Federation to meet changing needs when the fund reaches its fruition, when it is projected to reach $100,000,000. In addition, during 2005, the Federation's Centennial year, under the leadership of Charles A. Cohen, chair of the Endowment Initiative, the Federation achieved the goal of increasing its endowment fund by $50,000,000.
[Sidney Steiman /
Carolyn Leeds (2nd ed.)]
INDIANAPOLIS ranked as the twelfth largest city in the United States in 2000. The Indiana legislature selected the area as the state's capital in 1821 due to its central location, but the city remained a small and commercially insignificant town until the 1840s because of its inaccessibility. In 1847, railroads linked the city to national markets, attracting businesses and residents. From that time through the 1970s, Indianapolis served as a manufacturing and agribusiness hub for the Midwest. The "Rust Belt" phenomenon, and particularly the recession of 1979–1982, effected changes in the national economy that forced many of the city's largest employers to eventually close or move elsewhere, resulting in a blighted and
depressed inner city. Revitalization efforts focusing on sports and attracting high technology and science-related industry slowly reversed the blight and transformed the city into a model for urban renewal. Circle Centre Mall, the Canal Walk, and the placement of several museums and other venues in an education corridor continued the beautification of downtown after 1990.
Since the early 1970s, the city's leaders have endeavored to link the Circle City with sports, creating the Indiana Sports Corporation to coordinate efforts to bring competitive events to the city, spending more than $400 million between 1979 and 2001 for sporting venues and related structures with the help of private organizations, and eagerly seeking to host professional sports teams. Indianapolis remains best known for automobile racing and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, with the Indianapolis 500, the Brickyard 400, and the U.S. Grand Prix—the highest attended events for each racing series. Approximately 2 million visitors per year travel to Indianapolis for the various sporting events and conventions, making tourism a major factor in the city's economy.
The revitalization efforts of the 1970s and 1980s may not have been possible without a consolidated city-county government with a strong mayor and city-county council at its center. Most city and county offices were consolidated and placed under the authority of a mayoral appointee in 1969, in what is popularly known as Unigov. The borders of the city of Indianapolis became contiguous with those of Marion County, expanding the size of the city to 361 square miles.
Major employers in Indianapolis in the early twenty-first century include government, hospitals, pharmaceutical companies, grocery outlets, universities, and manufacturing. As of 2002, the three largest employers were Clarion Health, Eli Lilly and Company, and Marsh Supermarkets. The 2000 U.S. Census revealed that Indianapolis's population stood at 860,454 (70.2 percent non-Hispanic, white; 24.8 percent African American; 3.9 percent Hispanic; 1.3 percent Asian; and 0.6 percent Native American).
Bodenhamer, David J., and Robert G. Barrows, eds. The Encyclopedia of Indianapolis. Bloomington and Indianapolis: Indiana University Press, 1994.
Bodenhamer, David J., Lamont Hulse, and Elizabeth B. Monroe. The Main Stem: The History and Architecture of North Meridian Street. Indianapolis: Historic Landmarks Foundation of Indiana, 1992.
Taylor, Rich. Indy: Seventy-Five Years of Racing's Greatest Spectacle. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1991.
See alsoCapitals .
Indianapolis: Population Profile
Indianapolis: Population Profile
Metropolitan Area Residents
Percent change, 1990–2000: 16.4%
U.S. rank in 1980: 30th
U.S. rank in 1990: Not reported
U.S. rank in 2000: 29th
2003 estimate: 783,438
Percent change, 1990–2000: 6.9%
U.S. rank in 1980: 12th
U.S. rank in 1990: 13th
U.S. rank in 2000: 17th (State rank: 1st)
Density: 2,163 people per square mile (2000)
Racial and ethnic characteristics (2000)
Black or African American: 199,412
American Indian and Alaska Native: 1,985
Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander: 322
Hispanic or Latino (may be of any race): 30,636
Percent of residents born in state: 67.5% (2000)
Age characteristics (2000)
Population under 5 years old: 57,523
Population 5 to 9 years old: 57,020
Population 10 to 14 years old: 54,675
Population 15 to 19 years old: 52,446
Population 20 to 24 years old: 58,365
Population 25 to 34 years old: 129,409
Population 35 to 44 years old: 127,782
Population 45 to 54 years old: 99,336
Population 55 to 59 years old: 32,613
Population 60 to 64 years old: 26,843
Population 65 to 74 years old: 45,358
Population 75 to 84 years old: 30,168
Population 85 years and older: 10,332
Median age: 33.5 years
Births (2002, Marion County) Total number: 14,540
Deaths (2002, Marion County) Total number: 7,487
Money income (1999)
Per capita income: $21,640
Median household income: $40,051
Total households: 320,518
Number of households with income of . . .
