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The two RV Gypsies explored Indianapolis, Indiana
September 24, 2015

USA map showing location of Indiana Indiana map showing location of Indianapolis
Welcome to Indiana sign

The two RV Gypsies went to Lebanon, Indiana to visit their friends, and they parked their RV in their driveway for two days. Then their friends drove them to downtown Indianapolis and they did a bit of sight-seeing, then kayaked in the middle of the city.

a big bunny rabbit Lebabon Indiana painted on bridge

Indianapolis is the capital of the U.S. state of Indiana and the county seat of Marion County. Indianapolis is the largest city in Indiana, second largest in the American Midwest, and 14th largest in the U.S. Residents of the city are referred to as "Indianapolitans."

Indianapolis has a diverse economy, relying on trade, transportation, and utilities, professional and business services, education and health services, government, retail trade, leisure and hospitality, and manufacturing. Three Fortune 500 companies are based in the city.

Indianapolis was founded in 1821 on the White River as a planned city for the new seat of Indiana's state government. Nicknamed the Crossroads of America, Indianapolis is the junction for four Interstate highways, six U.S. highways, and three state roads. Indianapolis International Airport is a major international hub, ranking as the 23rd busiest airport in the world by cargo traffic in 2014.

welcome to indianapolis

history bookBelow: At the very center of Indianapolis is the "State Soldiers' and Sailors' Monument" (1902), designed by Bruno Schmitz (1858-1916), Germany's foremost architect of national monuments. Completed in 1901, the monument appears to be Schmitz's only commission outside of Germany and Switzerland. Most of the bronze and stone sculptures on the monument were designed, executed and manufactured by Germans. The limestone sculptures are the work of Vienna-born sculptor Rudolf Schwarz (1866-1912). The bronze Army Astragal sculptural band above the monument base was designed by Nicolaus Geiger (1849-1897) of Berlin. The Astragal and the eight candelabra were manufactured in Berlin. 

The State Soldiers' and Sailors' Monument was dedicated in 1902 to Indiana's heroes who died in wars before World War I. Erected as a memorial to the soldiers and sailors of the War for the Union (1861-65), it also commemorates the War with Mexico (1846-48), Indian and British Wars (1811-12), War of the Revolution and the capture of Vincennes from the British on February 25, 1779. The Monument rises from a circular plaza, 342 feet in diameter, where once stood the governor's house--but where no governor ever lived. At the lower level of the Monument is a Civil War exhibit.

The State Soldiers' and Sailors' Monument The State Soldiers' and Sailors' Monument
The State Soldiers' and Sailors' Monument The State Soldiers' and Sailors' Monument
The State Soldiers' and Sailors' Monument butt shots
mural inside Frank and Katrina Basile Theater

Below: a miniature model of the mural inside Frank and Katrina Basile Theater

mini mode of the theater

The two RV Gypsies got a private tour of the Indiana State Library, located at 315 W. Ohio Street, from the Assistant Director. The Indiana State Library is responsible for:
- Developing and providing library services to state government, its branches, its departments and its officials and employees.

- Providing for the individual citizens of the state those specialized library services not generally appropriate, economical or available in other libraries of the state.

- Encouraging and supporting the development of the library profession.

- Strengthening services of all types of publicly and privately supported special, school, academic, and public libraries.

Through its history, the Indiana State Library has developed strong collections in the fields of Indiana history and culture, Indiana state government and United States government publications, Indiana newspapers, genealogy and family history resources on Indiana and the eastern United States, Braille, large print, and books on tape for the visually impaired, library science, and American history, politics, and economics. Its collections in these areas support research by state agency employees, scholars, genealogists, librarians, students, Indiana residents who are blind or physically challenged, and the general public.

History: In 1934, the Indiana State Library and Historical Building opened to the public. To commemorate that event, a booklet was commissioned which described the building and the various divisions and agencies it housed.

library Lee Duquette inside the Indiana State Library
Lee Duquette inside the Indiana State Library stained glass window

marble design on staircase

ceiling

marble design on staircase ceiling design
mural over a doorway
library rug inside the library

ceiling design

chandelier

ceiling design chandelier
chandelier chandelier
Abraham Lincoln poster

Below: Project 9/11 Indianapolis was begun early in 2010 as a grass roots effort to establish a permanent memorial dedicated to those killed in the September 11 attacks. Greg Hess, a firefighter paramedic with the Indianapolis Fire Department, was the primary lead of the initiative. In 2001, Hess was a member of Indiana Task Force 1 (INTF-1), one of the first FEMA Search and Rescue teams to arrive at Ground Zero. INTF-1 spent 8 days in New York assisting the local agencies in the rescue and recovery efforts.

Project 9/11 Indianapolis is located at 421 West Ohio Street, next to Indianapolis Fire Station 13 along the Indiana Central Canal. The focal point of the memorial consists of two 11,000-pound beams from the Twin Towers. Behind the beams stand a pair of six-foot tall black granite walls inscribed with remembrances of the events in New York City; Washington, D.C.; and Shanksville, Pennsylvania. Perched atop one of the beams is a bronze, life-size sculpture of an American bald eagle, with wings outstretched and gazing east toward New York City.

In 2010, Hess petitioned the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey to obtain the steel beams from Hangar 17 & 18 (an 80,000-square-foot hangar that houses all the artifacts recovered from the World Trade Center) at JFK Airport. In order to bring the beams from New York to Indianapolis, Hess contacted Sodrel Trucking to donate the use of a semi-truck and had it emblazoned with a custom vehicle wrap, created and donated by Dream Street Graphics. Over 11,000 bikers escorted the 9/11 semi-truck carrying the memorial beams to Indianapolis, a procession that was estimated at over 47 miles in length.

9-11 memorial 9-11 memorial
9-11 memorial
9-11 memorial 9-11 memorial
9-11 memorial 9-11 memorial

Below: The focal point of the memorial consists of two 11,000-pound beams from the Twin Towers. Perched atop one of the beams is a bronze, life-size sculpture of an American bald eagle, with wings outstretched and gazing east toward New York City.

9-11 memorial 9-11 memorial
look below