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This series of photographs shows the progression of the southeast corner of W. Ohio Street and Capitol Avenue from the 1890s through the present. Located opposite the Indiana State House, the block has progressed from houses to freight warehouses to a gas station and eventually the Greyhound Bus Terminal.

Circa 1895. Courtesy of the Indiana Historical Society, Bass Photo Company Collection, neg. 211650

Circa 1895. Courtesy of the Indiana Historical Society, Bass Photo Company Collection, neg. 211650

Looking down from the National Surgical Institute, this bird’s-eye view reveals that the block was still partially residential in the 1890s, with a large brick house to the right (facing the Indiana State House) and a four-unit brick rowhouse facing Ohio Street (listed as a tenement on early Sanborn Fire Insurance maps). The Cyclorama, constructed in 1888 to house the fifty foot tall mural depicting the Battle of Atlanta, is the large round building to the right. In the distance is the Soldiers and Sailors Monument and the Marion County Courthouse.

Late 1890s. Courtesy of the Indiana Historical Society, Herman List Collection

Late 1890s. Courtesy of the Indiana Historical Society, Herman List Collection

A few years later amateur photographer Herman List made a similar view from near the same location. List took many snapshots of this corner from the roof of the National Surgical Institute, where he worked as a baker in the late 1890s.

1920. Courtesy of the Indiana Historical Society, Bass Photo Company Collection, neg. 284519

1920. Courtesy of the Indiana Historical Society, Bass Photo Company Collection, neg. 284519

By 1920, the corner had been transformed as a busy transportation hub. Three long brick structures served as interurban freight houses for local traction companies. These were built circa 1904 when the Indianapolis Traction Terminal shed and adjacent Daniel H. Burnham-designed office building were constructed as a union station for what became one of the busiest interurban stations in the country. By 1925, one of these freight houses would be converted into a bus station and by 1941 two had been razed and replaced with a gas station.

Ohio W Greyhound Bus Terminal IHS Bass

Circa 1970. Courtesy of the Indiana Historical Society, Bass Photo Company Collection

In 1965 the Greyhound Terminal Station was built on the corner, and the days of the Traction Terminal Station and office building were numbered as they were demolished in 1968 and 1972. This view looks southwest at W. Ohio Street with Indiana Avenue seen on the right.

se corner of capitol and ohio 101713

Photo courtesy of Tammi Burns.

The old Greyhouse Station was later converted into a parking garage with offices for the Indiana Department of Education on the lower level.

3 responses to “Indianapolis Then and Now: SE Corner of Ohio Street and Capitol Avenue”

  1. David Brewer says:

    The white wedge-shaped building visible in the 1970 view was the old Sacks Pawn Shop.

  2. Joan Hostetler says:

    I think I remember the Sacks Pawn Shop, which was demolished soon after I moved to Indianapolis. Wasn’t it an Art Deco glazed block or terra cotta building?

  3. David Brewer says:

    Yes, a very beautiful art deco style building. Taken down when they built the AUL building. Sacks moved further north on Indiana Avenue to a small brick flatiron building. That one was demolished as well when a wall collapsed.

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