Friday, August 5, 2011

Test Building

Shown here are the front entrance and details from the Lacy Building, on Monument Circle in downtown Indianapolis. Originally called the Test Building, it was named for Charles E. Test, the former president of the National Motor Vehicle Company. When it opened in 1925 as a multi-use building, it was one of the first structures in the state intended for use as a parking garage: of its nine floors, the first three are for businesses, the next five floors allowed for parking of 200 cars, with a one-story "crown."

The structure of the building is a reinforced concrete frame decorated in smooth-dressed Indiana limestone. The architectural style is Neo-Classical Revival, with sculptural decorations created by local artist, Alexander Sangernebo, whose work appears on the facades of buildings all over the city.  

The building was entered onto the
 National Register of Historic Places in 1985.


dive said...

What fun!
Seeing the future (1920's style) carved into neo-classical reliefs is as startling as it is delightful, Speedway. Mister Sangernebo was quite a sculptor and buildings such as this deserve to be much better known outside the local area. The design of the building - with a multi-storey parking garage above the offices and then a penthouse storey on top - intrigues me. I'd love to know more. The optimism of that era (misplaced though it was) is still infectious; flying machines and dirigibles filling the skies and the wondrous motor car opening up the world for us.
Ah, such innocence …

Speedway said...

Hello, Dive! I'm glad you're pleased. The first time I saw/noticed the little decorations was a few years ago. I was pleasantly surprised, too, to actually see a bi-plane and a dirigible rather than the usual lions or griffons. I look at them every time I go by the building, to ensure they're still in place.

I apologize for not including the links for additional info, one of which is a resource for architects interested in Indiana limestone. When typing mu little bits of info last night, My mind did not make the actual jump,er,link needed to include those items in my post.

dive said...

Cool links! I must confess I was so intrigued by the building I spent some time finding out more abut it on line.

Speedway said...

Good! I really like this building. I think, though I'm not sure, that cars can still park inside. I don't recall, however, the last time I came across a car entering or leaving, so will have to check.

Going to the fair today for a "Digital Shoot-out." Later.