Former City Hall, State Museum and Central Library

Note from the Indiana State Museum's website:

Governor Matthew E. Welsh (1961-1965) approved the planning for a new state museum, but with a very different direction. The Indianapolis City Hall at 202 N. Alabama St. had become vacant in 1961. The state and the city worked out an agreement for the museum to use the building. The structure was to undergo massive renovations to prepare it for life as a museum, at a cost of about $830,000. In 1967, the Indiana State Museum opened its doors in its first real home. It had four floors and a basement in which to develop exhibits, store and preserve collections, and provide office space for staff.

In 1969, the Indiana State Museum Society (now the Indiana State Museum Foundation) was established to provide a private, fund-raising support organization. Also in 1969, the Indiana State Museum Volunteer Organization was established to support the small museum staff. By 1976, the museum had received accreditation from the American Association of Museums.

As years passed and the collection grew, the old City Hall was becoming too small to meet the needs of the institution. Proposals were made in the late 1970s and mid-1980s for a variety of additions to the facility. Some involved purchasing nearby buildings, and others involved creating brand-new facilities that would connect to the old City Hall building.

The museum’s board voted to move to White River State Park in 1984. However, it was not until the late 1990s that the Indiana General Assembly appropriated funding for an August 1999 groundbreaking for what would become the current Indiana State Museum.

The Indiana State Museum closed its doors in the old City Hall on Dec. 31, 2001, to prepare for its move to a new home at 650 W. Washington St. in the heart of White River State Park.

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