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May 1, 2023

Before the dust settles on the holiday season, Hoosier History Live will explore the impact of a man who, during a Christmas Eve visit to Monument Circle in the 1930s, found the center of Indianapolis "dark and depressing". So Edward Pierre, an influential architect, crusaded for the first ornaments to be placed on trees at the Soldiers and Sailors Monument in 1947. This was decades before what's now called the "Circle of Lights", which began in 1962.

The impact of Edward Pierre (1890-1971) on Monument Circle during the holiday season is just one of the aspects of his career and life that we will spotlight during the show. Pierre, who co-founded the architectural firm of Pierre & Wright and served as president of the Indiana Society of Architects, also designed dozens of other buildings, including the Indiana State LibraryBush Stadium (the former home of the Indianapolis Indians, which opened in 1931 as Perry Stadium), storefronts in Broad Ripple and residential homes in such northside Indianapolis neighborhoods as Meridian-Kessler and Williams Creek Estates. Nelson will be joined by two guests:

  • Lisa Hendrickson, the granddaughter of Edward Pierre and an Indianapolis-based author, editor and owner of a public relations business, Lisa Hendrickson Communications. She wrote about the distinguished architect (whom Lisa called 'Grandpa Ed') in the spring 2022 issue of Traces, the magazine published by the Indiana Historical Society.

  • And Carol Street, the undergraduate research archivist at the University of Kentucky. Carol formerly was the archivist for the Ball State University Architectural Archives, where the architectural records of Pierre & Wright are housed; she says she "fell in love" with Pierre's designs while working on the archives.