IBJNews

Public tours planned for Indianapolis catacombs

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

The mostly unknown catacombs dating to the 1880s underneath Indianapolis' City Market are expected to be opened for public tours in a few months.

The brick archways, limestone columns and cavernous walkways span 20,000 square feet underground and were part of Tomlinson Hall, a building along Market Street in downtown Indianapolis that burned in the 1950s.

It isn't clear now why the catacombs were built and few people know they exist, said Stevi Stoesz, City Market's executive director.

"If you've sat on the plaza at City Market to have lunch and listen to a band, you've been sitting on top of this hidden gem," Stoesz told WTHR-TV.

Over the years, the catacombs have been used for storage, a few special events and once, during a severe winter storm in 1912, to house the homeless.

Some have suggested turning the area into a wine cellar, nightclub or an underground park, but Stoesz said a 1990s study estimated it would cost more than $7 million to make the catacombs meet safety codes. That work would involve grading out the area's dirt floor, removing potential asbestos and adding an elevator.

"We suspect that number is in excess of $10 million today, just to get them up to code," Stoesz said.

Limited tours of the catacombs offered by City Market and Indiana Landmarks during the week leading up to the Super Bowl this winter were such a hit that organizers plan to start offering more in June.

"We would show pictures of what stood before, Tomlinson Hall, and give a tour of the market as well," Stoesz said. "It's so shrouded in mystery and when people do learn about it, they want to learn more."

ADVERTISEMENT

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
 
Subscribe to IBJ
  1. I had read earlier this spring that Noodles & Co was going to open in the Fishers Marketplace (which is SR 37 and 131st St, not 141st St, just FYI). Any word on that? Also, do you happen to know what is being built in Carmel at Pennsylvania and Old Meridian? May just be an office building but I'm not sure.

  2. I'm sorry, but you are flat out wrong. There are few tracks in the world with the history of IMS and probably NO OTHER as widely known and recognized. I don't care what you think about the stat of Indy Car racing, these are pretty hard things to dispute.

  3. Also wondering if there is an update on the Brockway Pub-Danny Boy restaurant/taproom that was planned for the village as well?

  4. Why does the majority get to trample on the rights of the minority? You do realize that banning gay marriage does not rid the world of gay people, right? They are still going to be around and they are still going to continue to exist. The best way to get it all out of the spotlight? LEGALIZE IT! If gay marriage is legal, they will get to stop trying to push for it and you will get to stop seeing it all over the news. Why do Christians get to decide what is moral?? Why do you get to push your religion on others? How would legalizing gay marriage expose their lifestyle to your children? By the way, their lifestyle is going to continue whether gay marriage is legalized or not. It's been legal in Canada for quite a while now and they seem to be doing just fine. What about actual rules handed down by God? What about not working on Sundays? What about obeying your parents? What about adultery? These are in the 10 Commandments, the most important of God's rules. Yet they are all perfectly legal. What about divorce? Only God is allowed to dissolve a marriage so why don't you work hard to get divorce banned? Why do you get to pick and choose the parts of the Bible you care about?

  5. Look at the bright side. With the new Lowe's call center, that means 1000 jobs at $10 bucks an hour. IMS has to be drooling over all that disposable income. If those employees can save all their extra money after bills, in five years they can go to the race LIVE. Can you say attendance boost?

ADVERTISEMENT