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Indianapolis ( ) is the capital of the U.S. state of Indianamarker, and the county seat of Marion County, Indianamarker. The United States Census estimated the city's population, excludingmarker the included towns, at 798,382 in 2008. It is Indiana's largest city and is the 14th largest city in the U.S., the third largest city in the Midwest (behind Chicagomarker and Detroitmarker), the second most populous state capital (after Phoenix, Arizonamarker). It is one of two state capitals that share their names with their states (The other is Oklahoma Citymarker).

For much of its history, Indianapolis oriented itself around government and industry, particularly manufacturing. Today, Indianapolis has a much more diversified economy, contributing to the fields of education, health care, and finance. Tourism is also a vital part of the economy of Indianapolis, and the city plays host to numerous conventions and sporting events. Of these, perhaps the most well known is the annual Indianapolis 500marker mile race. Other major sporting events include the Brickyard 400 (formerly the "Allstate 400 at the Brickyard") and the Men's and Women's NCAA Basketball Tournaments.

Greater Indianapolis has seen moderate growth among U.S. cities, especially in nearby Hamiltonmarker, Hendricksmarker, and Johnsonmarker counties. The population of the metropolitan statistical area is estimated at 1,715,459, making it the 33rd-largest in the U.S. The combined statistical area population of Indianapolis is 2,035,327, the 23rd-largest in the U.S.

History

Native American who lived in the area included the Miami and Lenape (or Delaware) tribes, who were removed from the area by the early 1820s.

Indianapolis was selected as the site of the new state capital in 1820. While most American state capitals tend to be located in the central region of their respective states, Indianapolis is the only capital to be in the exact center of its state. Jeremiah Sullivan, a judge of the Indiana Supreme Court, invented the name Indianapolis by joining Indiana with polis, the Greek word for city; literally, Indianapolis means "Indiana City". The city was founded on the White River under the incorrect assumption that the river would serve as a major transportation artery; however, the waterway was too sandy for trade. The capital moved from Corydonmarker on January 10, 1825 and the state commissioned Alexander Ralston to design the new capital city. Ralston was an apprentice to the French architect Pierre L'Enfant, and he helped L'Enfant plan Washington, DCmarker. Ralston's original plan for Indianapolis called for a city of only one square mile (3 km²). At the center of the city sat Governor's Circle, a large circular commons, which was to be the site of the governor's mansion. Meridian and Market Streets converge at the Circle and continue north and south and east and west, respectively. The governor's mansion was eventually demolished in 1857 and in its place stands a tall neoclassical limestone and bronze monument, the Indiana Soldiers' and Sailors' Monumentmarker. The surrounding street is now known as Monument Circle.

The city lies on the original east-west National Road. The first railroad to service Indianapolis, the Madison & Indianapolis, began operation on October 1, 1847, and subsequent railroad connections made expansive growth possible. Indianapolis was the home of the first Union Stationmarker, or common rail passenger terminal, in the United States. By the turn of the century, Indianapolis had become a large automobile manufacturer, rivaling the likes of Detroitmarker. With roads leading out of the city in all directions, Indianapolis became a major hub of regional transport connecting to Chicagomarker, Louisvillemarker, Cincinnatimarker, Columbusmarker, Detroitmarker, Clevelandmarker and St. Louismarker, befitting the capital of a state whose nickname is "The Crossroads of America." This same network of roads would allow quick and easy access to suburban areas in future years.

City population grew rapidly throughout the first half of the 20th century. While rapid suburbanization began to take place in the second half of the century, race relations deteriorated. Even so, on the night that Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated, Indianapolis was the only major city in which rioting did not occur. Many credit the speech by Robert F. Kennedy, who was in town campaigning for President that night, for helping to calm the tensions. Racial tensions heightened in 1970 with the passage of Unigov, which further isolated the middle class from Indianapolis's growing African American community. Court-ordered school desegregation busing by Judge S. Hugh Dillon was also a controversial change.

In the 1970s and 1980s, Indianapolis suffered at the hands of urban decay and white flight. Major revitalization of the city's blighted areas, such as Fall Creek Placemarker, and especially the downtownmarker, began in the 1990s and led to an acceleration of growth on the fringes of the metropolitan Area. The opening of Circle Centremarker in downtown Indianapolis jumpstarted a major revitalization of the central business district.

Indianapolis's future appears bright as the city continues to invest heavily in improvement projects, such as an expansion to the Convention Centermarker, upgrading of the I-465 beltway and an entirely new airport terminal for the Indianapolis International Airportmarker, which is now open. Construction of the Indianapolis Colts' new home, Lucas Oil Stadiummarker was completed in August 2008, and the proposed hotel and convention center expansion is expected to open within the next three years.

Geography

Aerial view of I-74 exit 68 near Brownsburg, Indiana; on the west side of the city of Indianapolis, Indiana.
According to the United States Census Bureau, "the balance" (that part of Marion County not part of another municipality) has a total area of  – of it is land and of it is water. The total area is 1.81% water. These figures do not, however, represent the entire Consolidated City of Indianapolis (all of Marion County, except the four excluded communities). The total area of the Consolidated City of Indianapolis, not including the four excluded communities, covers approximately .

At the center of Indianapolis is the One-Mile Square, bounded by four appropriately-named streets: East, West, North, and South Streets. Nearly all of the streets in the Mile Square are named after U.S. states. The exceptions are Meridian Street, which numerically divides west from east; Market Street, which intersects Meridian Street at Monument Circle; Capitol and Senate Avenues, where many of the Indiana state government buildings are located; and Washington Street, which was named after President George Washington. The street-numbering system centers not on the Circle, but rather one block to the south, where Meridian Street intersects Washington Street — National Road.

