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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Location in the state of Indiana
Coordinates 39°46'5.88?N, 86°9'29.52?W
Mayor Bart Peterson (D)
City 953.5 km² (368.1 sq mi)
Land 936.2 km² (361.5 sq mi)
Water 17.3 km² (6.7 sq mi)
City (2000) 791,926
Density 835.1/km² (2,162.9/sq mi)
Elevation 218 m (715 ft)
Summer (DST) EST (UTC-5)
Indianapolis is the capital of the U.S. state of Indiana, and the county seat of Marion County. According to the 2000 Census, its population is 791,926, making it Indiana's most populous city and the 12th largest city in the U.S. The U.S. Census July 1, 2004 estimate for the Consolidated City of Indianapolis is 794,160 and a metropolitan area population of 1,595,377. The larger combined statistical area (an agglomeration called the Nine-County Region) has a population approaching 2 million residents (1,939,349). Indianapolis is the third largest city in the midwest after Chicago and Detroit and is one of only three major cities in the midwest which had a growth rate above 5%. As of 2004, Marion County's population is 863,596, and in 2006, the city was voted tenth of two hundred Best U.S. Metropolitan Areas for Business and Careers by Forbes Magazine.
Jeremiah Sullivan, a judge of the Indiana Supreme Court, invented the name Indianapolis by joining Indiana with polis, the Greek word for city.
1.1 Transportation Hub
1.2 Economic and Political Development
1.2.1 Racial Relations
2 Geography and climate
4.1 Law Enforcement
5.1 Higher education
5.2 Primary and secondary education
6 Cultural features
6.1 Cultural Districts
6.1.1 Monument Circle
6.1.2 War Memorial Plaza
6.1.3 Broad Ripple Village
6.1.4 Massachusetts Avenue
6.1.5 Fountain Square
6.1.6 Wholesale District
6.1.7 Canal and White River State Park
6.1.8 Indiana Avenue
6.2.1 Ethnic and Cultural Heritage Festivals
6.3.1 The Indianapolis Motor Speedway
6.5 Other Points of interest
6.6 Local media
8 Other facts
9 Indianapolis in Popular Media
Indianapolis was founded as the state capital in 1821 by an act of the Indiana General Assembly. Prior to its official founding, Indianapolis was a sparsely settled swampy area. The first European American settler is generally believed to be George Pogue, who on March 2, 1819, settled in a double log cabin along the White River in what is now White River State Park in downtown Indianapolis. The state commissioned Alexander Ralston to design the new capital city. Ralston was an apprentice to the French architect Pierre L'Enfant, and he helped L'Enfant plan Washington, DC. Ralston's original plan for Indianapolis called for a city of only 1 square mile. Under Ralston's plan, at the center of the city was placed the Governor's Circle, a large circular commons, which was to be the site of the Governor's mansion. It was used as a market commons for over six years. Although an expensive Governor's mansion was finally constructed in 1827, no Governor ever lived in the house at Governor's Circle, as the site in the city center lacked any privacy. The Governor's mansion was finally demolished in 1857. (See History of Indianapolis and Marion County Indiana by B.R. Sulgrove, 1884). Later, Governor's Circle became Monument Circle after the impressive 284 feet (86.5 m)tall neoclassical limestone and bronze State Soldiers' and Sailors' Monument, designed by German architect Bruno Schmitz, was completed on the site in 1901.
While the city lies on the old east-west National Road, the portion of that road that crosses Indiana was not completed until a decade after the city's founding. Indianapolis was founded on the White River under the incorrect assumption that the river would serve as a major transportation artery; however, the waterway was too sandy for trade. Through the mid-1800s, a horse-drawn barge canal by-passed the river bringing goods into the city. The Central Canal was one of eight major infrastructure projects authorized by the state's Mammoth Improvement Bill of 1835. The Central Canal was intended to run 296 miles (476 km) from near Logansport, through Indianapolis, and to Evansville. The Central Canal was planned to connect the Wabash and Erie Canal to the Ohio River, completing a link between Lake Erie in the State of Ohio with the portion of the Ohio River flowing through southern Indiana in order to promote trade and commerce along its length. Construction of the Central Canal commenced in 1836, but Indiana went bankrupt in 1839 from the loans taken out under the aforementioned bill and all work on the project ceased. At the time, the 24 mile (39 km) portion of the Indianapolis section of the canal was dug and filled, but only an 8.29 mile (10 km) portion connecting downtown Indianapolis with the village of Broad Ripple to the north was ever operational. The portion of the completed Central Canal and adjoining White River have been turned into the White River State Park.
