Shown above is a close-up of one of a pair of limestone eagles which guard the entrance of the old Indianapolis City Hall building, which was dedicated in 1909, the same year the Indianapolis Motor Speedway was opened. Carved by Alexander Sangernebo, the eagles fronted a building which, for the first time, had all the city offices under one roof. It remained that way until 1962, when the city government moved to a new high-rise building.
The building stood vacant until 1967 when the Indiana State Museum took over the site, the first permanent headquarters the museum had enjoyed since it was established in 1862. Until that time, the Museum's collection had been shuffled around, in and out of musty rooms as if it were an eccentric uncle's collection of moth-eaten artifacts.
The Museum's Foucault Pendulum hung suspended from the Hall's rotunda, swaying gently above the terrazzo floor where previously the movers and shakers of the city's government had trod and made deals. It remained there until a new building was erected in White River State Park, opening in May, 2002.
Again the building stood empty until The Marion County Public Library needed an interim site until construction of a new addition was completed. Old City Hall was again adapted for reuse and served as the main library from 2001- 2007. Unfortunately, it once again stands empty, as the eagles maintain a sort of sad majesty, awaiting another opportunity to prove useful.