View of the Indianapolis Traction Terminal shortly after construction (Journal Handbook of Indianapolis, 1907)
We’ve featured the Indianapolis Traction Terminal before (check out the full-length article), but since it is a popular building, we post it again as a Preservation Denied.
The D.H. Burnham-designed Traction Terminal located at Market and Illinois was built in 1904 as a union station for the growing number of interurban routes coming into Indianapolis. It combined a train shed sheltering waiting passengers with an office building containing the ticket offices, stores, and a variety of corporate and professional offices.
After serving the interurbans for nearly forty years, the last interurban train departed in January 1941, and the terminal became the central bus station. By the mid-60s, bus companies had left the terminal for their own individual depots around the city, and in 1968, the train shed was razed to allow for the construction of the Blue Cross/Blue Shield office tower.
For a brief period, the tower and the Traction Terminal office building stood side-by-side, but the Terminal building was demolished in April 1972. The site of the Terminal building then became a plaza. Around 1998, the office tower was converted to the Adams Mark hotel, and the plaza was removed for a hotel lobby and driveway.
The only major remains of the Traction Terminal are the two stone eagles that flanked the train shed, now guarding the steps at the former City Hall/State Museum/Interim Library on Alabama Street.
I believe that the shed was dismantled and is at the Indiana Transportation Museum at Forest Park in Noblesville, Indiana.
I am 75, but I remember the bus depot. I drove down once, with a girlfriend with me, to pick up her aunt when it was a bus station. That was around 1960. My grandfather was a conductor on the interurban or however that was spelled. I have a pic of him standing in front of one. They put it in the Mooresville Times, many many years ago when they were writing articles about the interurbans. My Dad loved trains so much, he followed in his dad’s footsteps and retired after 38 yrs from New York Central Railroad in Indpls., now at Avon.