For other uses see Indianapolis (disambiguation).
|Official Name:||City of Indianapolis|
|Nickname:||Indy, The Circle City, Naptown, The Crossroads of America, The Racing Capital of the World, Amateur Sports Capital of the World, Railroad City, Capital City, The Indy City|
|Subdivision Name:||United States|
|Leader Name:||Gregory A. Ballard (R)|
|Leader Title1:||Governing body|
|Leader Name1:||City-County Council|
|Area Magnitude:||1 E8|
|Area Total Sq Mi:||372|
|Area Total Km2:||963.5|
|Area Land Sq Mi:||365.1|
|Area Land Km2:||945.6|
|Area Water Sq Mi:||6.9|
|Area Water Km2:||17.9|
|Population As Of:||2006|
|Population Metro:||2014267 (2007 CSA est.)|
|Population Total:||795458 (14th)|
|Population Density Sq Mi:||2152|
|Population Density Km2:||837|
|Utc Offset Dst:||-4|
|Blank Name:||FIPS code|
|Blank Info:||18-36003Web site: States Census Bureau] American FactFinder]. 2008-01-31.|
Indianapolis () is the capital of the U.S. state of Indiana, and the county seat of Marion County, Indiana. The United States Census estimated the city's population, excluding the included towns, at 795,458 in 2006. It is Indiana's largest city and is the 14th largest city in the U.S., the third largest city in the Midwest (behind Chicago and Detroit), and the second most populous state capital (behind Phoenix, Arizona).
For much of its history, Indianapolis oriented itself around government and industry, particularly manufacturing. Today, Indianapolis has a much more diversified economy, contributing to the fields of education, healthcare, and finance. Tourism is also a vital part of the economy of Indianapolis, and the city plays host to numerous conventions and sporting events. Of these, perhaps most well known is the annual Indianapolis 500 race. Other major sporting events include the Allstate 400 and the Men's and Women's NCAA Basketball Tournaments.
Greater Indianapolis has seen moderate growth among U.S. cities , especially in nearby Hamilton, Hendricks, and Johnson counties.  The population of the metropolitan statistical area is estimated at 1,774,665, making it the 33rd-largest in the U.S. The combined statistical area population of Indianapolis is 2,014,267, the 23rd-largest in the U.S.
Indianapolis was selected as the site of the new state capital in 1820. It is the only capital to be in the exact center of the state. Jeremiah Sullivan, a judge of the Indiana Supreme Court, invented the name Indianapolis by joining Indiana with polis, the Greek word for city; literally, Indianapolis means "Indiana City". The city was founded on the White River under the incorrect assumption that the river would serve as a major transportation artery; however, the waterway was too sandy for trade. The capital moved from Corydon on January 10, 1825 and the state commissioned Alexander Ralston to design the new capital city. Ralston was an apprentice to the French architect Pierre L'Enfant, and he helped L'Enfant plan Washington, DC. Ralston's original plan for Indianapolis called for a city of only one square mile (3 km²). At the center of the city sat Governor's Circle, a large circular commons, which was to be the site of the governor's mansion. Meridian and Market Streets converge at the Circle and continue north and south and east and west, respectively. The governor's mansion was eventually demolished in 1857 and in its place stands a 2840NaN0 tall neoclassical limestone and bronze monument, the Indiana Soldiers' and Sailors' Monument. The surrounding street is now known as Monument Circle.
The city lies on the original east-west National Road. The first railroad to service Indianapolis, the Madison & Indianapolis, began operation on October 1, 1847, and subsequent railroad connections made expansive growth possible. Indianapolis was the home of the first Union Station, or common rail passenger terminal, in the United States. By the turn of the century, Indianapolis had become a large automobile manufacturer, rivaling the likes of Detroit. With roads leading out of the city in all directions, Indianapolis became a major hub of regional transport connecting to Chicago, Louisville, Cincinnati, Columbus, Detroit, Cleveland and St. Louis, befitting the capital of a state whose nickname is "The Crossroads of America." This same network of roads would allow quick and easy access to suburban areas in future years.