The first railroad to service Indianapolis, the Madison & Indianapolis, began operation on October 1, 1847, and subsequent railroad connections enlarged the town. The population soared from just over 8,000 in 1850 to more than 169,000 by 1900. Later, the automobile, as in most American cities, caused a suburban explosion. With automobile companies as Duesenberg, Marmon, National, and Stutz, Indianapolis was a center of production rivaling Detroit, at least for a few years. The internationally renowned automobile races that take place at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway every year are a notable residual from that booming industry at the beginning of the 20th century. With roads as the spokes of a wheel, Indianapolis was on its way to becoming a major "hub" of regional transport connecting to Chicago, Louisville, Cincinnati, Columbus and St. Louis. Today, four interstate roads intersect in Indianapolis: routes 65, 69, 70, and 74. The city is a major trucking center, and the extensive network of highways has allowed Indianapolis to enjoy a relatively low amount of traffic congestion for a city its size.
Indianapolis in the 1910s
Economic and Political Development
Indianapolis entered a period of great prosperity at the beginning of the 20th century, and during this time the city witnessed great economic, social, and cultural progress. Much of this was due to the discovery of a large natural gas deposit in central Indiana in the 1890s. The state government offered a free supply of natural gas to factories that were built there. This led to a sharp increase in industries such as glass and automobile manufacturing. However, the natural gas deposits were depleted by 1915, and this contributed to an abrupt end of the golden era.
A darker period of Indianapolis history began with the rise of the second Ku Klux Klan movement in the United States. The Indiana chapter of the Klan was founded in 1920 and quickly became the most powerful Klan organization in the United States. In 1922, D. C. Stephenson was appointed the Klan Grand Dragon of Indiana and 22 other states; he promptly moved the Indiana Klan's headquarters to Indianapolis, which was already coming under the Klan's influence. The Klan became the most powerful political and social organization in the city during the period from 1921 through 1928. The Klan continued to solidify its stronghold on the state, taking over the Indiana Republican Party and using its new political might to establish a Klan-backed slate of candidates which swept state elections in 1924. The elections allowed the Klan to seize control of the Indiana General Assembly and place the corrupt Governor Edward Jackson in office. By then, more than 40 percent of the native-born white males in Indianapolis claimed membership in the Klan. Klan-backed candidates took over the City Council, the Board of School Commissioners, and the Board of County Commissioners. Through the Klan, Stephenson ruled over the State of Indiana, leading a powerful national movement set on gaining control of the United States Congress and the White House. However, the power of the Klan would quickly begin to crumble after Stephenson was convicted at the end of 1925 for the rape and murder of a young Indianapolis woman, Madge Oberholtzer. Following Stephenson's conviction, the Klan suffered a tremendous blow and quickly lost influence. When Governor Jackson refused to pardon Stephenson, he retaliated by going public with information of corruption which brought down several politicians throughout Indiana. The Mayor of Indianapolis and several local officials were convicted of bribery and jailed. Governor Jackson was indicted on charges of bribery, but he was acquitted in 1928 because the statute of limitations had run out; he completed his term in disgrace. The Klan continued to dwindle in popularity in Indiana and nationwide, and the national organization officially disbanded in 1944.
Years later, Indianapolis would witness an historic moment in the Civil Rights Movement. On April 4, 1968, while on route to a presidential campaign rally in Indianapolis, Robert F. Kennedy would learn of the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. earlier that day. Kennedy would deliver an impromptu speech on race reconciliation to a mostly African-American crowd in a poor inner-city Indianapolis neighborhood. While rioting broke out in cities across the United States following the news of King's assassination, Indianapolis was the only major city where rioting did not occur.
The Indiana State House in Indianapolis
As the result of a 1970 consolidation between city and county government (known as "Unigov"), the city of Indianapolis merged most government services with those of the county. For the most part, this resulted in a unification of Indianapolis with its immediate suburbs. Four communities within Marion County (Beech Grove, Lawrence, Southport and Speedway) are partially outside of the Unigov arrangement. Also, 11 other communities (called "included towns") are legally included in the Consolidated City of Indianapolis under Unigov, per Indiana Code 36-3-1-4 sec. 4(a)(2), which states that the Consolidated City of Indianapolis includes the entire area of Marion County, except the four previously mentioned "excluded" communities. The 11 "included towns" elected to retain their "town status" under Unigov as defined according to the Indiana Constitution (there were originally 14, but 3 later dissolved), but the Indiana Constitution does not define "town status."
