Formerly the New City Hall
After years of having offices in the basement of the beautiful old Marion County courthouse, the city offices had to relocate to make space for the expanding county business. Indianapolis Mayor Bookwalter determined that a city hall should be constructed. His original concept included a coliseum to be built in conjunction with this new city hall to provide a space for large gatherings.
Following a couple of lawsuits, the coliseum plan was nixed and plans to erect the new city hall proceeded. Early on, it was suggested that the location for the building should be immediately north of the courthouse–coincidentally, where the City-County Building now sits. However, the county objected, and on October 30, 1907 the northwest corner of Ohio and Alabama Streets was purchased for $113,000.
Plans for the new city hall were drawn up by the architectural firm of Rubush & Hunter and adopted November 3, 1908. Work started in after April 1909. There was a labor strike in September 1909 with only a interruption.
Imagine those windows opened back up!
When the building was being used for the interim central library I worked there. The Librarians used to call the sub basement, where they kept the old city directories, the spider room, because it was full of brown recluse spiders.