City population grew rapidly throughout the first half of the 20th century. While rapid suburbanization began to take place in the second half of the century, race relations deteriorated. Even so, on the night that Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated, Indianapolis was the only major city in which rioting did not occur  . Many credit the speech by Robert F. Kennedy, who was in town campaigning for President that night, for helping to calm the tensions. Racial tensions heightened in 1970 with the passage of Unigov, which further isolated the middle class from Indianapolis's growing African American community. Court-ordered school desegregation busing by Judge S. Hugh Dillon was also a controversial change.
In the 1970s and 1980s, Indianapolis suffered at the hands of urban decay and white flight. Major revitalization of the city's blighted areas, such as Fall Creek Place, and especially the downtown, began in the 1990s and led to an acceleration of growth on the fringes of the metropolitan Area. The opening of Circle Centre in downtown Indianapolis jumpstarted a major revitalization of the central business district.
Indianapolis's future appears bright as the city continues to invest heavily in improvement projects, such as an expansion to the Convention Center, upgrading of the I-465 beltway and an entirely new airport terminal for the Indianapolis International Airport, which is now open.  Construction of the Indianapolis Colts' new home, Lucas Oil Stadium was completed in August 2008, and the proposed hotel and convention center expansion is expected to open within the next three years.
According to the United States Census Bureau, "the balance" (that part of Marion County not part of another municipality) has a total area of 368.2 square miles (953.5 km²)—361.5 square miles (936.2 km²) of it is land and 6.7 square miles (17.3 km²) of it is water. The total area is 1.81% water. These figures do not, however, represent the entire Consolidated City of Indianapolis (all of Marion County, except the four excluded communities). The total area of the Consolidated City of Indianapolis, not including the four excluded communities, covers approximately 373.1 square miles (966.3 km²).
At the center of Indianapolis is the One-Mile Square, bounded by four appropriately-named streets: East, West, North, and South Streets. Nearly all of the streets in the Mile Square are named after U.S. states. The exceptions are Meridian Street, which numerically divides west from east; Market Street, which intersects Meridian Street at Monument Circle; Capitol and Senate Avenues, where many of the Indiana state government buildings are located; and Washington Street, which was named after President George Washington. The street-numbering system centers not on the Circle, but rather one block to the south, where Meridian Street intersects Washington Street — National Road.
Physically, Indianapolis is similar to many other Midwestern cities. A mix of deciduous forests and prairie covered much of what is considered Indianapolis prior to the 19th century. Land within the city limits varies from flat to gently sloping; most of the changes in elevation are so gradual that they go unnoticed, and appears to be flat from close distances. The mean elevation for Indianapolis is 717feet. The highest point in Indianapolis lies on the Northeast-side of Indianapolis, it was previously assumed that it was Crown Hill Cemetary (the tomb of famed Hoosier writer James Whitcomb Riley) with an elevation of 842feet, and the lowest point in Indianapolis lies at the Marion County/Johnson County line, with an elevation of about 680feet. The highest hill in Indianapolis is Mann Hill, a bluff located along the White River in Southwestway Park that rises about 150feet above the surrounding land. Variations in elevation from 700-900 feet occur throughout the city limits. There are a few moderately-sized bluffs and valleys in the city, particularly along the shores of the White River, Fall Creek, Geist Reservoir, and Eagle Creek Reservoir, and especially on the city's northeast and northwest sides.
Indianapolis has a humid continental climate (Koppen climate classification Dfa). Like most cities in the Midwest, it has four distinct seasons. Summers are hot and humid, with high temperatures approaching 90 °F (32 °C), with some days approaching or exceeding 100 °F (38 °C). Spring and autumn are usually pleasant, with temperatures reaching around 65 °F (18 °C). Spring, however, is much less predictable than autumn; midday temperature drops exceeding 30 °F (17 °C) are common during March and April, and instances of very warm days (86 °F; 30 °C) followed within 36 hours by snowfall not unheard of during these months. Winters are cool to cold, with daily highs barely inching above freezing. Temperatures occasionally fall below 0 °F (-18 °C). The rainiest months are in the spring and summer, with average rainfalls of over four inches (102 mm) per month, but these averages fluctuate only slightly throughout the year.