These "included towns" are fully subject to the laws and control of the Consolidated City of Indianapolis, but some still impose a separate property tax and provide police and other services under contract with township or county government or the City of Indianapolis. Additionally, throughout Marion County certain local services such as schools, fire and police remain unconsolidated. However, the mayor of Indianapolis is also the mayor of all of Marion County, and the City-County Council sits as the legislative body for all of Marion County. Currently, Indianapolis is undergoing serious internal debate over how much, or whether, more of local taxation, government, and services should be further integrated. Further consolidation of city and county services and functions would require passage of new legislation by the Indiana General Assembly.
A bill, dubbed Indianapolis Works, was proposed by the current mayor, Bart Peterson, and introduced in the 2005 legislative session of the state General Assembly, which would have further consolidated local government in the City of Indianapolis and Marion County. After a very contentious and partisan debate, the Assembly passed an extremely watered-down version of the original bill; the final enacted legislation consolidates budgetary functions of the City and County, permits the Indianapolis City-County Council to vote to consolidate the Indianapolis Police Department and the Marion County Sheriff's Department, and theoretically permits consolidation of the Indianapolis Fire Department with township fire departments based upon approval of all affected parties.
Police consolidation was defeated at the Council level in November 2005, but the bill was revived and passed by the City-County Council on December 19, 2005 after slight revision. Indianapolis will now have a combined metropolitan police force starting January 1, 2007. However, this "metropolitan" police force will still not be the sole police agency within Marion county or even pre-Unigov Indianapolis. The four excluded cities of Beech Grove, Lawrence, Southport, and Speedway will still maintain separate police forces, as will eight metropolitan school districts. In addition to these well-defined exceptions, no less than seven "legacy" police organizations, pre-dating Unigov, will still be maintained by various "included towns" or townships within Marion County.
Downtown Indianapolis from the air.
Geography and climate
It has been suggested that Neighborhoods of Indianapolis be merged into this article or section. (Discuss)
According to the United States Census Bureau, "the balance" (that part of Marion County not part of another municipality) has a total area of 368.2 square miles (953.5 km²)—361.5 square miles (936.2 km²) of it is land and 6.7 square miles (17.3 km²) of it is water. The total area is 1.81% water. These figures are slightly misleading because they do not represent the entire Consolidated City of Indianapolis (all of Marion County, except the four "excluded" communities). The total area of the Consolidated City of Indianapolis, which does not count the four "excluded" communities, covers approximately 373.1 square miles (966.3 km²).
At the center of Indianapolis is the One-Mile Square, bounded by East, West, North, and South Streets. Four diagonal streets pass through the corners of the Square but stop one to five blocks (depending on the street) before reaching the Circle. Nearly all of the streets in the One-Mile Square are named after U.S. states. (The exceptions are Meridian Street, which numerically divides west from east; Market Street, which intersects Meridian Street at Monument Circle; and Capitol and Senate Avenues, where many of the Indiana state government buildings are located. The street-numbering system centers not on the Circle, but rather one block to the south, where Meridian Street intersects Washington Street — National Road.)
Indianapolis experiences a continental climate typical of cities at this latitude which lie far from any significant body of water. It experiences hot summers, with high reaching into the 90s at times and lows in the 60s. Humidity varies, depending on the position of weather fronts and prevailing winds. Winters are rather long and cold, with significant snowstorms blowing in from the Great Lakes region. Wind chills can reach into the negative 20s, with no natural features like mountains to protect the area from the onslaught of arctic Canadian air. Spring and fall bring pleasant temperatures and the occurrence of many thunderstorms which, due to the lack of hills or mountains, often bring tornadoes.
The average July high is 86°F (30°C), with the low being 61°F (16°C). January highs average 34°F (1°C), and lows 18°F (-8°C). The record high for Indianapolis is 104.0°F (40°C), on July 14th, 1954. The record low is -27°F (-33°C), on January 19th, 1994. Snowfall varies from about 20 to 30 inches (500–760 mm) a year.
