Indianapolis, Indiana

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Indianapolis, Indiana
Image:Flag of Indianapolis.svg
Image:Indianapolis Seal.png
Flag Seal
Location in the state of Indiana
Coordinates: 39°46′5.88″N, 86°9′29.52″W
County Marion
Founded 1821
Mayor Bart Peterson (D)
 - City 953.5 km²  (368.1 sq mi)
 - Land 936.2 km²  (361.5 sq mi)
 - Water 17.3 km² (6.7 sq mi)
Elevation 218 m  (715 ft)
 - City (2000) 791,926
 - Density 845.9/km² (2,190.7/sq mi)
 - Metro 1,939,349
Time zone EST (UTC-5)
 - Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)

Indianapolis (IPA: [ˌɪn.di.ɪn.ˈæp.o.lɪs]) is the capital city of the State of Indiana, and the county seat of Marion County, Indiana. According to the 2000 Census, its population is listed as 791,926, making it Indiana's most populous city and the 12th largest city in the U.S.. Indianapolis is the third largest city in the Midwest after Chicago and Detroit.

Greater Indianapolis consists of Marion County and several contiguous counties. By one broad definition the Combined Statistical Area (CSA) of Indianapolis had a population of about 2 million people in 2005, ranking 23rd in the United States and 7th in the midwest. As a unified labor and media market, the Indianapolis Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) had a 2005 population of 1.64 million persons, ranking 34th in the United States. Indianapolis is the 8th largest MSA in the Midwest, following Chicago, Detroit, Minneapolis, St. Louis, Cleveland, Cincinnati, and Columbus.

A fairly "American" city that has managed to escape a Rust Belt reputation, Indianapolis is well known as a city with a strong sports reputation, having hosted major events such as the 1987 Pan American Games and is perhaps most known for its annual race, the Indianapolis 500. Some nicknames for Indianapolis include Indy, Naptown, the Crossroads of America, The Indy City, and the Circle City.


[edit] History

For more details on this topic, see History of Indianapolis.

Indianapolis was founded as the state capital in 1821. Jeremiah Sullivan, a judge of the Indiana Supreme Court, invented the name Indianapolis by joining Indiana with polis, the Greek word for city. The city was founded on the White River under the incorrect assumption that the river would serve as a major transportation artery; however, the waterway was too sandy for trade. The state commissioned Alexander Ralston to design the new capital city. Ralston was an apprentice to the French architect Pierre L'Enfant, and he helped L'Enfant plan Washington, DC. Ralston's original plan for Indianapolis called for a city of only 1 square mile, and, at the center of the city, sat the Governor's Circle, a large circular commons, which was to be the site of the Governor's mansion. The Governor's mansion was finally demolished in 1857 and in its place stands a 284-foot-tall (86.5-meter-tall) neoclassical limestone and bronze monument, the Soldiers' and Sailors' Monument.

The city lies on the original east-west National Road. The first railroad to service Indianapolis, the Madison & Indianapolis, began operation on October 1, 1847, and subsequent railroad connections made expansive growth possible. By the turn of the century, Indianapolis had become a heavy automobile manufacturer, rivaling the likes of Detroit. With roads leading out of the city at all directions, Indianapolis was on its way to becoming a major "hub" of regional transport connecting to Chicago, Louisville, Cincinnati, Columbus and St. Louis, as is befitting the capital of a state whose motto is "The Crossroads of America." Ironically, this same network of roads would allow quick and easy access to suburban areas in future years. Natural gas and oil deposits in the surrounding area in the late 19th century helped prosperize the economy of Indianapolis. City population grew rapidly throughout the first half of the 20th century. During this period, rapid suburbanization began to take place, and racial relations deteriorated throughout the 1960s, although, on the night that the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated, Indianapolis was the only major city in which rioting did not occur. Racial tensions heightened in 1970 with the passage of Unigov, which further isolated the middle class from Indianapolis' growing African American community.

