The Fidelity Trust Company boasts drive-up banking capable of serving eight cars at once! (Courtesy Indiana State Library)

The Fidelity Trust Company boasts drive-up banking capable of serving eight cars at once! (Image: Indiana State Library)

Name of Business: Fidelity Trust Company

Date of Advertisement: April 1, 1956

Neighborhood: Midtown

Service Provided: Banking

Notable:  The Fidelity Trust Company began banking in Indianapolis in 1909, with William Fogerty serving as the first president. The organization had an eight-story building constructed in 1915 at 148-150-152 East Market Street, which still stands today. By 1956, the local institution had grown to eight branch locations scattered across the city. In July of 1959, Fidelity was absorbed by local banking heavyweight American Fletcher National Bank. AFNB became a part of Bank One in the mid 1980s before succumbing to national giant Chase.

Additionally: The building at 1440 North Meridian Street, known as the Riddick Building, was probably better known for what went on upstairs. WISH radio at 1310 AM took to the airwaves in 1941 and moved into the newly completed facility in 1949. WISH got out of the radio business in 1963 to focus on its television station, Channel 8, selling the station to STAR Broadcasting. The call letters were promptly changed to WIFE, and the station became the top rock and roll radio destination in the city. “Lucky 13” employed a colorful array of disc jockeys known as the “WIFE Good Guys.” Things were not so good in radioland, however. STAR Broadcasting lost its radio license in 1976. The station has recently gone through several format changes, and today the frequency plays urban gospel music under the call letters WTLC. In later years, the Riddick Building became home to local upstart television station WXIN 59.

An era of broadcasting history ended when Fox 59 moved to its plush new studios in Pike Township in 2003. After sitting vacant and neglected for a decade, the building was demolished in 2013 to make way for the Indiana Red Cross.

The building sits empty in 2013 awaiting its date with the wrecking ball.

The building on North Meridian sat empty in 2013 awaiting its date with the wrecking ball.

2 responses to “Sunday Adverts: Saving for a Rainy Day”

  1. Bob Palma says:

    Interesting, Jeff; thanks. I always wondered what that long corridor on the north side of that building had been used for earlier; now I see where it had all those drive-up windows.
    WIFE ultimately moved downstairs. The WIFE Good Guys DJs could be seen through the big front window on Meridian Street. Local high school DJ groupies and such would stand right where the sandwich board is in your lower photo, watching the DJs through that now boarded-up window.
    In 1963, I participated in Junior Achievement of Indianapolis while in high school. Our “company” was a television broadcasting company, of all things, that met in this building. WISH TV/Channel 8 sponsored our company. We produced a show that was aired at something like 7AM Sunday mornings, when the loss of advertising revenue to WISH would be minimal.

  2. Alan Goebes says:

    I believe WISH-TV remained in the building until 1965–I remember when I was a kid, their TV station identification included the tagline,”Studios in the Riddick Building.” Between WISH-TV and WXIN-TV, the building was also an early home for WFYI (I went there to do volunteer work one time, back when they were still doing the Channel 20 Auction fundraisers).
    According to the “Encyclopedia of Indianapolis,” Don Burden, owner of Star Stations (including WIFE) was stripped of all his radio licenses in 1975–transgressions at WIFE included “manipulating ratings, running fraudulent contests, creating false billings, slanting newscasts, and giving free advertising to the campaign of then U.S. Senator Vance Hartke.”

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