Indianapolis is situated in the Central Till Plains region of the United States. Two natural waterways dissect the city: the White River, and Fall Creek.

Physically, Indianapolis is similar to many other Midwestern cities. A mix of deciduous forests and prairie covered much of what is considered Indianapolis prior to the 19th century. Land within the city limits varies from flat to gently sloping; most of the changes in elevation are so gradual that they go unnoticed, and appears to be flat from close distances. The mean elevation for Indianapolis is . The highest point in Indianapolis lies on the Northeast-side of Indianapolis, it was previously assumed that it was Crown Hill Cemetery (the tomb of famed Hoosier writer James Whitcomb Riley) with an elevation of , and the lowest point in Indianapolis lies at the Marion County/Johnson Countymarker line, with an elevation of about . The highest hill in Indianapolis is Mann Hill, a bluff located along the White River in Southwestway Park that rises about above the surrounding land. Variations in elevation from 700–900 feet occur throughout the city limits. There are a few moderately-sized bluffs and valleys in the city, particularly along the shores of the White River, Fall Creek, Geist Reservoir, and Eagle Creek Reservoir, and especially on the city's northeast and northwest sides.

Climate

Indianapolis has a humid continental climate (Koppen climate classification Dfa). Like most cities in the Midwest, it has four distinct seasons. Summers are very warm and humid, with high temperatures regularly approaching , with some days exceeding . Spring and autumn are usually pleasant, with temperatures reaching around . Spring, however, is much less predictable than autumn; midday temperature drops exceeding 30 °F (17°C) are common during March and April, and instances of very warm days ( ) followed within 36 hours by snowfall not unheard of during these months. Winters are cool to cold, with daily highs barely inching above freezing. Temperatures occasionally dip below . The rainiest months are in the spring and summer, with average rainfalls of over four inches (102 mm) per month mostly derived from thunderstorm activity, there is no distinct dry season with slightly higher summer averages.

The city's average annual precipitation is .

The average July high is , with the low being . January highs average , and lows . The record high for Indianapolis is , on July 25, 1954. The record low is , on January 19, 1994. Average annual snowfall is .



Cityscape

High rise construction in Indianapolis started in 1888, when the Soldiers' and Sailors' Monumentmarker was completed. The tall monument sits at the center of Indianapolis and, until the completion of City Hallmarker in 1962 was still the tallest structure in the city.

In the 1970s the central business district, like many other 'Rust Belt' cities of the United States, saw decreased economic activity, racial tension, and white flight to growing suburbs. As a result, downtown Indianapolis saw little new construction. The city of Indianapolis addressed these issues by developing plans, in the 1980s, to redefine the city's downtown. Neighborhoods in the downtown area were designated in relation to their proximity to the city center, and plans were initiated for them to be redeveloped. A series of modern skyscrapers were constructed, including what is currently the tallest building in the state; the newly renamed Chase Towermarker. The third tallest building in the city, One Indiana Square, is going through an exterior make over after being damaged by high winds in April 2006.

Demographics

The 2008 Census estimate for the Indianapolis balancemarker (the portion of the city not part of an included town) was 798,382, while the 2007 estimate for the entire city was 808,466.

Greater Indianapolis is a rapidly growing region located at the center of Indiana and consists of Marion County, Indianamarker and several adjacent counties. The Combined Statistical Area (CSA) of Indianapolis exceeded 2 million people in the 2007 estimate, ranking 23rd in the United States and 7th in the Midwest. As a unified labor and media market, the Indianapolis Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) had a 2006 population of 1.66 million people, ranking 33rd in the United States. Indianapolis is the 7th largest MSA in the Midwest.

As of the 2005-2007 American Community Survey conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau, White Americans made up 66.4% of Indianapolis's population; of which 63.8% were non-Hispanic whites. Blacks or African Americans made up 25.7% of Indianapolis's population; of which 25.6% were non-Hispanic blacks. American Indian made up 0.2% of the city's population. Asian Americans made up 1.6% of the city's population. Pacific Islander Americans made up 0.1% of the city's population. Individuals from some other race made up 3.7% of the city's population; of which 0.3% were non-Hispanic. Individuals from two or more races made up 2.2% of the city's population; of which 1.9% were non-Hispanic. In addition, Hispanics and Latinos made up 6.6% of Indianapolis's population. From 2000 to 2004, the Hispanic population in Indianapolis increased by 43%.

As of the census of 2000, there were 791,926 people, 324,342 households, and 195,578 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,160.9 people per square mile (834.4/km²). There were 356,980 housing units at an average density of 974.1 per square mile (376.1/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 69.34% White, 25.29% African American, 0.25% Native American, 1.42% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 2.02% from other races, and 1.64% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.88% of the population. Indianapolis has around 10,000 immigrants from the former Yugoslavia.

There were 324,342 households out of which 29.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 40.7% were married couples living together, 15.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 39.7% were non-families. 32.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.39 and the average family size was 3.03.

In the city the population was spread out with 25.7% under the age of 18, 10.1% from 18 to 24, 32.8% from 25 to 44, 20.4% from 45 to 64, and 11.1% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 34 years. For every 100 females there are 93.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 90.1 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $40,154, and the median income for a family was $48,979. Males had a median income of $36,372 versus $27,757 for females. The per capita income for the city was $21,789. About 9.0% of families and 11.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 16.1% of those under the age of 18 and 8.1% of those ages 65 or older.

