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 am also a "vet" of several Cirque shows and this one left me flat. It didn't have the amount of acrobatic stunts as the others that I have seen. I am still glad that I went to it and look forward to the next one but I put Varekai as my least favorite.

  2. Looking at the two companies - in spite of their relative size to one another -- Ricker's image is (by all accounts) pretty solid and reputable. Their locations are clean, employees are friendly and the products they offer are reasonably priced. By contrast, BP locations are all over the place and their reputation is poor, especially when you consider this is the same "company" whose disastrous oil spill and their response was nothing short of irresponsible should tell you a lot. The fact you also have people who are experienced in franchising saying their system/strategy is flawed is a good indication that another "spill" has occurred and it's the AM-PM/Ricker's customers/company that are having to deal with it.

  3. Daniel Lilly - Glad to hear about your points and miles. Enjoy Wisconsin and Illinois. You don't care one whit about financial discipline, which is why you will blast the "GOP". Classic liberalism.

  4. Isn't the real reason the terrain? The planners under-estimated the undulating terrain, sink holes, karst features, etc. This portion of the route was flawed from the beginning.

  5. You thought no Indy was bad, how's no fans working out for you? THe IRl No direct competition and still no fans. Hey George Family, spend another billion dollars, that will fix it.

ADVERTISEMENT