Friday, January 6, 2012


Shown above is the lighted Star of Destiny 
hanging from the center of the Shrine Room in the 
Indiana War Memorial. The Memorial forms the centerpiece
of the five-city-block Indiana War Memorial Plaza, and 
was designed and constructed to commemorate the 
men from Indiana who served during World War I.

The memorial was built as part of an agreement made 
in 1919 by the City of Indianapolis with the recently
formed American Legion, in order that the Legion
would establish their national headquarters in the city.
The national headquarters, the Auxiliary building 
and Cenotaph Square lie at the north end of the Plaza, 
with the Central Library just across the street.
To the south lies University Park with the Birch E. Bayh
Federal Court House just across the street. In 1994, the entire plaza
was designated as a National Historic Landmark District.

Construction on the Memorial was started in 1926
with dedication ceremonies in 1933. Over the years, 
financial resources slowed the construction and it was
still incomplete at the time of its dedication.
In addition to the Shrine Room, the building also 
houses the Pershing Auditorium,
 offices, meeting rooms and a museum
showing artifacts from conflicts dating from 
WW I, including Vietnam and 9-11.

One of the doors on the main entrance on the north side
of the Memorial, which opens into a foyer taking a 
visitor to the Pershing Auditorium, shown below.

Above the Pershing Auditorium is the 
Shrine Room, which was designed to allow
the visitor to consider the meaning of service.
While there is an elevator, the room can be approached
by a staircase, which is people-friendly with appropriately 
scaled steps and landings. 

The Shrine Room with its design and subdued lighting, 
is a quiet place for contemplation for one's role as a citizen 
of the world, to think over our relationships with 
the community at large, and to the sacrifices made by others
in service to ideals too often invoked by those whose
intentions are less honorable than the words they mouth.  


Cathy said...

Thanks for educating me today on the Indiana War Memorial! The first shot is so striking!

Speedway said...

Thank you, Cathy. Until a couple days ago, I hadn't been inside the Memorial since I was in jr. high. It is surprisingly beautiful in the Shrine Hall. I will go back just to sit in that room a bit.

My little camera doesn't work well in lo-light situations and I don't like the effect of the flash, so I didn't post many shots of the Hall.

dive said...

A glorious building, Speedway. I'd seen the outside on the shots you sent me of the cityscape from way up high, but it is just as good inside, too.
We remember and honour the Doughboys over here and it's good to see the respect they're given back at home.

Speedway said...

G'morning, Dive, I hope your blog-dryness finds some lubricant soon. Are the trees around the Ferry being blown around? Is the river overflowing its banks? What is done to the Ferry house if that should happen?

Oh, did you know Wes Montgomery was from Indianapolis? We used to have quite a vibrant jazz scene here, based along Indiana Avenue, I understand. I've traveled that street nearly every day I've gone to work and, except for a sculpture are two, there are practically no traces of that heritage.

When I moved here in '78, Indiana Ave was nothing but a rag-tag bunch of rickety buildings and a lot of people standing around w/nothing to do, nowhere to go. Most of it has been torn down and other buildings constructed. Nothing of note, just office buildings.

What happened to the music? If it didn't die out altogether, it went someplace else. There are a few of the old musicians still alive, but most are very elderly. I guess I'm going to have to start asking some more questions.

Montgomery's grandson, Anthony, is an actor - also from Indy.

dive said...

Your city has some great musical heritage there, Speedway. It's nice that there's actually a statue or two to commemorate it.

Over here, yes, the river is all over the land, the valley around the village is underwater and the trees are still blowing around, though over the past two weeks it's gone down from 120mph (165in Scotland) to 80mph last week and now to around 40, though they warn of more storms to come.
Pull's Ferry is safe as it's about two feet above the rest of the Cathedral's water meadows (the rugby pitches always flood) and they take up the surge. Most flood damage is done not by rivers but by dumb people who build levées instead of letting the valleys flood as meadows and then build towns on the flood plain … DUH. Luckily, around here we've got a LOT of water meadows.