Law and government

Indianapolis has a consolidated city-county government known as Unigov. Under this system, many functions of the city and county governments are consolidated, though some remain separate. The city has a mayor-council form of government.

Mayor

The executive branch is headed by an elected mayor, who serves as the chief executive of both the city and Marion County. The current Mayor of Indianapolis is Republican Greg Ballard. The mayor appoints city department heads and members of various boards and commissions.

City-County Council

The legislative body for the city and county is the City-County Council. It is made up of 29 members, 25 of whom represent districts, with the remaining four elected at large. As of 2008, Republicans hold a 16-13 majority. The council passes ordinances for the city and county, and also makes appointments to certain boards and commissions.

Courts

All of the courts of law in Indianapolis are part of the Indiana state court system. The Marion Superior Court is the court of general jurisdiction. The 35 judges on the court hear all criminal, juvenile, probate, and traffic violation cases, as well as most civil cases. The Marion Circuit Court hears certain types of civil cases. Small claims cases are heard by Small Claims Courts in each of Marion County's nine townships. Also, the Appeals Courts and the Supreme Court for the state of Indiana are held in the statehouse.

Fire protection

Historically there was a fire department maintained by each suburban township, which provided service to the areas of the townships outside of the pre-Unigov city limits and the corporate limits of the excluded cities. In January 2007, by a resolution jointly passed by the Washington Township Board and by the Indianapolis City-County Council, the Washington Township Fire Department was merged into the City of Indianapolis Fire Department. In July 2007, by a similar resolution between the City-County Council and the Warren Township Board, the Warren Township Fire Department was also merged into the city fire department. In an effort to resolve upcoming budget shortfalls in 2010, Perry Township became the third township to merge with the Indianapolis Fire Department effective August 1, 2009. All of the career fire-fighting personnel and emergency medical services personnel were absorbed into the city department. Franklin Township began pursuing a potential merger of its fire department in July 2009 as well as Lawrence Township in November 2009.

Law enforcement

Indianapolis and Marion Countymarker historically maintained separate police agencies: the Indianapolis Police Department and Marion County Sheriff's Department. On January 1, 2007, a new agency, the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department, was formed by merging the two departments. IMPD is a separate agency, as the Sheriff's Department maintains jail and court functions. IMPD has jurisdiction over those portions of Marion County not explicitly covered by the police of an excluded city or by a legacy pre-Unigov force. As of February 29, 2008, the IMPD is headed by a Public Safety Director appointed by the Mayor of Indianapolis; the Public Safety Director appoints the Police Chief. The IMPD was formerly under the leadership of the Sheriff of Marion County, Frank J. Anderson. The Sheriff remains in charge of the County Jail and security for the City-County Building, service of warrants, and certain other functions. The Sheriff must be consulted, but does not have final say, on the appointment of the Public Safety Director and the Police Chief.

Crime

For the past decade, crime rates within the Indianapolis city limits have fluctuated greatly. In the late 1990s, violent crimes in inner-city neighborhoods located within the old city limits (pre-consolidation) peaked. The former Indianapolis Police District (IPD), which serves about 37% of the county's total population and has a geographic area covering mostly the old pre-consolidation city limits, recorded 130 homicides in 1998 to average approximately 40.3 homicides per 100,000 people. This is over 6 times the 1998 national homicide average of 6.3 per 100,000 people. Meanwhile, the former Marion County Sheriff's Department district serving the remaining 63% of the county's population, which includes the majority of the residents in the Consolidated City, recorded only 32 homicides in 1998, averaging about 5.9 murders per 100,000 people, slightly less than the 1998 national homicide average. Homicides in the IPD police district dropped dramatically in 1999 and have remained lower through 2005. In 2005, the IPD police district recorded 88 homicides to average 27.3 homicides per 100,000 people; nonetheless, the murder rate in the IPD is still almost 5 times the 2005 national average.

When considering the total Consolidated City of Indianapolis, the overall crime rate has historically been low compared to the national average. It is important to note, however, that Indianapolis is unique in its incorporation of historically suburban areas into the official "city limits" since the establishment of Unigov in 1970. This can make the overall numbers for the city misleading, as crime in working class inner-city neighborhoods remains a problem. Areas of Indianapolis that were unincorporated or separate municipalities before the 1970 city-county consolidation generally have significantly lower crime rates although their aggregate population is higher than the old pre-consolidation Indianapolis city limits. Thus, crime figures for the Consolidated City and the entire Marion County average out to a low rate. However, according to FBI reports in 2006, for the first half of the year, Indianapolis saw one of the larger increases in homicides in the country for the first half of 2006 as compared to the same time period in 2005. Overall violent crime in Indianapolis increased 8% for the first half of 2006 compared to the first half of 2005. While Marion County has still not surpassed its record homicide number of 162 set in 1998, it is on pace to see one of the highest numbers of homicides since then, with 153 committed in 2006 as the year draws to a close. In one 2006 event, seven individuals from the same family were murdered in their home. In 2007, city leaders such as Sheriff Frank J. Anderson and former Mayor Bart Peterson held rallies in neighborhoods in effort to stop the violence in the city. In 2008, 122 homicides were recorded in Indianapolis.

