How lucky Indianapolis is that such detailed and well-crafted buildings still stand today–an unapologetic and ornate vestige of yesteryear. This one, a magnificent red brick and limestone building started life as the clubhouse for the Independent Turnverein, on the northwest corner of Meridian and 9th streets, just north/across from another historic building much in need of an equally sympathetic restoration. But we digress.
The Independent Turnverein hit the local news in January 1913 with a rendering and announcement that a $120,000 new clubhouse would be built on Meridian and Pratt (now 9th) Streets, after selling their smaller clubhouse on the northeast corner of Illinois and Ohio Streets.
We think we have posh gyms now, but the elaborate plan of then advertised the future features of the new building, including: a natatorium surrounded by dressing rooms and showers; an indoor gymnasium and some allocated space outdoors for exercise as well; club rooms, parlors, and lounging rooms for a slower pace; billiard rooms and a rathskeller in the basement; a ballroom for dances and entertainments; and a roof garden atop it all.
The clubhouse held its official dedication ceremonies May 27, 28, 29, 1914–starting with a formal ball for the 1300 members of the club and their invited guests on the May 27. The following days, doors were thrown open to the general public, and members of other Turnvereins. Another bustling Indianapolis clubhouse was born.
Learn more about the Indianapolis Turnverein, in Sharon Butsch Freeland’s previously published article: Indianapolis Turnvereins
Valuing = Supporting
Publishing HI every day is more than just a ’labor of love‘ (though we do love it), but takes hundreds of hours each month to create. If you are entertained, inspired, better informed, feel more connected with Indy or just value what you discover here, please consider becoming a supporting member with a recurring monthly donation.
Or, become a one-time supporter with a single donation in any amount you choose.
More old-fashioned? Checks or money orders may be sent to:
Historicindianapolis.com at P.O. Box 2999, Indianapolis, IN 46206
Thank you and HI-5! Love, The HI Team