Monument Circle, Indianapolis

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Monument Circle, Meridian Street & Market Street

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  • staindesign's Profile Photo

    Circle of Lights

    by staindesign Written Dec 17, 2013

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    The Monument

    Every year the Friday night after thanksgiving the city of Indianapolis presents The Circle of Lights. It's best to arrive early around 6pm. The show begins around 7pm, which is local talent singing Christmas songs. Then around 8/8.30pm Santa arrives on an old time fire truck. Santa is the presenter that lights up the lights that surround the monument. The crowd is very large and it tends to be very cold. Fortunately, there are places to buy coffee and hot chocolate on the circle. I'd recommend the hot chocolate from the Indiana chocolate company, The South Bend Chocolate Factory. It beats Starbucks on the opposite corner!

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    Circle Tower on Monument Circle

    by atufft Updated Oct 19, 2010

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    Circle Tower Building, Indianapolis
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    On the south side of the circle are a chocolate shop and outdoor cafe. While on the east side is a substantial high rise art deco structure worthy of note for it's curve that matches the Memorial Circle. Known as the Circle Tower, this 17 story tall structure dates back to the 1930's when it became the tallest building on Monument Circle. Again, checking out the interior of this building is on my short list for the next visit to town.

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    Monument Circle - Center of Town

    by Toughluck Updated Oct 16, 2007

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    The Monument on Monument Circle is dedicated to the veterans of the American Civil War. It was completed in 1902 and stands 284' (87m) tall. Underneath is the Col. Eli Lilly Civil War Museum. It is an excellent museum of Indiana's involvement in the war. You can ride the elevator to the top of the momument (rain or shine) and look over the city. It's nicer when the sun is out, or atleast not raining.

    National Park Service Soldiers and Sailors National Historic Register Site

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    All around great ambiance!

    by staindesign Written Nov 8, 2006

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    November: the monument
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    The Soldiers' and Sailors' Monument is a 284-feet tall neoclassical oolitic limestone and bronze monument in the center of Indianapolis, Indiana (and Marion County, Indiana). It was erected to honor Hoosiers who were veterans of the American Revolution, territorial conflicts that partially led up to the War of 1812, the Mexican-American War, and the US Civil War. It was designed by German architect Bruno Schmitz, and was completed in 1901. In addition to its external commemorative statuary and fountains, the basement of the monument is a museum of Indiana history during the American Civil War. (*thanks to Wikipedia for monument History)

    My opinion:
    This is a great place to have some coffee and just people watch. The area is really beautiful. I think that the South side of the circle is the nicest view, the north side is littered with banks and a kinkos. In my opinion, the cirlce should have more cute little cafes or stores, I saw that a au bon pain is being built, so that should be nice.

    The musuem under the monument is nice, it is small, I would only go on the free day, because it isn't so exciting. The best part is that you can go into the monument and take the elevator to the top and see a really cool view. If you are clasophobic, then i would recommend that you don't go up. It is quite a tight experience.

    Right now, during November they are getting the decorations for the circle ready, it is a big deal here. And it takes about the whole month of November to get it ready. but in the summer, the monument is very lovely. The fountains are huge, and it is a great place to listen to the water and relax.

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    Soldiers & Sailors Monument

    by deecat Updated Apr 11, 2005

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    Please click photo to see the details

    The Soldiers & Sailors Monument is to Indianapolis as the Arch is to St. Louis.

    It was erected in 1887-1901 of ashlar limestone and is dedicated to the 24,000 "Hoosiers" who gave their lives in the Civil War. It was designed by the German Architect, Bruno Schmitz There was an international design competition, and Schmitz won. He designed the monument as the city's focal point and as a gathering place. He succeeded!

    The monument incorporates sculpture by 4 people, Rudolf Schwarz, Frederick William MacMonnies, George Thomas Brewster, & Nicolaus Geiger. It was fabricated by the Terre Haute Stone Company.

    Private funds were collected, but most of the cost was paid for with public funds.

    This structure is about 284 feet high, but with the statue called Victory standing atop it, that measurement increases. I discovered that most "Hoosiers" call Victory "Miss Indiana"!

    My brother Dustin (who lives in Indianapolis) tells me that The Soldiers & Sailors Monument is decorated with thousands and thousands of small Christmas Tree Lights each Christmas season, and it is thus transformed into one of the world's largest Christmas trees!"

    Jill and I rode the small elevator to the to step 290 and walked to the glass-enclosed observation deck. (the 330 stair walk was closed) Too bad the windows as filthy dirty so it's difficult to enjoy the panoramic view of downtown Indianapolis and impossible to take a photo.

    It was impossible for me to take a photograph that encompassed the entire monument; I would have needed much more sophisticated equipment.
    My two photos show details of the monument.

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  • Bank One Tower

    by grkboiler Written Mar 20, 2005

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    Bank One Tower

    The Bank One Tower is the tallest building in Indiana. The 48-story building is the most recognizable on the Indianapolis skyline. It holds over 905,000 sq. ft. of office space and is made of granite and glass. It was built in 1990.

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  • Whitcomb Statue at Monument Circle

    by grkboiler Written Mar 20, 2005

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    Whitcomb Statue

    At the southwest corner of Monument Circle sits the James Whitcomb statue by John H. Mahoney.

    Whitcomb (1795-1852) was a former governor of Indiana. He was very elegant and brilliant. Under his leadership, the Indiana Hospital for the Insane, Indiana Asylum for the Education of the Deaf and Dumb, and the Indiana Institute for the Education of the Blind were created (great politically correct names, I might add). He resigned as governor in 1848 to serve in the US Senate.