The city's average annual precipitation is 41 inches (1,040 mm).
The average July high is 85.6 °F (29.8 °C), with the low being 65.2 °F (18.4 °C). January highs average 34.5 °F (1.4 °C), and lows 18.5 °F (-7.5 °C). The record high for Indianapolis is 107 °F (42 °C), on July 25, 1954. The record low is -27 °F (-33 °C), on January 19, 1994. Average annual snowfall is 27inches  .
|Avg high °F (°C)||35 (2)||40 (5)||51 (11)||63 (17)||74 (23)||82 (28)||86 (30)||84 (29)||77 (25)||66 (19)||52 (11)||39 (5)||62 (17)|
|Avg low °F (°C)||19 (−7)||23 (−5)||32 (0)||41 (5)||52 (11)||61 (16)||65 (18)||63 (17)||55 (13)||44 (7)||34 (2)||24 (−4)||43 (7)|
High rise construction in Indianapolis started in 1888, when the Soldiers' and Sailors' Monument was completed. The 2840NaN0 tall monument sits at the center of Indianapolis and, until the completion of City Hall in 1962 was still the tallest structure in the city.
In the 1970s the central business district, like many other 'Rust Belt' cities of the United States, saw decreased economic activity, racial tension, and white flight to growing suburbs. As a result, downtown Indianapolis saw little new construction. The city of Indianapolis addressed these issues by developing plans, in the 1980s, to redefine the city's downtown. Neighborhoods in the downtown area were designated in relation to their proximity to the city center, and plans were initiated for them to be redeveloped. A series of modern skyscrapers were constructed, including what is currently the tallest building in the state; the newly renamed Chase Tower. The third tallest building in the city, One Indiana Square, is going through an exterior make over after being damaged by high winds in April 2006.
See main article: List of Indianapolis neighborhoods.
See also: Indianapolis Cultural Districts. Indianapolis has several distinct neighborhoods and cultural districts throughout the city.
Greater Indianapolis is a rapidly growing region located at the center of Indiana and consists of Marion County, Indiana and several adjacent counties. The Combined Statistical Area (CSA) of Indianapolis exceeded 2 million people in the 2007 estimate, ranking 23rd in the United States and 7th in the Midwest. As a unified labor and media market, the Indianapolis Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) had a 2006 population of 1.66 million people, ranking 33rd in the United States. Indianapolis is the 7th largest MSA in the Midwest.
According to the 2007 American Community Survey, the city's population was 68.3% White (63.8% non-Hispanic-White alone), 27.2% Black or African American, 0.7% American Indian and Alaska Native, 1.9% Asian, 0.2% Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander, 4.0% from some other race and 2.2% from two or more races. 6.6% of the total population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. As of the censusWeb site: States Census Bureau] American FactFinder]. 2008-01-31. of 2000, there were 791,926 people, 324,342 households, and 195,578 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,160.9 people per square mile (834.4/km²). There were 356,980 housing units at an average density of 974.1 per square mile (376.1/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 69.34% White, 25.29% African American, 0.25% Native American, 1.42% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 2.02% from other races, and 1.64% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.88% of the population.
There were 324,342 households out of which 29.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 40.7% were married couples living together, 15.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 39.7% were non-families. 32.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.39 and the average family size was 3.03.
In the city the population was spread out with 25.7% under the age of 18, 10.1% from 18 to 24, 32.8% from 25 to 44, 20.4% from 45 to 64, and 11.1% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 34 years. For every 100 females there are 93.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 90.1 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $40,154, and the median income for a family was $48,979. Males had a median income of $36,372 versus $27,757 for females. The per capita income for the city was $21,789. About 9.0% of families and 11.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 16.1% of those under the age of 18 and 8.1% of those ages 65 or older.
From 2000 to 2004, the Hispanic population in Indianapolis increased by 43%.
See main article: Government of Indianapolis. Indianapolis has a consolidated city-county government known as Unigov. Under this system, many functions of the city and county governments are consolidated, though some remain separate. The city has a mayor-council form of government.