year Population Rank
1840 2,692 -
1850 8,091 87
1860 18,611 48
1870 48,244 27
1880 75,056 24
1890 105,436 27
1900 169,164 21
1910 233,650 22
1920 314,194 21
1930 364,161 21
1940 386,972 20
1950 427,173 23
1960 476,258 26
1970 744,624 11
1980 700,807 12
1990 731,327 13
2000 791,926 12
Note: The statistical data in this article represents the entire consolidated Indianapolis-Marion County metropolitan government. For statistical data on the portion of the governmental area that is Indianapolis only (i.e., not counting included towns), see Indianapolis (balance), Indiana. As of the censusGR2 of 2000, there were 791,926 people, 320,107 households, and 192,704 families residing in the city, but the metropolitan population was nearing 1.5 million. The population density was 2,163.0 people per square mile (835.1/km²). There were 352,429 housing units at an average density of 975.0 per square mile (376.4/km²). The racial makeup of the balance was 69.09% white, 25.50% black or African American, 0.25% Native American, 1.43% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 2.04% from other races, and 1.64% from two or more races. 3.92% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race. The majority of the non-white population lives in the central and north portions of the inner-city area.
There are 320,107 households out of which 29.8% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 40.6% are married couples living together, 15.1% have a female householder with no husband present, and 39.8% are non-families. 32.0% of all households are made up of individuals and 8.5% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 2.39 and the average family size is 3.04.
The age distribution is: 25.7% under the age of 18, 10.2% from 18 to 24, 32.9% from 25 to 44, 20.3% from 45 to 64, and 11.0% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 34 years. For every 100 females there are 93.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 90.2 males.
The median income for a household in the balance is $40,051, and the median income for a family is $48,755. Males have a median income of $36,302 versus $27,738 for females. The per capita income is $21,640. 11.9% of the population and 9.1% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 16.2% of those under the age of 18 and 8.1% of those 65 and older are living below the poverty line. Crime statistics for Indianapolis can be misleading due to the county and city merger. The inner-city of Indianapolis has suffered with high crime for many years.
Indianapolis uses Unigov, a complex, multi-tiered City-county consolidated government, with overlapping and incomplete jurisdictions at many levels. The current mayor of Indianapolis (as of 2005) is Bart Peterson. Mayors since the instution of the current government structure have been Steve Goldsmith (R), Peterson's predecessor 1992-1999, William Hudnut (R), 1976-91, and U.S. Senator Dick Lugar (R), who served 1968-1975.
Indianapolis and Marion County had maintained separate police agencies. They are scheduled to be replaced by 2007 with a metropolitan police force that will have jurisdiction over those portions of Marion County not explicitly covered by the police of an excluded city or by a legacy pre-Unigov force.
For the past decade, crime within Indianapolis city limits has varied greatly. In the late 90s its crime had peaked. The city recorded 130 homicides in the years 1997-98 leading it to have one of the highest homicide rates in the nation for both years at around 35-40 murders per 100,000. Though homicides in Indianapolis have slightly decreased in recent years, its homicide rate (high 80s-low 90s murders per year) is still one of the highest in the country for a city of any size.
Homicides excepted, the overall crime rate for Indianapolis appears low. This does not present a necessarily accurate picture. Areas of Indianapolis that were not incorporated before 1970 usally have significantly lower crime although their aggregate population is higher than the pre-Unigov Indianapolis area. Thus, crime figures for the county average out to a low rate. However, according to 2006 reports from local law enforcement, in the first four months of the year county-wide homicides have seen a 46% increase, mainly in the outer regions of Indianapolis.
Until the 1990s, Indianapolis was considered to be one of the most conservative metropolitan areas in the country compared to other major U.S. cities. For thirty six years Republicans held a majority in the city and later City-County Council. For thirty two years, the mayor was a Republican. In 1999, Democrat Bart Peterson defeated Indiana Secretary of State Sue Anne Gilroy, fifty two percent to forty one percent, respectively. Four years later, Peterson was re-elected in a landslide with sixty three percent of the vote. Republicans also lost control of the City-County Council in 2003, but it was by thirteen votes. In 2004, Democratic Party power increased yet again in Marion County as the offices of Marion County Treasurer, Surveyor, and Coroner were won by that party. Republicans still hold other county offices, including as Prosecutor, Auditor, Clerk, and Recorder.
Indianapolis Public Schools
School Town of Speedway
Beech Grove City Schools
MSD Pike Township
MSD Washington Township
MSD Lawrence Township
MSD Warren Township
Franklin Township CSC
MSD Perry Township
MSD Decatur Township
MSD Wayne Township
Indianapolis Public School Districts
Indianapolis is the home of Butler University, the University of Indianapolis, Marian College, Ivy Tech Community College of Indiana, Martin University, Oakland City University School of Adult and Extended Learning, and Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis. The last was originally an urban conglomeration of branch campuses of the two major state universities, Indiana University in Bloomington and Purdue University in West Lafayette, created by the state legislature. A merged campus created downtown in 1969 at the site of the Indiana University School of Medicine has continuously grown, with a student body today of just under 30,000, the third-largest campus in the state.
