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Indianapolis: 1905

Indianapolis: 1905

Circa 1905. "Commercial Club building, Indianapolis, Indiana." Looking west on Pearl Street at South Meridian. Detroit Publishing Co. View full size | Detail

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I had no idea those skywalks were being put up so early - very interesting. The current ones look a little safer than the old ones do!

Fun fact: you can get to almost all major downtown buildings and hotels without touching the ground. It makes for better traffic flow, it's safer and (most important) warmer.

Hydrant Hat

That's a "Holly" hydrant, named for inventor Birdsill Holly, who patented it in 1869. The weird cap is apparently the interface for opening the flow valve. Pics that I've found often have a chain running through the slots in the cap and anchored at the two hose interfaces, which I suppose would prevent vandals from idly turning the cap and charging the hydrant with pressure.


What do you make of the strange top on the fire hydrant? And noticed the telephone lines jutting from the rooftop. Never saw those on other city photos.

Indy Skywalker

I moved to Indianapolis a few years ago, and one of the interesting things about the downtown area is the abundance of those pedestrian skywalks. They're all over the place. There are long ones across the main streets, and short ones tucked away in numerous alleys like the one already posted. Even the University just to the north of downtown has a large number of skywalks.

Midwest Connection

We have the Indiana Cigar Co. right around the corner from the Illinois Electrotype Co. Did they pull up stakes and flee the harsh winters?

What in the world?

The Star is "A newspaper -- not an organ?" I've heard some strange advertising slogans before, but that has to be one of the strangest.

[As in party organ -- a partisan publication promoting a particular political philosophy. (And how's that for alliteration?) - Dave]

Commercial Club

The building was at 28 South Meridian and West Pearl Street. Eli Lilly was the founder and principal investor. It was torn down in the 1920s.

Two Views

West Pearl at Meridian has been obliterated by an office building (below), with only some bollards to show that a street existed. But East Pearl is still there (bottom), with another one of those curious covered walkways.

View Larger Map

View Larger Map

Details, details

Click twice to embiggen. Looking along West Pearl Street at South Meridian.

SHORPY OLD PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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