The Athenaeum celebrates as it gains National Landmark status

WISH Photo/Howard Monroe

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Indianapolis has a new national landmark.

The Athenaeum was given it’s new recognition late last year, but on Wednesday they were celebrating it.

The Athenaeum is now one of just 42 national landmarks in the state.

The building was previously listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The Athenaeum Foundation worked for eight years to upgrade the designation.

They celebrated with a $1.2 million capital campaign and renovation.

The building was built in 1894 by the German Free Thinkers.  It’s original name was Das Deutsche Haus.

It’s home to a YMCA, a beer garden, a church, an artist’s gallery and as of Wednesday, a coffee shop.

Even 123 years later, leaders say the building is still serving it’s original purpose.

“We took the nod from Europe, you know the German Old Buildings, they’ve taken these beautiful historic buildings and they’ve made them contemporary,” said Cassie Stockamp the president of the The Athenaeum Foundation, Inc. We haven’t changed any of the historic fabric or the integrity of that, but it’s just through the amenities . This building, the founding principals are a sound mind and a sound body which is as relevant today as it was 100 years ago.”

In addition to the Athenaeum other historic landmarks in the state include the entire War Memorial Plaza downtown, the Soldiers and Sailors Monument on Monument Circle, Hinkle Fieldhouse at Butler University and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

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