Besides the Marion County Courthouse that we discussed earlier this month, another casuality of the construction of the City-County Building was the smaller, but still architecturally interesting, Indianapolis Police Headquarters (aka City Courts or City Building).

Circa 1901 photo from the Journal Handbook of Indianapolis

Built in 1897 on the site of the previous police headquarters, the building was located at 35 South Alabama Street, at the southeast corner of Alabama and Pearl, conveniently across the street from the Marion County Jail. The facade was of Indiana limestone, and “City Court” was enscribed just below the cornice. The city courts were located on the second floor of the two-story building, with the city jail cells occupying the rear third of the structure.The 1914 Sanborn map shows that a “patrol barn” was located just behind the main building. According to the 1923 Polk Directory, located in the building were: Police Headquarters, City Court, City Clerk, Indianapolis Humane Society, and the City Jail.

The building around 1955. The fence and yard in the foreground are of the Marion County Jail. (IUPUI/Indiana Landmarks Slide Collection)

After construction of the City-County Building in 1962, the Indianapolis Police Department and city courts moved out of this building. It was then demolished in the late 60s for a parking lot. That parking lot was cut in half in the late 1980s with the extension of Maryland Street to Washington Street. That part of Maryland Street lies now about where the holding cells were located.


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