Indiana State Museum and Historic Sites, 2002

605 West Washington Street, Indianapolis, IN 46204

Architect/Designer: RATIO Architects


The front façade is rough limestone representing Indiana’s strength in natural resources. A steel canopy extends over the front walk representing the states expansive industrial heritage. To the north east of the front façade is a large brick and aluminum cylinder designed to mimic a grain silo to embody the agricultural aspects of Indiana. The rear of the museum lies along the White River Canal, a collection of independent forms the rear façade is striking and frequented attraction along the Indianapolis Cultural Trail. A central trapezoidal glass prism is the focal point of the rear façade, surrounded by a series of smooth limestone cubes and sandstone blocks that are representative of the nearby cityscape. 2nd Globe Sculptures, an Indianapolis firm, created the “92 County Walk,” a collection of 92 pieces of art from every county in the state, providing a connection for visitors from every part of Indiana.

Significance Statement – including special status and awards won:

The Indiana State Museum was originally founded in 1862 as the private collection of State Librarian R. Deloss Brown; the museum has seen a number of locations since its humble beginnings. Housed in the State Capitol Building from 1888 to 1960 the collection was moved to the Old City Hall where it remained until 2001. The current Indiana State Museum is not only an extensive museum but the structure itself was designed to represent all areas of Indiana’s cultural history.

Designation status:


Style: Post Modern

Owner (past/present): State of Indiana

Materials: Limestone, Glass, Steel, Brick and Aluminum

Additions and/or changes with date: None

Historic use/current use: Museum, event space

Is building open to the public?: Yes, admission fee required

Condition: Excellent

Website and/or sources of information

Website and visitors information:

Research Sources:

 Indiana State Museum. “History.” Accessed November 15, 2015.

 Indiana White River. “Indiana State Museum.” Accessed November 18, 2015.

 Walk Indianapolis. “Indiana State Museum.” Accessed November 18, 2015.


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