Primary and secondary education
Indianapolis has eleven unified public school districts (eight township educational authorities and three legacy districts from before the unification of city and county government) each of which provides primary, secondary, and adult education services within its boundaries. The boundaries of these districts do not exactly correspond to township (or traditional) boundaries due to political concerns and the influence of a 1971 federal court ruling which held that the Indianapolis public schools were unlawfully segregated. Indianapolis also has four public International Baccalaureate high schools, Lawrence Central High School, Lawrence North High School, North Central High School, Pike High School, and at least one private school that awards this.
Indianapolis also has several Roman Catholic high schools, including Brebeuf Jesuit Preparatory School, Bishop Chatard High School, Cathedral High School, Roncalli High School, Scecina Memorial High School, and Cardinal Ritter High School.
The Scottish Rite Cathedral in Indianapolis
Indianapolis prides itself on its rich cultural heritage. Several initiatives have been made by the Indianapolis government in recent years to increase Indianapolis' appeal as a destination for arts and culture.
The city has designated several areas as "Cultural Districts" (listed from the center of the city, moving north, then going clockwise): Monument Circle, the War Memorial Plaza Broad Ripple Village, Massachusetts Avenue, Fountain Square, The Wholesale District, The Canal & White River State Park, and Indiana Avenue.
At the center of Indianapolis is Monument Circle, a traffic circle at the intersection of Meridian and Market Streets, featuring the Soldiers' and Sailors' Monument. (Monument Circle is depicted on the city’s flag, and is generally considered the city’s symbol.). Monument Circle is in the shadow of Indiana's tallest skyscraper, the Chase Tower.
War Memorial Plaza
The War MemorialA five-block plaza at the intersection of Meridian and Vermont surrounding a large memorial dedicated to Hoosiers who have fought in American wars. It was originally constructed to honor the Indiana soldiers who died in World War I, but construction was halted due to lack of funding during the Great Depression, and it was finished in 1951. The purpose of the memorial was altered to encompass all American wars in which Hoosiers fought.
The monument is modeled after the Mausoleum of Halicarnassus and is 210 feet (64 m) tall, making it taller than the original Mausoleum, according to historical accounts (it was demolished to build a fort during the Crusades). Blue lights on the side of the building between the columns make it easy to spot. The national headquarters of the American Legion is immediately north of the Memorial.
Broad Ripple Village
Main article: Broad Ripple
Originally an independent municipality, Broad Ripple was annexed by Indianapolis in 1922.
It currently hosts an active social scene, fueled by the near presence of Butler University as well as a large number of private art galleries, bars, and independently owned restaurants.
Located just a few blocks northeast of Monument Circle, Massachusetts Avenue was designed in 1821 as one of Downtown's four original diagonal streets. It began as a commercial area that mainly served the surrounding residential area. The Avenue gained popularity as service-oriented businesses sprung up with the development of streetcar lines. Positioned along several streetcar and interurban routes, the Avenue was a continuously growing between 1870 and 1930.
Bernard Vonnegut, grandfather of author Kurt Vonnegut, and Arthur Bohn designed the Athenaeum in 1893 as a home for German societies in Indianapolis to gather. Both were American-born sons of German immigrants, a culture that had a strong influence in the area around this time. Following these many years of good fortune and commercial growth, "Mass Ave", along with all of downtown, hit a downward spiral.
Currently, the redevelopment of "Mass Ave" is focused on developing on independently owned restaurants, theatres and shops, including a revival of the destined-for-demolition Athenaeum building, now the home of the American Cabaret Theatre.
Fountain Square is a neighborhood on the southeast side of the city located approximately 1½ miles (2.4 km) from downtown and centered at the intersection of Virginia Avenue and Shelby Street. A center of commerce for more than 100 years, the historic community is undergoing a period of rebirth and restoration, and is emerging as an ethnic and arts center in the city. In the nineteenth century, the area was a huge working apple orchard. As the city population swelled, the apple trees were cut down and houses were built. The neighborhood was economically strong for many decades, but had suffered from a high unemployment rate and increasing crime and drug problems. In the 1970s, the state of Indiana built the I-65 interstate through Indianapolis, severing Fountain Square from the city proper, resulting in a period of decline. There is an effort underway, to reconfigure I-65 and I-70, which offers hope to many, that Fountain Square will rejoin the downtown area. Currently, there are a number of neighborhood development corporations and community groups working to revitalize the area with increasing success.