less than $10,000: 28,240
$10,000 to $14,999: 20,046
$15,000 to $24,999: 44,902
$25,000 to $34,999: 45,676
$35,000 to $49,999: 56,718
$50,000 to $74,999: 63,369
$75,000 to $99,999: 30,508
$100,000 to $149,999: 20,506
$150,000 to $199,999: 5,034
$200,000 or more: 5,519
Percent of families below poverty level: 9.1% (40.6% of which were female householder families with related children under 5 years)
2002 FBI Crime Index Total: Not reported
Indianapolis: Geography and Climate
Indianapolis: Population Profile
Indianapolis: Municipal Government
Indianapolis: Education and Research
Indianapolis: Health Care
Indianapolis: Convention Facilities
The City in Brief
Founded: 1821 (incorporated, 1847)
Head Official: Mayor Bart Peterson (D) (since January 2000)
2003 estimate: 783,438
Percent change, 1990–2000: 6.9%
U.S. rank in 1980: 12th
U.S. rank in 1990: 13th
U.S. rank in 2000: 17th (State rank: 1st)
Metropolitan Area Population
Percent change, 1990–2000: 16.4%
U.S. rank in 1980: 30th
U.S. rank in 1990: Not reported
U.S. rank in 2000: 29th
Area: 361 square miles (2000)
Elevation: Ranges from 645 to 910 feet above sea level
Average Annual Temperature: 52.1° F
Average Annual Precipitation: 40 inches of rain, 23 inches of snow
Major Economic Sectors: Trade, services, manufacturing
Unemployment Rate: 5.7% (March 2005)
Per Capita Income: $21,640 (1999)
2002 FBI Crime Index Total: Not reported
Major Colleges and Universities: Indiana University-Purdue University at Indianapolis; Butler University; University of Indianapolis; Ivy-Tech; Marian College
Daily Newspaper: The Indianapolis Star
Newspapers and Magazines
The major daily newspaper in Indianapolis is the morning The Indianapolis Star. The Indianapolis Business Journal, the Indianapolis Recorder, a newspaper with an African American focus, and several neighborhood and suburban newspapers are published weekly. Indianapolis Monthly is a magazine featuring articles on local and state topics.
A number of magazines and special-interest journals are published in the city. Among the nationally-known magazines are The Saturday Evening Post, Jack and Jill, and Humpty Dumpty's Magazine. Quill, a magazine for journalists and journalism students, is published nine times per year. Topics covered by other Indianapolis-based publications include art, religion, medicine, nursing, law, education, pets, and gymnastics.
Television and Radio
Ten television and four cable stations broadcast from Indianapolis. The city is served by 6 AM and 12 FM radio stations providing a variety of formats such as classical, jazz, public radio, adult contemporary, country, and talk.
Media Information: The Indianapolis Star, 307 North Pennsylvania Street, Indianapolis, IN 46204; telephone (317)444-4000; toll-free (800)669-7827
City of Indianapolis and Marion County home page. Available www.indygov.org/home.htm
Greater Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce. Available www.indychamber.com
Indiana Historical Society. Available www.indianahistory.org
Indiana State Library. Available www.statelib.lib.in.us
Indianapolis Downtown. Available www.indydt.com
The Indianapolis Star. Available www.indystar.com
Indy Partnership Regional Economic Development Corporation. Available www.iedc.com
IndyGov Visitors Center home page. Available www.indygov.org/Visiting/home.htm
Berry, S.L. Indianapolis. (Minneapolis, MN: Dillon Press, 1990)
Nye, Charlie, and Joe Young, eds. Hoosier Century: 100 Years of Photography from the Indianapolis Star and News. (Sports Publishing, Inc., 1999)