In the 1970s and 1980s Indianapolis suffered at the hands of urban decay and white flight. Major revitalization of the city's blighted areas, such as Fall Creek Place, and especially the downtown, occurred in the 1990s and led to an acceleration of growth in and around the Indianapolis Metropolitan Area.

Indianapolis in the 1910s

[edit] Neighborhoods

Indianapolis has several distinct neighborhoods throughout the city:

Such areas have definite historic character, being suburb-like areas in the late 19th and early 20th century. Those of note include the town of Speedway (which contains the Indianapolis Motor Speedway), Beech Grove, Lawrence, the Fountain Square District, Broad Ripple Village, and Rocky Ripple. One of the largest collection of older homes comprise the neighborhood of Meridian Kessler which is centrally located on the near north side, just south of of Broad Ripple.

[edit] Geography and climate

According to the United States Census Bureau, "the balance" (that part of Marion County not part of another municipality) has a total area of 368.2 square miles (953.5 km²)—361.5 square miles (936.2 km²) of it is land and 6.7 square miles (17.3 km²) of it is water. The total area is 1.81% water. These figures are slightly misleading because they do not represent the entire Consolidated City of Indianapolis (all of Marion County, except the four "excluded" communities). The total area of the Consolidated City of Indianapolis, which does not count the four "excluded" communities, covers approximately 373.1 square miles (966.3 km²).

At the center of Indianapolis is the One-Mile Square, bounded by four appropriately-named streets: East, West, North, and South Streets. Nearly all of the streets in the One-Mile Square are named after U.S. states. (The exceptions are Meridian Street, which numerically divides west from east; Market Street, which intersects Meridian Street at Monument Circle; Capitol and Senate Avenues, where many of the Indiana state government buildings are located; and Washington Street, which was named after President George Washington. The street-numbering system centers not on the Circle, but rather one block to the south, where Meridian Street intersects Washington Street — National Road.)

Indianapolis is situated in the Central Till Plains region of the United States. Two natural waterways dissect the city: the White River, and Fall Creek.

Physically, Indianapolis is like most Midwestern cities. A mixture of dense deciduous forests and prairie covered much of what is considered Indianapolis prior to the 19th century. Land within the city limits varies from flat to gently sloping; most of the changes in elevation are so gradual that they go unnoticed, and appear to be flat from close distances. The mean elevation for Indianapolis is 717 feet. The highest point in Indianapolis lies at the Marion/Boone County line, with an elevation of about 900 feet, and the lowest point in Indianapolis lies at the Marion County/Johnson County line, with an elevation of about 680 feet. The highest hill in Indianapolis is Mann Hill, a bluff located along the White River in Southwestway Park that rises about 150 feet above the surrounding land. Variations in elevation from 700-900 feet occur throughout the city limits. There are a few moderately-sized bluffs and valleys in the city, particularly along the shores of the White River, Fall Creek, Geist Reservoir, and Eagle Creek Reservoir, and especially on the city's Northeast and Northwest sides.

Indianapolis has a humid continental climate. Like most cities in the Midwest, it has four distinct seasons. Summers are hot and humid, with average high temperatures approaching 90 degrees. 100-degree temperature days are not unheard of. Spring and autumn are usually pleasant, with temperatures reaching around 18 °C / 65 °F. Winters can be long and cold, with daily highs barely inching above freezing. Temperatures can fall into negative digits. The rainiest months are in the summer, with average rainfalls of over four inches per month, but these averages fluctuate only slightly throughout the year.

The city's average snowfall is 27.5 inches.

The city's average annual precipitation is 102 cm / 40 inches.

The average July high is 86°F (30°C), with the low being 65 °F (16 °C). January highs average 34 °F (1 °C), and lows 18 °F (-8 °C). The record high for Indianapolis is 107.0 °F (40 °C), on July 25th, 1954. The record low is -27 °F (-33 °C), on January 19th, 1994. Snowfall varies from about 20 to 30 inches (500–760 mm) a year.

