Each day, more than 70 million photos are shared on Instagram, the third-fastest growing social network. In Indianapolis, Instagram has inspired the creation of Igers Indy, a local Instagrammer group. Popular hashtags include #igersindy and #indyarchitecture, which highlights Indy’s historic buildings and architectural curiosities. Explore the hashtags while exploring the city, and don’t forget to tag Visit Indy and #LoveIndy!
1. Morris-Butler Home
Any architecture- or preservation-loving Instagrammer would love to photograph the Morris-Butler Home, an 1865 construction located in Indy’s Old Northside. The home is one of the city’s best examples of Second Empire architecture. Furthermore, the Morris-Butler Home is located in a historic neighborhood that is both picturesque and extremely walkable.
2. Oldfields-Lilly House and Gardens
Listed on the National Register of Historic Places and located on the grounds of the Indianapolis Museum of Art, Oldfields-Lilly House and Gardens is a 26-acre historic estate and house museum. The 22-room mansion was once the home of J.K. Lilly Jr., the grandson of pharmaceutical chemist Colonel Eli Lilly. Both the home and the gardens—which were designed by Percival Gallagher of the Olmstead Brothers—offer free admission.
3. Indiana Statehouse
One of downtown Indy’s architectural gems is the Indiana Statehouse. Constructed in 1888 in the Renaissance Revival style, the Statehouse boasts marble floors and a stained glass dome. The symmetrical interior is golden and grandiose, and is incredibly photogenic. The Statehouse is open to the public and free to visit. Tours of the building, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, are also available.
4. Monument Circle
Located in the heart of Indianapolis is Monument Circle, a brick-paved roundabout featured in Top Ten Outdoor Spaces. “The Circle” is home to the Soldiers and Sailors Monument, which offers a 360-degree, birds-eye view of the city. Surrounding the Circle are a number of historic buildings, including Circle Tower. Take a selfie in front of the iconic Monument, or rotate your camera 90 degrees for a new perspective on a downtown destination!
5. Crown Hill Cemetery
Crown Hill Cemetery was established in 1863 and is located just a few miles north of Monument Circle. At 555 acres, Crown Hill is the nation’s third-largest non-governmental cemetery. Notable individuals interred at the cemetery include President Benjamin Harrison, infamous bank robber John Dillinger and Hoosier poet James Whitcomb Riley. Riley’s tomb is located atop the 842-foot Crown Hill, which affords visitors a view of downtown Indianapolis.
6. The Athenaeum
The Athenaeum was constructed in the 1890s as a cultural center for the German-American community of Indianapolis. Located in bustling Mass Ave, the Athenaeum still hosts a number of social gatherings, including live music events held in the Biergarten during the warmer months. Indy’s oldest restaurant, the Rathskeller, is also located in the building. Visually, the Athenaeum is full of opulent details, including its leaded glass windows.
7. James Whitcomb Riley Museum Home
The James Whitcomb Riley Museum Home is located in Lockerbie Square, Indy’s oldest surviving neighborhood. For 23 years, Hoosier poet James Whitcomb Riley lived in the neighborhood, which is abound with historic properties. The Riley Home is decorated ornately with furniture used by the poet, but the exterior is just as regal—visitors will want to capture its brick construction with the hashtag #oldhouselove.
8. Scottish Rite Cathedral
The Scottish Rite Cathedral was constructed between 1927 and 1929. It is one of the largest and best examples of Masonic architecture in the nation, with every dimension being evenly divisible by three. The cathedral is owned by the Valley of Indianapolis Scottish Rite, an affiliated body of Freemasonry that offers guided tours. The building’s craftsmanship is seen in its woodwork, patterned ceilings and stained-glass windows.
9. Old National Centre (Murat)
Built in 1909 and originally known as the Murat Centre, the Old National Centre is located in the heart of Mass Ave. The Old National Centre is home to a concert hall, theater and other event spaces, including the opulent Egyptian Room. The building, modeled after Islamic temples found in the Middle East and Egypt, is a unique piece of architecture in downtown Indy. Be sure to share photos of its minarets with the hashtag #indyarchitecture!
10. Indiana War Memorial Plaza
The Indiana War Memorial Plaza Historic District comprises five city blocks and 24 acres, making Indianapolis second only to Washington D.C. in acreage devoted to veterans. The district also contains two museums, including the 210-foot Indiana War Memorial. From the top of its steps, the Memorial offers picturesque views of downtown Indianapolis at all hours of the day or night.
11. Garfield Park
Garfield Park is Indy’s oldest city park, having been established in the late 1800s. Today, the park spans 136 acres and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It is home to a conservatory, sunken garden, arts center, amphitheater and other amenities, including an outdoor pool and sledding hill. In the spring, the 10,000-square foot conservatory and sunken garden feature a rainbow of colorful bulbs.
12. Union Station
Indianapolis was home to the nation’s first “union station,” where, in 1886, construction for the red brick head house was started. The Romanesque Revival construction features a soaring clock tower and a two block-long barrel vault ceiling, and the stained glass window even has its own hashtag: #thatrosewindow. Today, the head house serves as a banquet hall and event space. Instameets have even been held at historic Union Station!