See main article: List of mayors of Indianapolis. The executive branch is headed by an elected mayor, who serves as the chief executive of both the city and Marion County. The current Mayor of Indianapolis is Republican Greg Ballard. The mayor appoints city department heads and members of various boards and commissions.
The legislative body for the city and county is the City-County Council. It is made up of 29 members, 25 of whom represent districts, with the remaining four elected at large. As of 2008, Republicans hold a 16-13 majority. The council passes ordinances for the city and county, and also makes appointments to certain boards and commissions.
All of the courts of law in Indianapolis are part of the Indiana state court system. The Marion Superior Court is the court of general jurisdiction. The 35 judges on the court hear all criminal, juvenile, probate, and traffic violation cases, as well as most civil cases. The Marion Circuit Court hears certain types of civil cases. Small claims cases are heard by Small Claims Courts in each of Marion County's nine townships. Also, the Appeals Courts and the Supreme Court for the state of Indiana are held in the statehouse.
Historically there was a fire department maintained by each suburban township, which provided service to the areas of the townships outside of the pre-Unigov city limits and the corporate limits of the excluded cities. In January 2007, by a resolution jointly passed by the Washington Township Board and by the Indianapolis City-County Council, the Washington Township Fire Department was merged into the City of Indianapolis Fire Department. In July 2007, by a similar resolution between the City-County Council and the Warren Township Board, the Warren Township Fire Department was also merged into the city fire department. All of the career fire-fighting personnel and emergency medical services personnel were absorbed into the city department. As of February 2009, Perry Township is exploring a merger with the Indianapolis Fire Department and its township department to deflect projected budget shortfalls starting in 2010.
Indianapolis and Marion County historically maintained separate police agencies: the Indianapolis Police Department and Marion County Sheriff's Department. On January 1, 2007, a new agency, the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department, was formed by merging the two departments. IMPD is a separate agency, as the Sheriff's Department maintains jail and court functions. IMPD has jurisdiction over those portions of Marion County not explicitly covered by the police of an excluded city or by a legacy pre-Unigov force. As of February 29, 2008, the IMPD is headed by a Public Safety Director appointed by the Mayor of Indianapolis; the Public Safety Director appoints the Police Chief. The IMPD was formerly under the leadership of the Sheriff of Marion County, Frank J. Anderson. The Sheriff remains in charge of the County Jail and security for the City-County Building, service of warrants, and certain other functions. The Sheriff must be consulted, but does not have final say, on the appointment of the Public Safety Director and the Police Chief.  .
For the past decade, crime rates within the Indianapolis city limits have fluctuated greatly. In the late 1990s, violent crimes in inner-city neighborhoods located within the old city limits (pre-consolidation) peaked. The former Indianapolis Police District (IPD), which serves about 37% of the county's total population and has a geographic area covering mostly the old pre-consolidation city limits, recorded 130 homicides in 1998 to average approximately 40.3 homicides per 100,000 people. This is over 6 times the 1998 national homicide average of 6.3 per 100,000 people. Meanwhile, the former Marion County Sheriff's Department district serving the remaining 63% of the county's population, which includes the majority of the residents in the Consolidated City, recorded only 32 homicides in 1998, averaging about 5.9 murders per 100,000 people, slightly less than the 1998 national homicide average. Homicides in the IPD police district dropped dramatically in 1999 and have remained lower through 2005. In 2005, the IPD police district recorded 88 homicides to average 27.3 homicides per 100,000 people; nonetheless, the murder rate in the IPD is still almost 5 times the 2005 national average.
