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Hoosier History Live

Dec 15, 2023

Once there was a majestic courthouse in Marion County designed in the Second Empire style with a clock tower, spire, cupolas and statues of Greek goddesses. Once, where Butler University's campus is located today, there was a spacious park, with a boathouse for canal rides, an outdoor band shell for concerts, a roller coaster and diving horses.

And once there was a long covered bridge that extended across the White River, enabling travelers on Washington Street in Indianapolis to make it across the waterway without getting wet.

These and other bygone landmarks will be the focus of our show with the author of a new book, Vanished Indianapolis, that describes the distinctive sites and explains why they went away. The author who will be Nelson's guest is Ed Fujawa, the creator of a popular blog about city history,

Although Ed is an Indianapolis attorney, he never tried a case in the Marion County Courthouse, which was demolished in the early 1960s. (Today, the site is a plaza just south of the City-County Building, which replaced the courthouse as the home of local courtrooms and various city offices.) Constructed in the 1870s, the courthouse drew national attention because of its lavish architecture. In Vanished Indianapolis, Ed describes a daredevil in 1919 who climbed to the top of its central spire and was among the thrill seekers attracted by the building's design.