Month <ref>Indianapolis, Indiana: Averages. National Weather Service.</ref> Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Avg high °F (°C) 34 (1) 40 (5) 51 (10) 63 (17) 74 (23) 82 (28) 86 (30) 84 (29) 77 (25) 66 (19) 52 (11) 39 (5) 62 (17)
Avg low °F (°C) 18 (−8) 22 (−6) 32 (0) 41 (5) 52 (11) 61 (16) 65 (18) 63 (17) 55 (13) 44 (7) 34 (2) 24 (−4) 43 (7)

[edit] Demographics

Historical population<ref>Population of the 100 Largest Cities and Other Urban Places in the United States: 1790 to 1990 (June 1998). U.S. Bureau of the Census.</ref>
Population Rank

1840 2,692 -
1850 8,091 87
1860 18,611 48
1870 48,244 27
1880 75,056 24
1890 105,436 27
1900 169,164 21
1910 233,650 22
1920 314,194 21
1930 364,161 21
1940 386,972 20
1950 427,173 23
1960 476,258 26
1970 744,624 11
1980 700,807 12
1990 741,952 13
2000 791,926 12

Note: The statistical data in this article represents the entire consolidated Indianapolis-Marion County metropolitan government. For statistical data on the portion of the governmental area that is Indianapolis only (i.e., not counting included towns), see Indianapolis (balance), Indiana. As of the censusGR2 of 2000, there were 791,926 people, 320,107 households, and 192,704 families residing in the city, but the metropolitan population was nearing 1.5 million. The population density was 2,163.0 people per square mile (835.1/km²). There were 352,429 housing units at an average density of 975.0 per square mile (376.4/km²). The racial makeup of the balance was 69.1% white, 25.50% black or African American, 0.25% Native American, 1.43% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 2.04% from other races, and 1.64% from two or more races. 3.92% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race. The majority of the non-white population lives in the central and north portions of the inner-city area. Indianapolis has over 6000 immigrants from ex-Yugoslavia which are now known as Croatia, Bosnia, and Serbia.

There are 320,107 households out of which 29.8% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 40.6% are married couples living together, 15.1% have a female householder with no husband present, and 39.8% are non-families. 32.0% of all households are made up of individuals and 8.5% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 2.39 and the average family size is 3.04.

The age distribution is: 25.7% under the age of 18, 10.2% from 18 to 24, 32.9% from 25 to 44, 20.3% from 45 to 64, and 11.0% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 34 years. For every 100 females there are 93.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 90.2 males.

The median income for a household in the balance is $41,964, and the median income for a family is $48,755. Males have a median income of $36,302 versus $27,738 for females. The per capita income is $21,640.[1] 14.8% of the population and ??? of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 16.2% of those under the age of 18 and 8.1% of those 65 and older are living below the poverty line. Crime statistics for Indianapolis can be misleading due to the county and city merger. The inner-city of Indianapolis has suffered with high crime for many years.

[edit] Government

Indianapolis utilizes Unigov, a complex, multi-tiered City-county consolidated government, with overlapping and incomplete jurisdictions at many levels. The current mayor of Indianapolis (as of 2006) is Bart Peterson (D). Mayors since the institution of the current government structure have been Steve Goldsmith (R), Peterson's predecessor 1992-1999, William Hudnut (R), 1976-91, U.S. Senator Dick Lugar (R), who served 1968-1975, and Al Feeney (D) 1948-1950.

[edit] Law Enforcement

Indianapolis (Indianapolis Police Department) and Marion County (Marion County Sheriff's Department) had maintained separate police agencies. They are scheduled to be replaced by an agency to be tentatively known as the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department (IMPD) in 2007. IMPD will have jurisdiction over those portions of Marion County not explicitly covered by the police of an excluded city or by a legacy pre-Unigov force.