The immediate downtown area of the city around most main attractions, venues, and museums remain relatively safe. IMPD uses horseback officers and bicycle officers to patrol the downtown area or the city. Certain areas of Indianapolis, most notably portions of the city's East Side, remain a challenge for law enforcement officials. Indianapolis was ranked as the 33rd most dangerous city in the United States in the 2008–2009 edition of CQ Press's City Crime Rankings.

Politics

Until the late 1990s, Indianapolis was considered to be one of the most conservative metropolitan areas in the country but this trend is reversing. Republican had held the majority in the City-County Council for 36 years, and the city had a Republican mayor for 32 years from 1967 to 1999. This was in part because the creation of Unigov added several then-heavily Republican areas of Marion County to the Indianapolis city limits. More recently, Republicans have generally been stronger in the southern and western parts (Decaturmarker, Franklinmarker, Perrymarker, and Waynemarker, townships) of the county while Democrats have been stronger in the central and northern parts (Centermarker, Pikemarker, and Washingtonmarker townships). Republican and Democratic strength is split in Warrenmarker and Lawrencemarker townships. Outside of Marion County and the city proper, Republicans hold strong majorities in the suburbs of the metropolitan area.

In the 1999 municipal election, Democrat Bart Peterson defeated Indiana Secretary of State Sue Anne Gilroy by 52 percent to 41 percent. Four years later, Peterson was re-elected with 63 percent of the vote over Marion County Treasurer Greg Jordan. Republicans narrowly lost control of the City-County Council that year. In 2004, Democrats won the Marion County offices of treasurer, surveyor and coroner for the first time since the 1970s. The county GOP lost further ground during the 2006 elections with Democrats winning the offices of county clerk, assessor, recorder and auditor. Only one GOP countywide office remained: Prosecutor Carl Brizzi, who defeated Democratic challenger Melina Kennedy with 51 percent of the vote in his bid for a second term, despite outspending her two-to-one. At the township level, Democrats picked up the trustee offices in Washington, Lawrence, Warren and Wayne townships, while holding on to Pike and Center townships.

In the 2007 municipal election, fueled by voter angst against increases in property and income taxes as well as a rise in crime, Republican challenger Greg Ballard narrowly defeated Peterson, 51 percent to 47 percent—the first time an incumbent Indianapolis mayor was removed from office since 1967. Discontent among these issues also returned control of the City-County Council to the GOP with a 16-13 majority.

John Kerry defeated George W. Bush in the 2004 presidential election by roughly 6,000 votes in Marion County, 51 percent to 49 percent. It was the first time a Democratic presidential candidate had carried Marion County since 1964. Barack Obama carried Marion County in the 2008 presidential election by a much larger scale of 237,275 votes to John McCain's 131,459 votes, 64 percent to 35 percent respectively. Indianapolis was primarily responsible for delivering Indiana's electoral votes to Obama, who was the first Democratic presidential nominee to carry the Hoosier State since Lyndon B. Johnson in 1964.

Most of Indianapolis is within the 7th Congressional District of Indiana, represented by Democrat André Carson. He is the grandson of the district's previous representative, Julia Carson who held the seat from 1997 until her death on December 15, 2007. The younger Carson, a former member of the City-County Council, won the seat in a special election on March 11, 2008. The northeastern and southeastern portions of the city are in the 5th District, represented by Republican Dan Burton. A portion of western Indianapolis is in the 4th District, represented by Republican Steve Buyer.

Education

  Indianapolis Public Schools
  School Town of Speedway
  Beech Grove City Schools
  MSD Pike Township
  MSD Washington Township
  MSD Lawrence Township
  MSD Warren Township
  Franklin Township CSC
  MSD Perry Township
  MSD Decatur Township
  MSD Wayne Township
Indianapolis Public School Districts


Higher education

Indianapolis is the home of (in alphabetical order): [Ball State University] Indianapolis Center,Brown Mackie College, Butler University, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolismarker (IUPUI), Ivy Tech Community College of Indiana, Marian College, Martin University, Oakland City University Indianapolis campus, The Art Institute of Indianapolis, and the University of Indianapolismarker.

Butler University was originally founded in 1855 as North Western Christian University. The school purchased land in the Irvingtonmarker area in 1875. The school moved again in 1928 to its current location at the edge of Butler-Tarkingtonmarker. The school removed itself officially from religious affiliation, giving up the theological school to Christian Theological Seminary. A private institution, Butler's current student enrollment is approximately 4,400.

Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolismarker was originally an urban conglomeration of branch campuses of the two major state universities: Indiana Universitymarker in Bloomingtonmarker and Purdue Universitymarker in West Lafayettemarker, created by the state legislature. In 1969 a merged campus was created at the site of the Indiana University School of Medicinemarker. IUPUI's student body is currently just under 30,000, making it the third-largest institute of higher learning in Indiana after the main campuses of IU and Purdue. This campus is also home to Herron School of Art and Design, which was established privately in 1902. A new building was built in 2005 under both private donation and state contribution enabling the school to move from its original location.

Ivy Tech Community College of Indiana, a state funded public school, was founded as Indiana Vocational Technical College in 1963. With 23 campuses across Indiana, Ivy Tech has a total enrollment of 86,130, as of 2008, according to the school's website.

Marian College was founded in 1936 when St. Francis Normal and Immaculate Conception Junior College merged. The college moved to Indianapolis in 1937. Marian is currently a private Catholic school and has an enrollment of approximately 1,800 students. Starting in the 2009–2010 academic year, the college has changes its name it "Marian University," reflecting a more focused curriculum.