When considering the total Consolidated City of Indianapolis, the overall crime rate has historically been low compared to the national average. Nonetheless, crime in impoverished inner-city neighborhoods remains a problem. Areas of Indianapolis that were unincorporated or separate municipalities before the 1970 city-county consolidation generally have significantly lower crime rates although their aggregate population is higher than the old pre-consolidation Indianapolis city limits. Thus, crime figures for the Consolidated City and the entire Marion County average out to a low rate. However, according to FBI reports in 2006, for the first half of the year, Indianapolis saw one of the larger increases in homicides in the country for the first half of 2006 as compared to the same time period in 2005. Overall violent crime in Indianapolis increased 8% for the first half of 2006 compared to the first half of 2005.  While Marion County has still not surpassed its record homicide number of 162 set in 1998, it is on pace to see one of the highest numbers of homicides since then, with 153 committed in 2006 as the year draws to a close. In one 2006 event, seven individuals from the same family were murdered in their home. In 2007, city leaders such as Sheriff Frank J. Anderson and former Mayor Bart Peterson held rallies in neighborhoods in effort to stop the violence in the city. In 2008, 122 homicides were recorded in Indianapolis.
The immediate downtown area of the city around most main attractions, venues, and museums remain relatively safe. IMPD uses horseback officers and bicycle officers to patrol the downtown area or the city. Certain areas of Indianapolis, most notably portions of the city's East Side, remain a challenge for law enforcement officials. Indianapolis was ranked as the 33rd most dangerous city in the United States in the 2008–2009 edition of CQ Press's City Crime Rankings.
Until the late 1990s, Indianapolis was considered to be one of the most conservative metropolitan areas in the country but this trend is reversing. Republicans had held the majority in the City-County Council for 36 years, and the city had a Republican mayor for 32 years from 1967 to 1999. This was in part because the creation of Unigov added several then-heavily Republican areas of Marion County to the Indianapolis city limits. More recently, Republicans have generally been stronger in the southern and western parts (Decatur, Franklin, Perry, and Wayne, townships) of the county while Democrats have been stronger in the central and northern parts (Center, Pike, and Washington townships). Republican and Democratic strength is split in Warren and Lawrence townships.
In the 1999 municipal election, Democrat Bart Peterson defeated Indiana Secretary of State Sue Anne Gilroy by 52 percent to 41 percent. Four years later, Peterson was re-elected with 63 percent of the vote. Republicans narrowly lost control of the City-County Council that year. In 2004, Democrats won the Marion County offices of treasurer, surveyor and coroner. The county GOP lost further ground during the 2006 elections with Democrats winning the offices of county clerk, assessor, recorder and auditor. Only one GOP countywide office remained: Prosecutor Carl Brizzi, who defeated Democratic challenger Melina Kennedy with 51 percent of the vote in his bid for a second term, despite outspending her two-to-one. At the township level, Democrats picked up the trustee offices in Washington, Lawrence, Warren and Wayne townships, while holding on to Pike and Center townships.
In the 2007 municipal election, fueled by voter angst against increases in property and income taxes as well as a rise in crime, Republican challenger Greg Ballard narrowly defeated Peterson, 51 percent to 47 percent -- the first time an incumbent Indianapolis mayor was removed from office since 1967. Discontent among these issues also returned control of the City-County Council to the GOP with a 16-13 majority. 
John Kerry defeated George W. Bush in the 2004 presidential election by roughly 6,000 votes in Marion County, 51 percent to 49 percent. It was the first time a Democratic presidential candidate had carried Marion County since 1964. Barack Obama carried Marion County in the 2008 presidential election by a much larger scale of 237,275 votes to John McCain's 131,459 votes, 64 percent to 35 percent respectively.
Most of Indianapolis is within the 7th Congressional District of Indiana, represented by Democrat André Carson. He is the grandson of the district's previous representative, Julia Carson who held the seat from 1997 until her death on December 15, 2007. The younger Carson, a former member of the City-County Council, won the seat in a special election on March 11, 2008. The northeastern and southeastern portions of the city are in the 5th District, represented by Republican Dan Burton. A portion of western Indianapolis is in the 4th District, represented by Republican Steve Buyer.
See main article: List of schools in Indianapolis.
Indianapolis is the home of (in alphabetical order): Brown Mackie College, Butler University, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI), Indiana Wesleyan University, Ivy Tech Community College of Indiana, Marian College, Martin University, Oakland City University (Indianapolis) Indianapolis campus, The Art Institute of Indianapolis, and the University of Indianapolis.