[edit] Crime

For the past decade, crime within Indianapolis city limits has varied greatly. In the late 1990s, violent crimes in inner-city neighborhoods located within the old city limits (pre-consolidation) peaked. The IPD police district, which serves about 37% of the county's total population and has a geographic area covering mostly the old pre-consolidation city limits, recorded 130 homicides in the year 1998 to average approximately 40.3 homicides per 100,000 people, over 6 times the 1998 national homicide average of 6.3 per 100,000 people. Meanwhile, Marion County Sheriff's police district serving the remaining 63% of the county's population, which includes the majority of the residents in the Consolidated City, recorded only 32 homicides in 1998, averaging about 5.9 murders per 100,000 people, slightly less than the 1998 national homicide average. Homicides in the IPD police district dropped dramatically in 1999 and have remained lower through 2005. In 2005, the IPD police district recorded 88 homicides to average 27.3 homicides per 100,000 people; nonetheless, the murder rate in the IPD district is still almost 5 times the 2005 national average.

Inner-city homicides excepted, the overall crime rate for the total Consolidated City of Indianapolis has historically been low compared to the national average. Nonetheless, crime in impoverished inner-city neighborhoods remains a problem. Areas of Indianapolis that were unincorporated or separate municipalities before the 1970 city-county consolidation generally have significantly lower crime rates although their aggregate population is higher than the old pre-consolidation Indianapolis city limits. Thus, crime figures for the Consolidated City and the entire Marion County average out to a low rate. However, according to 2006 reports from local law enforcement, in the first four months of the year county-wide homicides have seen a 46% increase, mainly in the outer regions of Indianapolis. The homicide rate is still on pace to set a state record for most murders in a single year, with 120 murders to date.

[edit] Politics

Until the late 1990s, Indianapolis was considered to be one of the most conservative metropolitan areas in the country compared to those of other major U.S. cities,[citation needed] but this trend is reversing. Republicans had held the majority in the City and City-County Councils for 36 years, and the city had a Republican mayor for 32 years. Then in the 1999 mayoral election, Democrat Bart Peterson defeated Indiana Secretary of State Sue Anne Gilroy by 52% to 41%. Four years later, Peterson was re-elected in a landslide with 63% of the vote. Republicans narrowly lost control of the City-County Council that year. In 2004, Democrats won the Marion County offices of Treasurer, Surveyor, and Coroner. As of 2006, the Grand Old Party holds only one major city wide office, that of prosecutor Carl Brizzi, who narrowly defeated Democratic challenger Melina Kennedy is a bitterly contested race notable for its wide use of mudslinging. John Kerry won more Indianapolis votes than George W. Bush in the 2004 U.S. presidential election.[citation needed]

[edit] Education

Image:Indianapolis school districts.png   Indianapolis Public Schools
  School Town of Speedway
  Beech Grove City Schools
  MSD Pike Township
  MSD Washington Township
  MSD Lawrence Township
  MSD Warren Township
  Franklin Township CSC
  MSD Perry Township
  MSD Decatur Township
  MSD Wayne Township
Indianapolis Public School Districts

[edit] Higher education

Indianapolis is the home of Butler University, the University of Indianapolis, Marian College, Ivy Tech Community College of Indiana, Martin University, Oakland City University School of Adult and Extended Learning, and Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis. The last was originally an urban conglomeration of branch campuses of the two major state universities, Indiana University in Bloomington and Purdue University in West Lafayette, created by the state legislature. A merged campus created downtown in 1969 at the site of the Indiana University School of Medicine has continuously grown, with a student body today of just under 30,000, the third-largest campus in the state.

[edit] Primary and secondary education

Indianapolis has eleven unified public school districts (eight township educational authorities and three legacy districts from before the unification of city and county government) each of which provides primary, secondary, and adult education services within its boundaries. The boundaries of these districts do not exactly correspond to township (or traditional) boundaries, but rather cover the areas of their townships that were outside the pre-consolidation city limits. Indianapolis also has four public International Baccalaureate high schools, Lawrence Central High School, Lawrence North High School, North Central High School, Pike High School, and at least one private school that awards this.

Indianapolis also has several Roman Catholic high schools, including Brebeuf Jesuit Preparatory School, Bishop Chatard High School, Cathedral High School, Roncalli High School, Scecina Memorial High School, and Cardinal Ritter High School. Indianpolis also has a Protestant high school called Heritage Christian High School and a Lutheran high school, Lutheran High School of Indianapolis.