    The plaque reads:

    James Whitcomb. Governor of Indiana. Mexican War Period. 1846-1847.

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  • Clark Statue at Monument Circle

    by grkboiler Written Mar 20, 2005

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    Clark Statue

    At the northwest corner of Monument Circle sits the George Rogers Clark statue by John H. Mahoney.

    Clark (1752-1818) was a general who protected settlers from the British and Indians. His brother, William, was of Lewis and Clark fame.

    The plaque reads:

    General George Rogers Clark. Conqueror of the Country Northwest of the River Ohio from the British. 1778-9.

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  • Harrison Statue at Monument Circle

    by grkboiler Updated Mar 20, 2005

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    Harrison Statue

    On the northeast side of the monument stands a statue of William Henry Harrison (1773-1841) by John H. Mahoney.

    Harrison was a general and served as governor of Indiana for 12 years beginning in 1801. He led troops to victory against the Indian Confederacy and Tecumseh at the Battle of Tippecanoe in 1812, earning himself the nickname "Tippecanoe". He was a popular candidate for President in 1840 and defeated Martin van Buren in the election. He died after only a few months in office, making him the shortest serving President.

    The plaque reads:

    William H. Harrison. Conqueror of the Indian Confederacy. War 1812-1815.

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  • Morton Statue at Monument Circle

    by grkboiler Updated Mar 20, 2005

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    Morton Statue

    4 bronze statues of important figures in Indiana history surround the base of the monument.

    At the southeast corner is the statue of Oliver P. Morton, by Franklin Simmons. Morton (1823-1877) was the governor of Indiana during the Civil War and was very popular for his efforts to care for soldiers.

    The plaque reads:

    Oliver P. Morton. "The War Governor" of Indiana. War of the Rebellion. 1861-1865.

    See the following tips for info about the rest of the statues.

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  • West Side of the Monument

    by grkboiler Written Mar 20, 2005

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    West side of the Monument

    The west side of the Soldiers' and Sailors' Monument has a sculpture titled "Peace" with a smaller sculpture "The Return Home".

    "Peace" has Liberty holding a flag while a freed slave holds a broken chain. The Angel of Peace holds a wreath representing victory and an olive branch representing peace. There are also soldiers returning home victorious after battle.

    "The Return Home" represents the happiness of a soldier returning home to his family.

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  • North Side of the Monument

    by grkboiler Written Mar 20, 2005

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    North Side of the Monument

    The north side of the Soldiers' and Sailors' Monument represents the Artillery (left) and Navy (right), and has a plaque commemorating the wars before the Civil War and other service.

    The plaque reads:

    To Indiana's Silent Victors

    War with Mexico 1846 1847 1848
    Indiana Regiments No's. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
    4585 Men

    Indian and British War 1811-1812
    Battle of Tippecanoe
    Indians Defeated Nov. 7, 1811

    War of the Revolution
    Capture of Vincennes from the British
    February 25, 1779

    Mexican Border Service
    1916 1917
    3 Infantry Regiments
    1 B'N. Field Artillery
    2 Field Hospitals
    2 Ambulance Co's.
    1 Signal Co.
    1 Sanitary Co.
    Total Troops 3123

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  • East Side of the Monument

    by grkboiler Written Mar 20, 2005

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    East side of the Monument

    The east side of the Soldiers' and Sailors' Monument is titled "War" and has the sculpture "The Dying Soldier" below it.

    It shows the Goddess of War urging a charge by cavalry, infantry, and artillery forces. The photo is a detail of one of the soldiers in the sculpture.

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  • South Side of the Monument

    by grkboiler Written Mar 20, 2005

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    South Side of the Monument

    Each side of the Soldiers' and Sailors' Monument represents something different. The sculptor for all 4 sides was Rudolf Schwarz of Germany.

    The south side represents the Infantry (left) and Cavalry (right) and has a plaque commemorating the Civil War and the Spanish-American War.

    The plaque reads:

    To Indiana's Silent Victors

    War for the Union 1861-1865
    126 Regiments Infantry 175772
    13 Regiments Cavalry 21605
    1 Regiment Artillery 3839
    28 Companies Artillery 7151
    Navy 2130
    Total 210497
    Killed and Died - Land Forces 24416

    Indiana in the War with Spain
    5 Regiments Infantry 6693
    2 Colored Companies Infantry 219
    2 Batteries Light Artillery 356
    Engineer Corps 98
    Signal Corps 55
    Total 7421
    Died in Service 73

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  • Soldiers' and Sailors' Monument

    by grkboiler Updated Mar 20, 2005

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    Soldiers' and Sailors' Monument

    The monument at Monument Circle is called the Soldiers' and Sailors' Monument. This is one of the most impressive monuments in the US. It was commissioned in 1887 and finally dedicated on May 15, 1902. The architect was Bruno Schmitz of Germany.

    The monument was built to commemorate all those who served in wars before WWI. It is made of Indiana Oolitic limestone and stands 284 ft. 6 in. (15 ft. shorter than the Statue of Liberty). 330 steps lead to an observation deck (or the convenience an elevator if you choose).

    Every December since 1962, the monument is decorated as the "world's largest Christmas tree." The lower level of the monument holds the Colonel Eli Lilly Civil War Museum.

    See the following tips for more specific info.

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