Around the turn of the century Indianapolis had one of the largest networks of railroads in the nation and hundreds of trains passed through Union Station daily, the streets local to the station were lined with businesses, hotels, warehouses, retail shops and more. Wholesale grocers sold fresh goods daily before the advent of the modern grocery store. The district had many such grocers, but also wholesalers who sold dry and finished goods. The House of Crane, whose facade remains part of Circle Centre, sold cigars; Hanson, VanCamp & Co. sold hardware. In addition, South Delaware Street became known as Commission Row, where farmers brought their produce to merchants who sold the goods for a commission fee. The Wholesale District was of primary importance in the transformation of Indianapolis from small town to big city. No longer did shoppers have to rely on retailers who sold finished goods shipped from Louisville or Cincinnati. They could now go to a central location and buy the same items at wholesale prices. With Union Station nearby, wholesalers could ship goods more cheaply and more easily. Unfortunately, the Great Depression devastated the area and few businesses remained.
Since 1995, more than $686 million has been invested in the area, transforming it into the city's premier arts and entertainment district. Recent additions include more than 35 new businesses, Circle Centre, Conseco Fieldhouse, and a number of upscale restaurants. The area also includes the Hilbert Circle Theatre, home of the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, which recently underwent a 2.5 million dollar renovation.
Downtown Indianapolis from the Central Canal
Canal and White River State Park
The long defunct Central Canal located in Indianapolis was refurbished and re-opened as a city recreational area. This new incarnation was inspired by Venetian canals. Gradually, cultural attractions were built along the Canal in the 1990s. The north end of the Canal is now home to a burgeoning commercial life science initiative, anchored by a state-certified technology park. An extension of the Canal into the heart of the growing White River State Park was completed in 1996. The extension was part of a $20 million infrastructure improvement project that included renovation of the Old Washington Street Bridge, built in 1916 as part of the National Road, into a pedestrian crossing that links park attractions.
Twilight Downtown Indianapolis.
In 1870, more African-Americans were calling Indiana Avenue home as the original Irish and German populations began to move outward. The population had risen to 974 residents, more than one-third of the city's total African-American population. As the population escalated, African-American residents remained and opened more and more businesses. Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church, the oldest African-American congregation in Indianapolis, was organized in 1836. The first African-American businesses appeared on the 500 Block of Indiana Avenue as early as 1865: Samuel G. Smother's grocery store; William Franklin's peddler shop and the city's first African-American-owned newspaper, The Indianapolis Leader in 1879.
The Avenue continued to culturally develop, in much the same way as the Harlem Renaissance. Many prominent historical figures have their roots on Indiana Avenue: Madame C.J. Walker, jazz greats including Freddie Hubbard, Jimmy Coe, Noble Sissle, Erroll "Groundhog" Grandy and Wes Montgomery. Mary Ellen Cable was one of the most important African-American educators in Indianapolis. She also organized and was the first president of Indiana's first NAACP chapter.
However, by the late 1950s, the African-American middle class had begun to leave Indiana Avenue for northwestern Marion County, settling in Pike and Washington townships. The Walker Building was shut down in 1965, removing a vital economic anchor for the area. By the early 1970s, Indiana Avenue was suffering from severe urban blight. By the 1980s, instead of the city attempting renewal or regeneration, much of the area was merely demolished and replaced by office buildings or townhouses, although the Walker Building was re-opened in 1988 as a theatre. While no longer a blighted zone, Indiana Avenue's legacy now consists of a few historic buildings and a plaque. Plans are under way for the regeneration of the area.
Soldiers' and Sailors' Monument (left) and the Chase Tower (right) in downtown Indianapolis.
Beginning in 1999 the city became host to the annual Indy Jazz Festival. The festival is a three day event held in Military Park near the canal. Past stars have included B.B. King, Aretha Franklin, Bruce Hornsby, Bela Fleck & The Flecktones, Kool and the Gang, Ray Charles, The Temptations, Dave Brubeck, Emmylou Harris, Chris Isaak, Jonny Lang, Norah Jones and regional and local favorites such as Jennie DeVoe, Cathy Morris and Buselli Wallarab Jazz Orchestra.
Every May Indianapolis holds the 500 Festival, a month of events culminating in the Indianapolis 500 Festival Parade the day before the running of the Indianapolis 500.