The Scottish Rite Cathedral in Indianapolis

[edit] Cultural features

For more details on this topic, see Indianapolis Cultural Districts.

Indianapolis prides itself on its rich cultural heritage. Several initiatives have been made by the Indianapolis government in recent years to increase Indianapolis' appeal as a destination for arts and culture.

[edit] Monument Circle

At the center of Indianapolis is Monument Circle, a traffic circle at the intersection of Meridian and Market Streets, featuring the Soldiers' and Sailors' Monument. (Monument Circle is depicted on the city’s flag, and is generally considered the city’s symbol.). Monument Circle is in the shadow of Indiana's tallest skyscraper, the Chase Tower. Up until the early 1960's, Indianapolis zoning laws stated that no building could be taller than the Soldiers and Sailors Monument.

[edit] War Memorial Plaza

The War Memorial
A five-block plaza at the intersection of Meridian and Vermont surrounding a large memorial dedicated to Hoosiers who have fought in American wars. It was originally constructed to honor the Indiana soldiers who died in World War I, but construction was halted due to lack of funding during the Great Depression, and it was finished in 1951. The purpose of the memorial was altered to encompass all American wars in which Hoosiers fought.

The monument is modeled after the Mausoleum of Halicarnassus and is 210 feet (64 m) tall, making it taller than the original Mausoleum, according to historical accounts (it was demolished to build a fort during the Crusades). Blue lights on the side of the building between the columns make it easy to spot. The national headquarters of the American Legion is immediately north of the Memorial.

[edit] Cultural districts

Indianapolis has designated several Cultural Districts. They are Broad Ripple Village, Massachusetts Avenue, Fountain Square, The Wholesale District, Canal and White River State Park, and Indiana Avenue. These areas have held historic importance to the city and several have experienced substantial urban decay. In recent years they have been revitalized and are becoming major centers for tourism, commerce and residential living.

[edit] Broad Ripple Village

Main article: Broad Ripple

Originally an independent municipality, Broad Ripple was annexed by Indianapolis in 1922. It currently hosts an active social scene, fueled by the near presence of Butler University as well as a large number of private art galleries, bars, and independently owned restaurants.

[edit] Massachusetts Avenue

Main article: Massachusetts Avenue

Massachusetts Avenue offers some of the city's most visible theaters and art galleries. Located just a few blocks northeast of Monument Circle (appx 1 mile north east), Massachusetts Avenue was designed in 1821 as one of Downtown's four original diagonal streets.

Gentrification in the 1990s propelled the area from squalor to one of the city's more fashionable addresses. Currently, redevelopment of "Mass Ave" focuses on fostering locally-owned shops, theaters, and restaurants. The once destined-for-demolition Athenaeum building now houses the American Cabaret Theatre and the Rathskeller Restaurant [2] with its popular Biergarten.

[edit] Fountain Square

Main article: Fountain Square

Fountain Square is a neighborhood on the southeast side of the city located approximately 1½ miles (2.4 km) from downtown and centered at the intersection of Virginia Avenue and Shelby Street. A center of commerce for more than 100 years, the historic community is undergoing a period of rebirth and restoration, and is emerging as an ethnic and arts center in the city.

[edit] Wholesale District

Around the turn of the century Indianapolis had one of the largest networks of railroads in the nation and hundreds of trains passed through Union Station daily, the streets local to the station were lined with businesses, hotels, warehouses, retail shops and more. Wholesale grocers sold fresh goods daily before the advent of the modern grocery store. Unfortunately, the Great Depression devastated the area and few businesses remained.

Since 1995, more than $686 million has been invested in the area, transforming it into the city's premier arts and entertainment district. Recent additions include more than 35 new businesses, Circle Centre, Conseco Fieldhouse, and a number of upscale restaurants. The area also includes the Hilbert Circle Theatre, home of the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, which recently underwent a 2.5 million dollar renovation.
Downtown Indianapolis from the Central Canal

[edit] Canal and White River State Park

The long defunct Central Canal located in Indianapolis was refurbished and re-opened as a city recreational area. This new incarnation was inspired by Venetian canals. Gradually, cultural attractions were built along the Canal in the 1990s. The north end of the Canal is now home to a burgeoning commercial life science initiative, anchored by a state-certified technology park.

