In April of this year, 2021, we still had some airline vouchers we had to use and decided to spend a 3 day weekend exploring Indianapolis. One of the main things Gene wanted to see and do of course was the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Fortunately, we got to see that as well as the Indiana State Capitol building (aka the Statehouse) and the Canal Walk. It is a beautiful Capitol full of history.
Happily they were giving live tours again and we made it there a few minutes before the tour started to walk around and take a few pictures. It was very quiet in the building as they weren’t in session during our visit. I know it wasn’t even filmed in Indiana, but I couldn’t help but expect to see someone from the cast of Parks and Recreation walking around. I know, I am strange, lol
What wasn’t strange, lol, was that the Capitol houses the Indiana General Assembly, the office of the Governor, the Supreme Court, and other state officials. One thing we did learn during our tour was that the current Indiana State Capitol – statehouse – is actually the fourth building to house their state government. The first statehouse is actually in Corydon, Indiana but is now used as a state historic site.
The second building was demolished after the General Assembly approved the construction of a new Capitol building in 1831. Modeled on Parthenon, the third building was condemned because of structural defects and was razed in 1877. However, this is the same lot where the current Capitol now resides. Construction of the current Capitol began when the cornerstone was laid on September 28, 1880. It was extensively renovated in 1988 and still looks beautiful.
The building is designed in the shape of a cross with four wings connected by the large rotunda. I didn’t realize it was designed like a cross, but it has a glass-domed ceiling which was so beautiful. I’ve always loved glasswork and kept looking at it while we were touring the building. I also loved the Indiana-sourced oak and limestone located throughout the Capitol.
Besides the rotunda and the four wings, there are also four stories of the building. The first floor houses the offices of the executive offices of the administration. On the 2nd floor are also the offices of the House of Representatives and Senate. At the Indiana State Capitol building, the House is on the East side of the 2nd floor and the Senate is on the Westside.
One other thing I enjoyed seeing is on the 3rd floor of the Capitol is the 70 seventy thousand volume Supreme Court Law Library. However, the thing that I always enjoy seeing is the House of Representative Chambers and Senate Chambers which are also located on the 3rd floor. I love seeing how each one is as unique as each state capitol building. The 4th floor is mostly consumed by the Indiana Court of Appeals, courtroom, the offices of nice of the fifteen judges on the Court, other executive offices, and storage space.
After the tour, we took some time walking around some of the places that we didn’t really get to explore during the tour, as well as reading some of the articles, taking pictures of some of the statues, etc located around the building. We also looked for Liberty Bell but couldn’t find it. I was later told that is located inside the Indiana War Memorial and Museum. Sadly we didn’t think or ask about it until after we returned home or we would have gone and seen it. I hope we can see it on another visit to the area.
If you have time, make sure to check out the grounds of the Indiana State Capitol as they are beautiful too. There are a lot of statues and artwork to see while walking around. There are too many to list here, but I have attached a Wikipedia link with a list of them. I do want to talk about one specifically though, the Oliver P. Morton memorial. It is composed of three bronze statues and two bronze reliefs, one plaque on the front, and two plaques on the rear, also of bronze. For those of you like me who wondered who Morton was, he served as Governor of Indiana from January 18, 1861, to March 4, 1867. Wonderful memorial to check out before or after your tour.
We both are very happy that we got to visit our 32? state capitol building. I hope you get a chance to visit one day if you haven’t been. Here is a link to their website if you are planning a visit to the area and want more information. Happy travels.
Indiana State Capitol Visitor Information
200 W. Washington St. Indianapolis, IN 46204
Monday – Friday | 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Saturday | 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. (Enter through lower west entrance)
Sunday | Closed
Monday – Friday | 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Saturday | 10:15 a.m. | 11:00 a.m. | 12:00 p.m. | 1:00 p.m. (Enter through lower west entrance)
Washington Street Parking Garage
Located at the corner of Washington Street and West Street
The Washington Street Parking Garage entrance is on the east side of the building, accessible via Missouri Street. Public parking is available as space permits; during the legislative session, public parking is available in the Washington Street Garage only on evenings and weekends. State employees who are not assigned to a work station in Indiana Government Center will not be able to sign in during normal business hours while the legislature is in session.
Senate Avenue Parking Garage
Located between New York Street and Ohio Street
The Senate Avenue Parking Garage has entrances on New York and Senate Avenue. To accommodate increased employee parking needs during the legislative session, public parking is suspended in Senate Avenue Garage while the legislature is in session. State employees who are not assigned to a work station in Indiana Government Center will not be able to sign in during the legislative session.
Surface Lot Parking
The North Capitol Surface Lot is located at 249 West New York Street and is accessible from New York Street and Capitol Avenue.
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