The Circle City Classic is one of America’s top historically African-American college football tournaments. The football game is the showcase event of an entire weekend. The weekend is a celebration of cultural excellence and educational achievement while showcasing the spirit, energy and tradition of America’s historically black colleges and universities.
In 2003, Indianapolis began hosting Gen Con, the largest role-playing game convention in the nation (record attendance thus far being numbered in excess of 30,000), at the Indiana Convention Center. Future expansion of the convention space is expected by many to further increase attendance numbers in coming years. The convention center has also recently played host to such events as Star Wars Celebration III, which brought in Star Wars fans from around the world, and including George Lucas.
Indianapolis is also home to the Indiana State Fair, as well as the Heartland Film Festival, The Indianapolis International Film Festival, and the IndyFringe theater festival.
Ethnic and Cultural Heritage Festivals
Perhaps the largest of Indianapolis' ethnic and cultural heritage festivals is the Summer Celebration held by Indiana Black Expo. This ten-day national event highlights the contributions of African Americans to US society and culture and provides educational, entertainment, and networking opportunities from around the country.
St. Joan of Arc school holds a French Market every September with raffles, food, live music, and free admission.
Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church hosts a Greek Festival the Friday and Saturday after Labor Day in September.
Indy Irish Festival is an annual event in the middle of every September.
An Italian festival is held annually in early June at the Holy Rosary Catholic Church.
Indianapolis is the home of the Indianapolis Indians, a minor league baseball team in the International League, the Indiana Pacers of the National Basketball Association, the Indiana Fever of the Women's National Basketball Association, and the Indianapolis Colts of the National Football League. In addition, the headquarters of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), the main governing body for U.S. collegiate sports, is in Indianapolis, as is the National Federation of State High School Associations. Starting with the 2006 event, the NCAA will hold the Final Four (the semifinals and final of the men's basketball tournament) in Indianapolis every five years. The city has been referred to as "The Amateur Sports Capital of the World".
Indianapolis has an extensive municipal park system with nearly 200 parks comprising over 10,000 acres (4,000 ha). The flagship Eagle Creek Park is one of the largest municipal parks in the nation. Additionally, Indianapolis has an urban forestry program that has garnered several Tree City USA awards from the National Arbor Day Foundation.
Indianapolis hosted the 1987 Pan American Games.
Club Sport League Stadium (or Arena) Logo
Indianapolis Colts Football National Football League (AFC) RCA Dome
Indiana Pacers Basketball National Basketball Association Conseco Fieldhouse
Indiana Fever Basketball (women's) WNBA Conseco Fieldhouse
Indianapolis Indians Baseball International League Victory Field
FC Indiana Soccer Women's Premier Soccer League Kuntz Stadium
Indiana Ice Hockey United States Hockey League Pepsi Coliseum/Conseco Fieldhouse
The Indianapolis Motor Speedway
Indianapolis is most noted for the largest single-day sporting event in the world: the Indianapolis 500-Mile Race which is held at the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the largest stadium in the world.
The Indianapolis Motor Speedway, located in Speedway, is the site of the Indianapolis 500, an open-wheel automobile race held each Memorial Day weekend on the 2.5 mile (4 km) oval track. The track is often referred to as "the Brickyard," as it was paved with 3.2 million bricks shortly after its initial construction in 1909. Today the track is paved in asphalt, although there remains a yard of bricks at the start/finish line.
The first 500-Mile Race (804.67 km), held in 1911, was won by driver Ray Harroun driving a Marmon Wasp. (Marmon, incidentally, was an Indianapolis manufacturer.) The "500" is currently part of the Indy Racing League series.
The Speedway also hosts the NASCAR stock car series' largest attended race, the Allstate 400 at The Brickyard, still generally referred to by its former name of the "Brickyard 400" (currently scheduled in August), and the Formula One United States Grand Prix (moved between 2005 and 2006 from mid-June to the July 4th weekend). Smaller series host races at nearby Indianapolis Raceway Park, which is also the site of the annual "Nationals," the most prestigious drag-racing meet of the year for the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA).
As measured by the number of fans in attendance (more than 257,000 permanent seats, not including infield), the Indianapolis 500 is the largest annual single-day sporting event in the world.
Children's Museum of Indianapolis
Colonel Eli Lilly Civil War Museum
Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians & Western Art
Indiana State Museum
Indianapolis Motor Speedway Hall of Fame Museum
Indianapolis Museum of Art
NCAA Hall of Champions (Hall of Fame for college athletics)
Other Points of interest
Garfield Park Conservatory and Sunken Gardens
Slippery Noodle Inn
White River Gardens
The Indianapolis Star is the most widely-read daily newspaper in the city. It is owned by Gannett, which also publishes a weekly newspaper called The Topics that focuses on local and community-related news for northern Indianapolis and the surrounding suburbs. Other popular publications include Nuvo Newsweekly, Indianapolis Monthly, Indy Men's Magazine and IndyScribe.