[edit] Indiana Avenue

Main article: Indiana Avenue

Since 1870, Indiana Avenue has been the epicenter of black culture within the city. As the population escalated, African-American residents remained and opened more and more businesses. Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church, the oldest African-American congregation in Indianapolis, was organized in 1836. The first African-American businesses appeared on the 500 Block of Indiana Avenue as early as 1865: Samuel G. Smother's grocery store; William Franklin's peddler shop and the city's first African-American-owned newspaper, The Indianapolis Leader in 1879.

[edit] Festivals

Beginning in 1999 the city became host to the annual Indy Jazz Festival. The festival is a three day event held in Military Park near the canal. Past stars have included B.B. King, Aretha Franklin, Bruce Hornsby, Bela Fleck & The Flecktones, Kool and the Gang, Ray Charles, The Temptations, Dave Brubeck, Emmylou Harris, Chris Isaak, Jonny Lang, Norah Jones and regional and local favorites such as Jennie DeVoe, Cathy Morris and Buselli Wallarab Jazz Orchestra.

Every May Indianapolis holds the 500 Festival, a month of events culminating in the Indianapolis 500 Festival Parade the day before the running of the Indianapolis 500.

The Circle City Classic is one of America’s top historically African-American college football tournaments. The football game is the showcase event of an entire weekend. The weekend is a celebration of cultural excellence and educational achievement while showcasing the spirit, energy and tradition of America’s historically black colleges and universities.

In 2003, Indianapolis began hosting Gen Con, the largest role-playing game convention in the nation (record attendance thus far being numbered in excess of 30,000), at the Indiana Convention Center. Future expansion of the convention space is expected by many to further increase attendance numbers in coming years. The convention center has also recently played host to such events as Star Wars Celebration II and III, which brought in Star Wars fans from around the world, including George Lucas. From October 25 to 28 2006, the convention center was home to the 79th national FFA convention, bringing around 50,000 visitors in from around the country. It will also host it every year up to 2012.<ref> accessed on October 23, 2006</ref>

Indianapolis is also home to the Indiana State Fair, as well as the Heartland Film Festival, The Indianapolis International Film Festival, the Indianapolis Theatre Fringe Festival, the Indianapolis Alternative Media Festival, and the Indianapolis LGBT Film Festival.

[edit] Ethnic and cultural heritage festivals

Perhaps the largest of Indianapolis' ethnic and cultural heritage festivals is the Summer Celebration held by Indiana Black Expo. This ten-day national event highlights the contributions of African Americans to US society and culture and provides educational, entertainment, and networking opportunities from around the country.

Indy's International Festival is held annually in November at the Indiana State Fairgrounds. Local ethnic groups, vendors and performers are featured alongside national and international performers.

St. Joan of Arc church and school holds a French Market[3] every September with raffles, food, live music, and free admission.

Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church hosts the Indy Greek Festival the Friday and Saturday after Labor Day in September.

Indy Irish Festival is an annual event in the middle of every September.

The Italian Street Festival is held annually in early June at the Holy Rosary Catholic Church.

The Middle Eastern Festival of Indianapolis takes place annually in late September at St. George Orthodox Christian Church.

The St. Nicholas Serbian Orthodox Church of Indianapolis hosts many different events each year. To find out more visit

[edit] Sports

Indianapolis is the home of the Indianapolis Indians, a minor league baseball team in the International League, the Indiana Pacers of the National Basketball Association, the Indiana Fever of the Women's National Basketball Association, and the Indianapolis Colts of the National Football League. In addition, the headquarters of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), the main governing body for U.S. collegiate sports, is in Indianapolis, as is the National Federation of State High School Associations. Starting with the 2006 event, the NCAA will hold the Final Four (the semifinals and final of the men's basketball tournament) in Indianapolis every five years. The city has been referred to as "The Amateur Sports Capital of the World".