The University of Indianapolismarker is a private school affiliated with the United Methodist Church. Founded in 1902 as Indiana Central University, the school currently hosts almost 4,300 students.

Primary and secondary education

Indianapolis has eleven unified public school districts (eight township educational authorities and three legacy districts from before the unification of city and county government) each of which provides primary, secondary, and adult education services within its boundaries. The boundaries of these districts do not exactly correspond to township (or traditional) boundaries, but rather cover the areas of their townships that were outside the pre-consolidation city limits. Indianapolis Public Schools served all of Indianapolis prior to 1970, when almost all of Marion County was incorporated, and is still the city's largest school corporation today. It also offers a wide variety of private schools such as Bishop Chatard, Roncalli, Cardinal Ritter, and Scecina which are part of the archdiocese of Indianapolis. And private schools such as Brebeuf, Park Tutor, Cathedral, and Culver Military Academy all of which are top schools in the state

Libraries

Public library services are provided to the citizens of Indianapolis and Marion County by the Indianapolis-Marion County Public Librarymarker (IMCPL). The educational and cultural institution, founded in 1873, now consists of a main library, Central Library, located in downtown Indianapolis and 22 branch locations spread throughout the city. Serving over 5.43 million visitors in 2006, IMCPL's mission is to provide "materials and programs in support of the lifelong learning, recreational and economic interests of all citizens of Marion County." A renovated Central Library building opened on December 9, 2007, ending a controversial multi-year rebuilding plan.

Cultural features

Indianapolis prides itself on its rich cultural heritage. Several initiatives have been made by the Indianapolis government in recent years to increase Indianapolis's appeal as a destination for arts and culture.

Cultural Districts


Indianapolis has designated six official Cultural Districts. They are Broad Ripple Villagemarker, Massachusetts Avenuemarker, Fountain Squaremarker, The Wholesale Districtmarker, Canal and White River State Parkmarker, and Indiana Avenuemarker. These areas have held historic and cultural importance to the city. In recent years they have been revitalized and are becoming major centers for tourism, commerce and residential living.

Cultural Trail
Scheduled to be complete by 2011, the Indianapolis Cultural Trail: is a world-class urban bike and pedestrian path that connects the city's five downtown Cultural Districts, neighborhoods and entertainment amenities, and serves as the downtown hub for the entire central Indiana greenway system. The trail will include benches, bike racks, lighting, signage and bike rentals/drop-offs along the way and will also feature local art work.

Monument Circle
At the center of Indianapolis is Monument Circle, a traffic circle at the intersection of Meridian and Market Streets, featuring the Soldiers' and Sailors' Monumentmarker. Monument Circle is depicted on the city’s flag. It is in the shadow of Indiana's tallest skyscraper, the Chase Towermarker. Until the early 1960s, Indianapolis zoning laws stated that no building could be taller than the Soldiers and Sailors Monument. Each Christmas season, lights are strung onto the monument and lit in a ceremony known as the Circle of Lights, which attracts tens of thousands of Hoosiers to downtown Indianapolis on the day after Thanksgiving.

War Memorial Plaza
The War Memorial


A five-block plaza at the intersection of Meridian and Vermont surrounds a large memorial dedicated to Hoosiers who have fought in American wars. It was originally constructed to honor the Indiana soldiers who died in World War I, but construction was halted due to lack of funding during the Great Depression, and it was finished in 1951. The purpose of the memorial was later altered to encompass all American wars in which Hoosiers fought.

The monument is modeled after the Mausoleum of Maussollosmarker. At tall it is approximately seventy-five feet taller than the original Mausoleum. The blue lights, which shine between columns on the side of the War Memorial, make the monument easy to spot. On the north end of the War Memorial Plaza is the national headquarters of the American Legion and the Indianapolis-Marion County Public Library'smarker Central Library.

Indiana Statehouse


The Statehouse houses the Indiana General Assembly, the Governor of Indiana, state courts, and other state officials.

Monuments


The city is second only to Washington, D.C.marker, for number of monuments inside city limits.

Other Heritage & History Attractions


Festivals, conventions, and organizations

Indianapolis has evolved into a center for music. The city plays host to Drum Corps International, Music for All, Inergy, Indy's Official Musical Ambassadors, the Percussive Arts Society, the International Violin Competition of Indianapolis, the American Pianists' Association and Indy Jazz Festival.

Indianapolis is home to Bands of America , a nationwide organization of high school marching, concert, and jazz bands, and hosts several BOA events annually. Indianapolis is now also the international headquarters of Drum Corps International, a professional drum and bugle corps association, and beginning in 2008 will host the DCI World Championships in the new Lucas Oil Stadiummarker.

Indy Jazz Fest, a three day event held in Military Park near the canal, started in 1999.

The Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra holds an outdoor summer concert series called Symphony on the Prairie which attracts large crowds to Conner Prarie.

Free public concerts are also offered at Indy Parks throughout the city during the summer months along with sports facilities, water parks and nature reserves.

The city has anarts community that includes many fairs celebrating a wide variety of arts and crafts. They include the Broad Ripple Art Fair, Talbot Street Art Fair, Carmel Arts Festival, Indian Market and Festival, and the Penrod Art Fair

Every May Indianapolis holds the 500 Festival, a month of events culminating in the Indianapolis 500 Festival Parade the day before the running of the Indianapolis 500marker. The Festival was first held in 1957.