Indianapolis is served by the following major local broadcast Television stations:
WTTV —Channel 4, a WB affiliate (to be CW affiliate 9/4/06)
WRTV —Channel 6, an ABC affiliate
WISH —Channel 8, a CBS affiliate
WTHR —Channel 13, an NBC affiliate
WCTY —Channel 16, a local government channel (cable only)
WIIH —Channel 17, a Univision affiliate (Spanish speaking)
WFYI —Channel 20, a PBS member station
WNDY —Channel 23, a UPN affiliate
WTTK —Channel 29, a WB affiliate (Satellite of WTTV 4; to be CW affiliate 9/4/06)
WHMB —Channel 40, a LeSea Broadcasting Station
WCLJ —Channel 42, a TBN affiliate
WBXI —Channel 47, an MTV2 affiliate
WALV —Channel 50, a 24 hour news & weather network (SkyTrak Weather Network; Secondary NBC affiliate)
WIPX-LP —Channel 51, an I affiliate (Satellite of WIPX-TV 63; formerly PAX affiliate)
WXIN —Channel 59, a FOX affiliate
WIPX-TV —Channel 63, an I affiliate (formerly PAX affiliate)
NewsChannel 64 —Channel 64, a 24 hour news & weather network (secondary ABC; cable only)
WDNI —Channel 65, IMC (Indy's Music Channel), plays a variety of music videos
WDTI —Channel 69, a Daystar affiliate
FSN-Midwest — a FOX Sports Net regional affiliate (cable only)
LWS — a 24 hour weather station (Local Weather Station; cable only)
In radio, The Bob & Tom Show, syndicated across the United States, airs from Indianapolis.
Indianapolis International Airport serves Indianapolis and Marion County.
Six Major Interstates serve the Indianapolis area including I-70, I-74, I-65, I-69, I-465 Beltway, and I-865 Connector.
Indianapolis's transit provider is the Indianapolis Public Transportation Corporation, also known as IndyGo. The Indianapolis Public Transportation Corporation was established in 1975 after the city of Indianapolis took over the city's transit system. Before 1997, IndyGo was called Metro.
Central Indiana Commuter Services (CICS) funded by IndyGo to reduce pollution serves Indianapolis and surrounding counties.
A monorail type People Mover connects two downtown-area hospitals and is available for public use. Plans are possible for a more expansive People Mover transportation system throughout downtown.
The most common nickname for Indianapolis is ‘Indy’. Other nicknames include ‘Circle City’ (after Monument Circle) and ‘Naptown’ (presumably shortened from ‘IndiaNAPolis’, but often taken derogatorily to mean "sleepy" or "boring"). Also said to have possibly come from former local radio station WNAP, often simply called NAP, which was popular in the 1970s and 1980s.
Both of the United States Navy ships named USS Indianapolis were named for this city.
Indianapolis is the international headquarters of the pharmaceutical corporation Eli Lilly and Company, the US headquarters of Roche Diagnostics and Thomson SA, and the world headquarters of Dow AgroSciences.
Indianapolis is the headquaters of the Kiwanis International organization, since 1982. Kiwanis International serves the children of the world. The organization and it's youth sponsored Kiwanis Family counterparts, Circle K International and Key Club International, conducts all its international business and service initiatives here while at the same time giving a positive image of Indianapolis to the outside world.
Indianapolis' Union Station, one of the busiest rail depots in its time, employed a young Thomas Edison as a telegraph operator.
Indianapolis is the second most populous capital city in the United States (including Washington, DC), after Phoenix, Arizona.
Indianapolis is the headquarters for the only international Jewish fraternity, Alpha Epsilon Pi (AEPi).
Indianapolis in Popular Media
Television sitcom One Day at a Time was set in Indianapolis. The opening credits of the show include a shot of the Pyramids, a set of three distinctive office buildings located near the north-western edge of the city. The TV show Good Morning Miss Bliss aka Saved By The Bell had it's first season set in Indianapolis, although there were few references to the city itself. Men Behaving Badly, and CBS's 2005 drama Close to Home were and are, respectively, also set in Indianapolis.
For more information on Indianapolis, Indiana, please visit Wikipedia.
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