Brown Mackie College is new to the area.
Butler University was originally founded in 1855 as North Western Christian University. The school purchased land in the Irvington area in 1875. The school moved again in 1928 to its current location at the edge of Butler-Tarkington. The school removed itself officially from religious affiliation, giving up the theological school to Christian Theological Seminary. A private institution, Butler's current student enrollment is approximately 4,400.
Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis was originally an urban conglomeration of branch campuses of the two major state universities: Indiana University in Bloomington and Purdue University in West Lafayette, created by the state legislature. In 1969 a merged campus was created at the site of the Indiana University School of Medicine. IUPUI's student body is currently just under 30,000, making it the third-largest institute of higher learning in Indiana after the main campuses of IU and Purdue. This campus is also home to Herron School of Art and Design, which was established privately in 1902. A new building was built in 2005 under both private donation and state contribution enabling the school to move from its original location.
Ivy Tech Community College of Indiana, a state funded public school, was founded as Indiana Vocational Technical College in 1963. With 23 campuses across Indiana, Ivy Tech has a total enrollment of just over 70,300, with just over 12,000 attending campuses in the Indianapolis area.
Marian College was founded in 1936 when St. Francis Normal and Immaculate Conception Junior College merged. The college moved to Indianapolis in 1937. Marian is currently a private Catholic school and has an enrollment of approximately 1,800 students.
Indianapolis has eleven unified public school districts (eight township educational authorities and three legacy districts from before the unification of city and county government) each of which provides primary, secondary, and adult education services within its boundaries. The boundaries of these districts do not exactly correspond to township (or traditional) boundaries, but rather cover the areas of their townships that were outside the pre-consolidation city limits. Indianapolis Public Schools served all of Indianapolis prior to 1970, when almost all of Marion County was incorporated, and is still the city's largest school corporation today. It also offers a wide variety of private schools such as Bishop Chatard, Roncalli, Cardinal Ritter, and Scecina which are part of the archdiocese of Indianapolis. And private schools such as Brebeuf, Park Tutor, Cathedral, and Culver Military Academy all of which are top schools in the state
Public library services are provided to the citizens of Indianapolis and Marion County by the Indianapolis-Marion County Public Library (IMCPL). The educational and cultural institution, founded in 1873, now consists of a main library, Central Library, located in downtown Indianapolis and 22 branch locations spread throughout the city. Serving over 5.43 million visitors in 2006, IMCPL's mission is to provide "materials and programs in support of the lifelong learning, recreational and economic interests of all citizens of Marion County." A renovated Central Library building opened on December 9, 2007, ending a controversial multi-year rebuilding plan.
Indianapolis prides itself on its rich cultural heritage. Several initiatives have been made by the Indianapolis government in recent years to increase Indianapolis's appeal as a destination for arts and culture.
Indianapolis has designated six official Cultural Districts. They are Broad Ripple Village, Massachusetts Avenue, Fountain Square, The Wholesale District, Canal and White River State Park, and Indiana Avenue. These areas have held historic and cultural importance to the city. In recent years they have been revitalized and are becoming major centers for tourism, commerce and residential living.
Scheduled to be complete by 2011, the Indianapolis Cultural Trail: is a world-class urban bike and pedestrian path that connects the city's five downtown Cultural Districts, neighborhoods and entertainment amenities, and serves as the downtown hub for the entire central Indiana greenway system. The trail will include benches, bike racks, lighting, signage and bike rentals/drop-offs along the way and will also feature local art work.
At the center of Indianapolis is Monument Circle, a traffic circle at the intersection of Meridian and Market Streets, featuring the Soldiers' and Sailors' Monument. (Monument Circle is depicted on the city’s flag). Monument Circle is in the shadow of Indiana's tallest skyscraper, the Chase Tower. Until the early 1960s, Indianapolis zoning laws stated that no building could be taller than the Soldiers and Sailors Monument. Each Christmas season, local electricians string lights onto the monument. It is lit for the holiday season in a ceremony known as the "Circle of Lights," which attracts tens of thousands of Hoosiers to downtown Indianapolis on the day after Thanksgiving.
