New uses sought for Indianapolis’s old City Hall

January 12, 2013 by  

Indianapolis, Indiana preservationists are working to find a new use for the former City Hall – a century-old building that has been standing empty for the last five years.

The neoclassical, four-story structure was built in 1910 and features an 85-foot stained glass dome and massive front doors made of bronze. Built of limestone, it is certainly a reminder of a graceful age.

There have been several suggestions about what to do with the building, including making it a museum, an educational center, or even a boutique hotel. The most logical idea is probably to turn it back into government offices. The city government moved out in 1962 because it outgrew the space, but proponents argue that while it would not be possible to relocate all city functions here, the mayor’s office, council chambers, and offices of other high-ranking government personnel could move back. This would give the returning departments an elegant and historic setting while freeing up space in the existing government building.

Renovation is necessary, since the building has sustained some damage, and officials say the city does not have the money to undertake the project by itself. It would be happy to work with a partner to reclaim the structure if such an organization can be found.

City officials, perhaps working with the historical society, could contact brochure printers to put together a piece that describes the building and its history, and its potential as a venue for some of the purposes mentioned above, to prevent the attractive building from deteriorating.