In 2003, Indianapolis began hosting Gen Con, the largest role-playing game convention in the North America (record attendance thus far being numbered in excess of 30,000), at the Indiana Convention Centermarker. Future expansion of the convention space is expected by many to further increase attendance numbers in coming years. The convention center has also recently hosted to events such as Star Wars Celebration II and III, which brought in Star Wars fans from around the world, including George Lucas.

Indianapolis will host the National FFA Convention from 2006 to 2012 and is one of two finalists for the convention from 2013–2019. FFA Convention draws approximately 55,000 attendees and has an estimated $30–$40 million direct visitor impact on the local economy. Attendees occupy 13,000 hotel rooms in 130 metro-area hotels on peak nights during the four-day convention, making it the largest convention in the history of Indianapolis.

Indianapolis is also home to the Indiana State Fairmarker as well as the Heartland Film Festival, Epilogue Players, the Indianapolis International Film Festival, the Indianapolis Theatre Fringe Festival, the Indianapolis Alternative Media Festival, and the Midwest Music Summit.

The Circle City Classic is one of America’s top historically African-American college football games. This annual football game, held during the first weekend of October, is the showcase event of an entire weekend. The weekend is a celebration of cultural excellence and educational achievement while showcasing the spirit, energy and tradition of America’s historically black colleges and universities.

Indianapolis has been the headquarters of the Kiwanis International organization since 1982. The organization and its youth-sponsored Kiwanis Family counterparts, Circle K International and Key Club International, administer all their international business and service initiatives from Indianapolis.

Indianapolis contains the national headquarters for twenty-six fraternities and sororities. Many are congregated in the College Park area surrounding The Pyramidsmarker.

Ethnic and cultural heritage festivals

One of the largest ethnic and cultural heritage festivals in Indianapolis is the Summer Celebration held by Indiana Black Expo. This ten-day national event highlights the contributions of African-Americans to U.S. society and culture and provides educational, entertainment, and networking opportunities to the over 300,000 participants from around the country.

Indy's International Festival is held annually in November at the Indiana State Fairgroundsmarker. Local ethnic groups, vendors and performers are featured alongside national and international performers.

Sports

The labels of The Amateur Sports Capital of the World, and The Racing Capital of the World, have both been applied to Indianapolis.

Indianapolis is home to the Indy Racing League's offices and many of its teams, Indianapolis Colts of the NFL, the Indiana Pacers of the NBA, the Indiana Fever of the WNBA, the Indianapolis Indians of the IL, the Indiana Ice of the USHL, and the Indianapolis Trax of the MWHL.

In addition, the headquarters of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), the main governing body for U.S. collegiate sports, is located in Indianapolis, as is the National Federation of State High School Associations. Indianapolis is also home to the national offices of USA Gymnastics, USA Diving, US Synchronized Swimming, and USA Track & Field.Indianapolis also hosts the headquarters of the Horizon League and the Great Lakes Valley Conference; the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference is located in suburban Indianapolis.

The city has hosted the Men's and Women's Final Four (the semifinals and final of the NCAA basketball tournament) several times, and as of 2006 the NCAA is scheduled to hold the Women's Final Four in Indianapolis at least once every five years. Conseco Fieldhousemarker in Indianapolis will host the Big Ten Tournament for five straight years (beginning in 2008) after it won the Big Ten bid over Chicagomarker and the United Centermarker.

Indianapolis also hosts the Indianapolis Tennis Championships, one of the many tournaments which are part of the US Openmarker series.

IMSmarker hosts two major races every year, the Indianapolis 500marker and the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard. Starting in 2008, the MotoGP Motorcycle series will host a weekend at the speedway for the Red Bull Indianapolis Grand Prix. On May 20, 2008, the city was awarded the rights to host Super Bowl XLVI. Indianapolis hosted the Pan American Games in 1987 and the 2002 World Basketball Championships.

Club Sport League Venue
Indianapolis Colts Football National Football League (AFC) Lucas Oil Stadiummarker
Indiana Pacers Basketball National Basketball Association Conseco Fieldhousemarker
Indiana Fever Basketball Women's National Basketball Association Conseco Fieldhousemarker
Indianapolis Indians Baseball International League (AAA - affiliated with the Pittsburgh Pirates) Victory Fieldmarker
Indiana Ice Hockey United States Hockey League Pepsi Coliseummarker
Indianapolis Trax Hockey Midwest Hockey League The Forum
Indianapolis Impalas Rugby USA Rugby Lake Sullivan Sports Complex
Naptown Roller Girls Roller Derby Women's Flat Track Derby Association Indiana State Fairgroundsmarker


The Indianapolis Motor Speedway

Indianapolis Motor Speedway


The Indianapolis Motor Speedwaymarker (IMS), located in Speedway, Indianamarker, is the site of the Indianapolis 500-Mile Racemarker (also known as the Indy 500), an open-wheel automobile race held each Memorial Day weekend on a oval track. The Indy 500 is the largest single-day sporting event in the world, hosting more than 257,000 permanent seats (not including the infield area). The track is often referred to as the Brickyardmarker, as it was paved with 3.2 million bricks shortly after its construction in 1909. Today the track is paved in asphalt although a section of bricks remains at the start/finish line.

IMS also hosts the NASCAR Brickyard 400 (originally the "Allstate 400 at the Brickyard"). The first running of the Brickyard 400 was in 1994, and is currently NASCAR's highest attended event.

From 2000 to 2007, IMS hosted the Formula One United States Grand Prix (USGP). Contract negotiations between the IMS and Formula One resulted in a discontinuation of the USGP at Indianapolis (at least for the foreseeable future). Formula One has not scheduled a USGP venue for the 2008 and 2009 seasons.