Indianapolis has an extensive municipal park system with nearly 200 parks comprising over 10,000 acres (40 km²). The flagship Eagle Creek Park is one of the largest municipal parks in the nation. Additionally, Indianapolis has an urban forestry program that has garnered several Tree City USA awards from the National Arbor Day Foundation.

Indianapolis hosted the 1987 Pan American Games.

Club Sport League Stadium (or Arena)
Indianapolis Colts Football National Football League (AFC) RCA Dome
Indiana Speed Football (women's) Women's Professional Football League Broad Ripple High School
Indiana Pacers Basketball National Basketball Association Conseco Fieldhouse
Indiana Fever Basketball (women's) WNBA Conseco Fieldhouse
Indianapolis Indians Baseball International League Victory Field
FC Indiana Soccer Women's Premier Soccer League Kuntz Stadium
Indiana Ice Hockey United States Hockey League Pepsi Coliseum/Conseco Fieldhouse

[edit] The Indianapolis Motor Speedway

Indianapolis is most noted for the largest single-day sporting event in the world: the Indianapolis 500-Mile Race which is held at the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the largest stadium in the world.

The Indianapolis Motor Speedway, located in Speedway, is the site of the Indianapolis 500, an open-wheel automobile race held each Memorial Day weekend on the 2.5 mile (4 km) oval track. The track is often referred to as "the Brickyard," as it was paved with 3.2 million bricks shortly after its initial construction in 1909. Today the track is paved in asphalt, although there remains a yard of bricks at the start/finish line.

The first 500-Mile Race (804.67 km), held in 1911, was won by driver Ray Harroun driving a Marmon Wasp. (Marmon, incidentally, was an Indianapolis manufacturer.) The "500" is currently part of the Indy Racing League series.

The Speedway also hosts the NASCAR stock car series' largest attended race, the Allstate 400 at The Brickyard, still generally referred to by its former name of the "Brickyard 400" (currently scheduled in August), and the Formula One United States Grand Prix (moved between 2005 and 2006 from mid-June to the July 4th weekend). Smaller series host races at nearby Indianapolis Raceway Park, which is also the site of the annual "Nationals," the most prestigious drag-racing meet of the year for the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA).

As measured by the number of fans in attendance (more than 257,000 permanent seats, not including infield), the Indianapolis 500 is the largest annual single-day sporting event in the world.

[edit] Indianapolis Mini-Marathon

Indianapolis is also home to the largest mini-marathon (and eighth largest running event) in America. This event is run every year as part of the 500 Festival and includes one lap around the track at the Motor Speedway

[edit] Museums

[edit] Other Points of interest

[edit] Local media

The Indianapolis Star is the most widely-read daily newspaper in the city. It is owned by Gannett, which also publishes a weekly newspaper called The Topics that focuses on local and community-related news for northern Indianapolis and the surrounding suburbs. Other popular publications include Nuvo Newsweekly, Indianapolis Monthly, Indy Men's Magazine, and INtake.

Indianapolis is served by the following major local broadcast Television stations:

In radio, The Bob & Tom Show, syndicated across the United States, airs from Indianapolis.

[edit] Transportation




  • Indianapolis's transit provider is the Indianapolis Public Transportation Corporation, also known as IndyGo. The Indianapolis Public Transportation Corporation was established in 1975 after the city of Indianapolis took over the city's transit system. Before 1997, IndyGo was called Metro.
  • Taxis do not roam the streets of Indianapolis as they do in most comparable cities, thus rendering the hailing of cabs impossible in the city. However, you can find them in the local telephone directory.
  • In 1953, the last streetcars ran in Indianapolis. Trolleybuses made their last run in the city four years later in 1957. After 1957 (and continues today), Indianapolis has an all-bus transit system.
  • Central Indiana Commuter Services (CICS) funded by IndyGo to reduce pollution serves Indianapolis and surrounding counties.

