If you ever have the opportunity, do yourself a favor and go visit the Birch Bayh Federal Building and U.S. Courthouse–the space is breathtaking. Between the mosaics, stained glass, miles of marble and undulating spiral staircase, prepare to have your breath taken away. In the meantime, check out this week’s video and a few photos from our recent visit. (With special thanks to Doria Lynch and the GSA)
* The Birch Bayh Federal Building and U.S. Courthouse was renamed in 2003, formerly known as the U.S. Courthouse and Post Office
* The Beaux Arts style original structure was designed by Philadelphia architects, John Hall Rankin and Thomas Kellogg, who were selected from an open competition under the same act that approved construction of 35 federal buildings, nationwide.
* Ground was first broken May 26, 1902
* Cornerstone laid march 25, 1903
* Cost $2 Million to build
* Started as U shaped, but was expanded, with the north side of the structure being enclosed in 1938 with a design by local architectural firm of McGuire and Shook
* As originally planned, the post office used all of the first floor for sorting and service.
* When first built, there were two rooms set up on the fourth floor of the building, with 10 beds each for use of ‘railway mall clerks.’
* WPA murals by artist Grant Christian were completed in 1938 depict the history of transportation and mail delivery in Indianapolis.
* Roman style glass mosaics dazzle the vaulted ceilings on the first floor–and are one of the most unique spaces in the city of Indianapolis.
* In recently completed renovations, a green roof was added, to help mitigate energy costs.
* Tim Durham’s recent trial was held here.
Check out our video tour on the HistoricIndianapolis youtube channel.