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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The old Greyhouse Station was later converted into a parking garage with offices for the Indiana Department of Education on the lower level.
The white wedge-shaped building visible in the 1970 view was the old Sacks Pawn Shop.
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?
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.