People Mover

  • The Clarian People mover connects the Indiana University School of Medicine and adjacent hospitals with Methodist Hospital and is available for public use. Other buildings under the Clarian Health Partners / IUSM umbrella are currently being built along the route (6/2006). Plans are possible for a more expansive People mover transportation system throughout downtown. The People mover is sometimes inaccurately described as a monorail, but in fact rides on dual concrete beams with the guideway being as wide as the vehicle.

Transportation Issues

Indianapolis has been criticized for its lack of mass transit. As the 12th largest city in the US it has repeatedly been ranked below 40th in Mass Transit Availability. Some say the lack of mass transit causes excess automobile usage, resulting in environmental degradation (specifically Air pollution), as evidenced in the city's often poor air quality.

Complaints from some citizens include:

  • A lack of cross-town bus routes, forcing bus riders to travel downtown to cross from one side of the city to another, often doubling or tripling what the trip distance would have been with a direct route.
  • Too few scheduled bus routes, often forcing riders to choose between arriving extremely early, or late, to a destination.
  • A lack of night bus routes forces those who work late shifts to find other, often much more expensive, ways to get around.

There are other concerns over a lack of safe walking paths in many areas of the city. Many suburbs, which were incorporated (see:incorporation (municipal government)) in the nineteen seventies and are now geographically near the center of the city, don’t have sidewalks. This often forces pedestrians to navigate a narrow road shoulder near high-speed automobile traffic.

[edit] Other facts

The most common nickname for Indianapolis is ‘Indy’. Other nicknames include ‘Circle City’ (after Monument Circle) and ‘Naptown’ (presumably shortened from ‘IndiaNAPolis’. The name ‘Naptown’ was first popularized in the city's African-American community from which sprang a rich musical heritage of unique Indianapolis-style jazz and blues during the 1920's through the early 1960's. The term ‘Naptown’ came to refer to the style of blues and jazz which developed in Indianapolis. Leroy Carr, an early influential blues singer who grew up and was based in Indianapolis, recorded "Naptown Blues" in 1929. Later, Wes Montgomery, a jazz musician born and based in Indianapolis, recorded his version of "Naptown Blues" in 1964. Also, it is said that the name ‘Naptown’ was possibly reintroduced to popularity by the former local radio station WNAP, often simply called NAP, which was popular in the 1970s and 1980s. More recently, members of the Indianapolis hip-hop community and other local musical scenes have adopted the term ‘Naptown’ to refer to their own style of locally bred music. Also, 'Naptown' has been used to refer to alleged lack of "interesting" events therein.

Both of the United States Navy ships named USS Indianapolis were named for this city.

Indianapolis is the international headquarters of the pharmaceutical corporation Eli Lilly and Company, the US headquarters of Roche Diagnostics and Thomson SA, and the world headquarters of Dow AgroSciences.

Indianapolis has been the headquarters of the Kiwanis International organization since 1982. Kiwanis International serves the children of the world. The organization and its youth sponsored Kiwanis Family counterparts, Circle K International and Key Club International, conducts all its international business and service initiatives here while at the same time giving a positive image of Indianapolis to the outside world.

Indianapolis' Union Station, one of the busiest rail depots in its time, employed a young Thomas Edison as a telegraph operator.

Indianapolis is the second most populous capital city in the United States (including Washington, DC), after Phoenix, Arizona.

Indianapolis is the headquarters for the only international Jewish fraternity, Alpha Epsilon Pi (AEPi). In total, Indianapolis contains the national headquarters for at least 26 fraternities.

[edit] Indianapolis in Popular Media

Television sitcom One Day at a Time was set in Indianapolis. The opening credits of the show include a shot of the Pyramids, a set of three distinctive office buildings located near the north-western edge of the city. The TV show Good Morning Miss Bliss aka Saved by the Bell had its first season set in Indianapolis, although there were few references to the city itself. Thunder Alley, Men Behaving Badly, and CBS's 2005 drama Close to Home were and are, respectively, also set in Indianapolis.

[edit] See also

[edit] Sister cities

Indianapolis has five sister cities, as designated by Sister Cities International, Inc. (SCI):

[edit] Notes

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[edit] External links


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