It’s one of those arresting buildings that could trick you into thinking you live in NYC–well, if it were scrunched between 25 or so skyscrapers. On the southwest corner of Vermont and Meridian Streets, this early 1920’s building is a definite favorite.

When completed in January 1924 (cornerstone placed in 1922), the building featured a host of amenities: grand ballroom, banquet rooms, dining areas, a pool, fitness center, basketball court, racquetball court, squash courts and a lounge. The club has provided brief shelter for US presidents, movie and music stars and other notables. The original purpose of the club was to promote business, social and athletic relationships in greater Indianapolis–tending to have a heavier Democrat-leaning membership, versus the Columbia Club’s more Republican one.

And keeping up with the upcoming weekend events, there is even a connection to the Indy 500. On November 15, 1945 – Terre Haute, Indiana businessman Tony Hulman announced he was purchasing the Indianapolis Motor Speedway from World War I flying ace Eddie Rickenbacker at the Indianapolis Athletic Club for approximately $750,000.

It now houses some upscale condos, and have heard through the grapevine that the indoor pool was removed to add more space for condos (boo!) Best place from which to view the building–unquestionably from the south side of the Indiana War Memorial. Give it a nod if you’re heading downtown for the parade festivities this weekend!

One response to “Friday Favorite: Indianapolis Athletic Club-What’s the Indy500 Connection?”

  1. basil berchekas jr says:

    Attended a number of events there over the “years”; even proposed to my now late wife there!

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