The Speedway hosted its first MotoGP, with the Red Bull Indianapolis Grand Prix taking place in September 2008.

O'Reilly Raceway Park

Indianapolis is also home to O'Reilly Raceway Parkmarker. Though not as well known as Indianapolis Motor Speedway, O'Reilly is home to the NHRA Mac Tool U.S. Nationals, the biggest, oldest, richest, and most prestigious drag race in the world, held every Labor Day weekend.

OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon

Indianapolis is home to the largest mini-marathon (and eighth-largest running event) in America. 2007 was the 30th anniversary of the Mini, and run in the first weekend in May every year. This event is part of the 500 Festival, its 50th year running. The race starts on Washington Street just off Monument Circlemarker and ends on New York Street back downtown. The Mini has been sold out every year, with well over 35,000 runners participating.

Recreation

Parks

Indianapolis has an extensive municipal park system with nearly 200 parks occupying over . The flagship Eagle Creek Parkmarker is the largest municipal park in the city, and ranks among the largest urban parks in the United States.

Other major Indianapolis Regional parks include:

  • Garfield Park (established in 1881 and the oldest park in Indianapolis. Located on the Near South Side)
  • Riverside Park (Near West Side)
  • Sahm Park (Northeast side)
  • Southeastway Park (Franklin Township, Marion County)
  • Southwestway Park (Decatur Township, Marion County)
  • White River State Park (Just West of downtown. Has cultural, educational and recreational attractions as well as trails and waterways.)
Additionally, Indianapolis has an urban forestry program that is recognized by the National Arbor Day Foundation's Tree City USA standards.

Indianapolis Zoo

Opened in 1988, the Indianapolis Zoomarker is the largest zoo in the state and is just west of downtown. It has 360 species of animals and is best known for its dolphin exhibit which includes the only underwater viewing dome in the Midwest.

Theatres & Performing Arts Venues

Indianapolis is home to a wealth of venues for the performing arts. The following theatres offer plays, Broadway hits, comedy, musicals, concerts, and other live performances to Indy theater goers.



Museums & Galleries

Indianapolis has a wide variety of museums and galleries which appeal to art lovers, car enthusiasts, sports fans, history channel addicts, and science and technology brain acts.



Other places of interest



Local media

Indianapolis is served by local, regional, and national media.

National broadcast television affiliates include ABC affiliate WRTV (channel 6), CBS affiliate WISH (channel 8), NBC affiliate WTHR (channel 13), and Fox affiliate WXIN (channel 59), and PBS local affiliate WFYI (channel 20).

The Indianapolis Star is the city's daily newspaper.

Economy

The Gross State Product in the state as of 2001 was $ 189.9 bil. The per capita personal income (2003) was $ 28.783.

Among the various sectors of the economy in the state the Chief Industries are manufacturing, services, agriculture, government, wholesale and retail trade, transportation and public utilities.

The Chief Manufacturing goods of the state are primary metals, transportation equipment, motor vehicles and equipments, industrial machinery and equipment, electronic and electric equipment.

Major crops of the state are Corn, soybeans, nursery and green house products, vegetables, popcorn, fruit, hay, tobacco and mint. Important Livestock (January 2004): 830,000 cattle/calves; 45,000 sheep/lambs; (January 2003): 3.1 mil. Hogs/pigs; (December 2003): 28.9 mil. Chickens (excluding broilers).

Companies

Indianapolis is the international headquarters of the pharmaceutical corporation Eli Lilly and Company, wireless distribution & logistics provider Brightpoint, health insurance provider Wellpoint, insurance company American United Life (OneAmerica), Republic Airways Holdings (including Chautauqua Airlines, Republic Airlines, and Shuttle America, real estate companies Simon Property Group & Hunt Construction Group, Finish Line, Inc., Duke Realty Corp. and Teleservices Direct. The U.S. headquarters of Roche Diagnostics, Thomson SA, Conseco, First Internet Bank of Indiana, Peerless Pump Company, Dow AgroSciences, Emmis Communications and Steak 'n Shake are also located in Indianapolis. Other major Indianapolis area employers include Clarian Health, Sallie Mae, Cook Group, Rolls Royce, Delta Faucet Company and General Motors. Indianapolis has also developed into a major logistics center. It is home to a FedEx hub and many major distribution centers for companies like Amazon.com, FoxConn, and numerous pharmaceutical distributors.

Before Detroitmarker came to dominate the American automobile industry, Indianapolis was also home to a number of carmakers, including American Motor Car Company, Parry Auto Company, and Premier Motor Manufacturing. In addition, Indianapolis hosted auto parts companies such as Prest-O-Lite, which provided acetylene generators for brass era headlights and acetylene gas starters.

ATA Airlines (previously American Trans Air) was headquartered in Indianapolis prior to its collapse.

Business climate and real estate

The National Association of Home Builders and Wells Fargo ranked Indianapolis the most affordable major housing market in the U.S. for the fourth quarter of 2008, and Forbes magazine ranked it the sixth-best city for jobs in 2008, based on a combined graded balance of perceived median household incomes, lack of unemployment, income growth, cost of living and job growth. However, in 2008, Indiana ranked 12th nationally in total home foreclosures and Indianapolis led the state.

In 2009, Indianapolis ranked first on CNN/Money's list of the top 10 cities for recent graduates.

