Indianapolis features some prominent recent past properties, including two notable ones downtown. Although reaching its 50th birthday this year, the City-County Building (200 East Washington Street) is one that exhibits the complexity of recent past architecture. The City-County Building is an example of International Style architecture with a prominent glass curtain wall. The City-County Building was built by a group of designers, including Lennox, Matthews, Simmons & Ford, Inc. The City-County Building towers at 28 stories in height, known as the first structure to be built taller than the Indiana Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Monument. Although it stands in stark contrast to the downtown buildings dating from the first half of the 20th century, it now stands as an excellent example of the International Style.
Another prominent government building in downtown Indianapolis is the Minton-Capehart Federal Building (501 North Pennsylvania Street). The Minton-Capehart Federal Building dates from 1976, designed by Woollen Associates. The structure is notable for its prominent use of the architectural style of Brutalism. Brutalism is known for its rough concrete finishes, blocky forms, with a linear focus. Many Brutalism buildings across the county have suffered demolition due to the lack of understanding of the architectural style. The New York Times recently posted an interesting debate titled “Are Some Buildings Too Ugly to Survive?” highlighting the Brutalism style as an example. The Minton-Capehart Federal Building is located at a prominent location on Pennsylvania, overlooking the World War Memorial Plaza. It is one of the fine examples of Brutalism found in Indianapolis.
Add it to your vocabulary – how might one use today’s Building Language term in their everyday life?
During road trips, we look for unique drive-in diners and motels that exhibit some of the fun aspects of recent past architecture.