Monument Circle, Indianapolis
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.
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.
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.
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.
Monument Circle, in the heart of the downtown business district features the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Monument, which has been an Indianapolis landmark since 1902. It is dedicated as a memorial to the Civil War and Spanish-American War.
The Colonel Eli Lilly Civil War Museum opened in October 1999 on the ground level of the monument. Nine video screens explain Indiana’s role in the war. A glass-enclosed observation tower atop the monument offers a great view of downtown Indianapolis.
The cost for the museum is just $1. It is open Wednesday–Sunday from 10am to 6pm.
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
A symbol of Indianapolis(sometimes called the circle city)This monument in the center of a traffic circle honors those killed in past wars. including the Civil and Spanish-Americian. You can take an elevator or steps and go up to the top. The Friday after Thanksgiving it is turned into a christmas tree from the lights that are hung from it
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.
At 231 feet, you wouldn't think the observation deck of the Soldier and Sailors Monument would offer much in the way of views, considering it is surrounded by a number of skyscrapers. But the views are surprisingly good, and it is easy to pick out the various Indy landmarks. You'll also get a sense just how flat the land is around these parts.
Climb the 330 steps up or buy a ticket ($1) for the elevator. I recomend the elevator.
At the center of Indianapolis (or actually one bock north of the measured center) is the famous Monument where most locals call 'the Circle' and the monument is known as the 'Sailors and Soldiers Monument'
The monument has stood since 1902, was designed and constructed by an architect from Germany, Bruno Schmitz, and is a tribute to men and women serving in all wars.
Inside is a Civil War exhibit -- Indiana had a higher percentage of the men in the State serve in the Civil War than ANY other state except Delaware (74.3% of all males served)
The limestone sculptures are the work of Vienna-born sculptor Rudolf Schwarz (1865-1912). The bronze Army Astragal sculptural band above the monument base was designed by Nicolaus Geiger (1849-1897) of Berlin.
It is probably appropriate that the Indiana State Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Monument – completed in 1901 – was designed by Bruno Schmitz, one of Germany’s leading architects of grand public monuments. Most of the work, sculptures and bronze work, were also German designed and created. German-Americans were very important in the development of 19th century Indiana – you can still spot the occasional Turnerverein halls on the streets.
The monument was raised to honor all Indianans who died in wars before World War I, but especially to commemorate her Civil War dead. Soaring 285 feet above from a massive base, the monument is placed on the spot where the governor’s mansion once stood. The mansion was never lived in however and was demolished in 1857 replaced by a park ten years later. The monument is the largest Civil War monument that was erected. Plans for the monument were first contemplated by Indiana governor Oliver Morton who served during the Civil War years. His statue stood in the middle of the circular park on which the monument would be erected. It was in the years after Morton’s death that the planning and financing for the monument started gathering steam with the gathering of a commission in 1887 and the ensuing selection of Schmitz’s design one year later. The shaft was completed in 1892 and the bronze astragals – one for the navy and one for the army – followed in 1895. Finally, the massive sculpture groups were added before the monument was officially dedicated in 1902. Originally, the thought was for the monument to be topped with a winged version of Victory but engineers were worried winds might literally give flight to the statue, so Victory – aka Miss Indiana – stands in a less active pose atop it all.
There is an elevator which with you can eliminate 300 stairs -$2 – but you still have to use the final 31 stairs to come out on the observation deck above. In the base of the monument is the Colonel Eli Lilly Civil War Museum which was opened in 1999. The museum is open Wednesday through Sunday 10 am – 6 pm.
At the time of my visit, the monument was enfolded in scaffolding for an ongoing restoration project.
This is a nice place to visit and see the center of Indianapolis. They have a nice museum under the monument that give a bit of history. There is a chocolate shop on the SW part of the circle called The South Bend Chocolate Factory my family highly recommends. If you are a lover of chocolate or sweets, you must stop and grab a treat. They have the best hot chocolate drink I've ever had! Enjoy the Circle!
Soldiers Sailors Monument which is smack dab in the middle of the city. Besides a race car this is the most reconizable emblem of Indianapolis is 284 feet tall and surmountedby a 30 foot statue of Miss Victory. It is completly consturcted of Indiana limestone and fetures exterior historical and mythological statues. The memorial was origionally dedicated in 1902 but underwent a major restoration the late 80's which I remember quite well because I was unable to take my college room mate who was from Japan to see it.
In the middle of downtown is this imposing monument to the Indianians who served and died in the civil war. Inside the monument is a museum of the civil war.