This second State House in Indianapolis replaced a circa-1830s Greek Revival building by New York architects Town & Day. The first capital was outdated and began to suffer structural problems by the 1860s, and was demolished in 1877.
Indianapolis became the state's capital city in 1825 after moving the first state capitol from Corydon, near the Ohio River, and Vincennes, the long-time capital of the Northwest and then Indiana Territories.
Edwin May, an Indianapolis architect, won the design competition from approximately 20 entries.
The cornerstone is a ten-ton block of limestone from Spencer, located in Owen County, about 50 miles southwest of Indianapolis. It was lain on September 28, 1880.
The architect, Edwin May, died in February 1880. The completion of construction was overseen by his primary draftsman, Adolph Scherrer.
Oolitic limestone from quarries in Monroe, Lawrence, and Owen counties is used for the upper floors, while blue limestone from Decatur and Jennings counties is used for the base.
The building's renovation was recognized in 1988 with the Monumental Award, representing the most significant visual and physical enhancement in Marion County.
This was the second tallest structure in the state when built, just shorter than the now-demolished Marion County Courthouse, just 5 blocks to the east.
The building has a cruciform arrangement, with the governor's offices on the first floor, and the second floor occupied by the House of Representatives chamber to the east, the Senate chamber to the west, and the Supreme Court on the north end.
A statue of Oliver P. Morton, Indiana's Civil War governor, presides over the Capitol Avenue steps.
It anchors the western end of Market Street, just two blocks west of Monument Circle.
The Indiana State House was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1975.
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