Transportation

New Midfield Terminal under construction

Airports

Indianapolis International Airportmarker, airport code IND, is the largest airport in Indiana and serves the Indianapolis metropolitan area as well as many other communities in the state of the Indiana.

The airport is home to the second largest FedEx operation in the world (second only to the Memphis headquarters) and the United States Postal Service Eagle Network Hub. The entire airport is a global free trade zone called INZONE with 18 designated subzones.

Thirty years in planning, Indianapolis recently completed building a new airport. The $1.1 billion project is the largest development initiative in the city's history. The new Indianapolis Airport covers , with 40 gates, a baggage processing area, a baggage claim area, and Civic Plaza, a large pre-security gathering and concession space with a skylight, containing both local and national restaurants and retailers as well as local Indianapolis artwork. The new terminal is the first built in the United States since September 11, 2001. It opened officially for arriving flights 11/11/08 and departures 11/12/08.

Highways

Interstate highways



Several interstates serve the Indianapolis area. Interstate 65 runs northwest to Garymarker, where other roads eventually take drivers to Chicagomarker, and southward to Louisville, Kentuckymarker. Interstate 69 runs northeast to Fort Wayne, Indianamarker, and terminates in the city at I-465. Interstate 70 follows the old National Road, running east to Columbus, Ohiomarker and west to St. Louis, Missourimarker. Interstate 74 moves northwest towards Danville, Illinoismarker, and southeast towards Cincinnati, Ohiomarker. Finally, Interstate 465 circles Marion Countymarker and joins the aforementioned highways together. In 2002, the interstate segment connecting Interstate 465 to Interstate 65 on the northwest side of the city was redesignated Interstate 865 to reduce confusion. The Indianapolis area also has three other expressways; Sam Jones Expressway (old Airport Expressway), the new Airport Expressway, and Shadeland Avenue Expressway.

US Highways



Indiana State Trunklines



Mass transit

The Indianapolis Public Transportation Corporation, known locally as IndyGo, provides public transportation for the city. IndyGo was established in 1975 after the city of Indianapolis took over the city's transit system. Prior to 1997, IndyGo was called Metro. Central Indiana Commuter Services (CICS), funded by IndyGo to reduce pollution, serves Indianapolis and surrounding counties.

People mover

Clarian Health operates a people mover connecting the Indiana University School of Medicinemarker, Riley Hospital for Childrenmarker, Wishard Hospital and IUPUI & Indiana University School of Medicine facilities at the north end of the Downtown Canalmarker with Methodist Hospital. Plans for a larger system are being considered that would operate throughout downtown Indianapolis. The existing people mover is sometimes inaccurately described as a monorail, but in fact rides on dual concrete beams with the guideway as wide as the vehicle.

Intercity transportation

Amtrak, the national passenger rail system, provides service to Indianapolis at the Indianapolis Union Stationmarker. Amtrak provides a thrice-weekly service of the Cardinal to Chicago, New York City, Philadelphiamarker, and Washington, D.C.marker and the daily Hoosier State to Chicago.

Greyhound Lines also operates a terminal from Indianapolis Union Station downtown. The terminal is open 24 hours daily, 365 days a year.

Transportation issues

Indianapolis suffers from numerous transportation issues, such as a lack of sidewalks in suburban areas and a lack of adequate mass transit for a city its size. Plans are underway to build a commuter Light Rail System from Downtown Indianapolis to Fishers with 6 stops so far, possibly including a second line to the Indianapolis International Airport.

Indianapolis in popular media

  • The basketball film Hoosiers was set and filmed in various parts of the Indianapolis area.
  • The city of Indianapolis is referred to twelve times in the movie Uncle Buck.
  • A large segment of the film Eagle Eye takes place in Indianapolis.
  • In the classic sitcom I Love Lucy, Fred Mertz was originally from Indianapolis and his mother still lived there. Before moving to New York and meeting the Ricardos, he and his wife, Ethel Mertz, ran a diner there.
  • The television sitcom One Day at a Time was set in Indianapolis. The opening credits of the show include a shot of the Pyramids, a set of three distinctive office buildings located near the northwestern edge of the city.
  • The first season of Good Morning Miss Bliss (later to become Saved by the Bell) was set in Indianapolis.
  • The first season of Thunder Alley was set in Indianapolis.
  • The American version of Men Behaving Badly was set in Indianapolis.
  • CBS's 2005 drama Close to Home was set in Indianapolis, revolving around a prosecuting attorney in Marion County.
  • In the television show Jericho, Indianapolis was one of 23 American cities destroyed by nuclear weapons. Interestingly enough, this fate also befalls the city in the Worldwar series of novels by Harry Turtledove, as well as in the fictional history for the game Car Wars.
  • Indianapolis is featured in The Shift on the Investigation Discovery Channel, as cameras follow Indianapolis's homicide unit.
  • The Bob and Tom Show, a nationally-syndicated radio show which is also televised by WGN America, is based out of WFBQ-FM (Q95) in Indianapolis.
  • David Letterman, host of CBS' Late Show and the original host of NBC's Late Night, was born and raised in Indianapolis and began his broadcasting career there as a weatherman for WLWI-TV (now WTHRmarker). His mother, Dorothy Mengering, who still lives in the Indianapolis area, has made frequent appearances on her son's show.
  • The Paul Newman film Winning is about the Indy 500 and takes place at the speedway.


See also



Gallery

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Sister cities

Indianapolis has seven sister cities, as designated by Sister Cities International:

References

External links




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