See main article: Indiana World War Memorial Plaza. A five-block plaza at the intersection of Meridian and Vermont surrounds a large memorial dedicated to Hoosiers who have fought in American wars. It was originally constructed to honor the Indiana soldiers who died in World War I, but construction was halted due to lack of funding during the Great Depression, and it was finished in 1951. The purpose of the memorial was later altered to encompass all American wars in which Hoosiers fought.
The monument is modeled after the Mausoleum of Maussollos. At 210 feet (64 m) tall it is approximately seventy-five feet taller than the original Mausoleum. The blue lights, which shine between columns on the side of the War Memorial, make the monument easy to spot. On the north end of the War Memorial Plaza is the national headquarters of the American Legion and the Indianapolis-Marion County Public Library's Central Library.
See main article: List of monuments in Indianapolis. The city is second only to Washington, D.C., for number of monuments inside city limits. There have been two United States Navy vessels named after Indianapolis, including the USS Indianapolis (CA-35) which suffered the worst single at-sea loss of life in the history of the U.S. Navy.
Indianapolis will host the National FFA Convention from 2006-2012 and is one of two finalists for the convention from 2013-2019. FFA Convention draws approximately 55,000 attendees and has an estimated $30-$40 million direct visitor impact on the local economy. Attendees occupy 13,000 hotel rooms in 130 metro-area hotels on peak nights during the four-day convention, making it the largest convention in the history of Indianapolis.
Indianapolis has evolved into somewhat of a center for music. The city plays host to Drum Corps International, Music for All, Inergy, Indy's Official Musical Ambassadors, the Percussive Arts Society, the International Violin Competition of Indianapolis, the American Pianists' Association and Indy Jazz Festival. 
Beginning in 1999 the city became host to the annual Indy Jazz Festival. The festival is a three day event held in Military Park near the canal. Past stars include: B.B. King, Aretha Franklin, Bruce Hornsby, Bela Fleck & The Flecktones, Kool and the Gang, Ray Charles, The Temptations, Dave Brubeck, Emmylou Harris, Chris Isaak, Jonny Lang, Norah Jones and regional and local favorites.
Every May Indianapolis holds the 500 Festival, a month of events culminating in the Indianapolis 500 Festival Parade the day before the running of the Indianapolis 500. The Festival was first held in 1957.
The Circle City Classic is one of America’s top historically African-American college football games. This annual football game, held during the first weekend of October, is the showcase event of an entire weekend. The weekend is a celebration of cultural excellence and educational achievement while showcasing the spirit, energy and tradition of America’s historically black colleges and universities.
In 2003, Indianapolis began hosting Gen Con, the largest role-playing game convention in the nation (record attendance thus far being numbered in excess of 30,000), at the Indiana Convention Center. Future expansion of the convention space is expected by many to further increase attendance numbers in coming years. The convention center has also recently played host to such events as Star Wars Celebration II and III, which brought in Star Wars fans from around the world, including George Lucas. From October 25 to 28, 2006, the convention center was home to the 79th national FFA convention, bringing around 50,000 visitors in from around the country. It will also host it every year up to 2012.
Indianapolis is also home to the Indiana State Fair as well as the Heartland Film Festival, Epilogue Players, the Indianapolis International Film Festival, the Indianapolis Theatre Fringe Festival, the Indianapolis Alternative Media Festival, the Midwest Music Summit and the Indianapolis LGBT Film Festival.
Indianapolis is home to Bands of America (BOA), a nationwide organization of high school marching, concert, and jazz bands, and hosts several BOA events annually. Indianapolis is now also the international headquarters of Drum Corps International, a professional drum and bugle corps association, and beginning in 2008 will host the DCI World Championships in the new Lucas Oil Stadium.
Indianapolis has been the headquarters of the Kiwanis International organization since 1982. The organization and its youth-sponsored Kiwanis Family counterparts, Circle K International and Key Club International, administer all their international business and service initiatives from Indianapolis.
The Indy International Wine Competition, the largest U.S. wine competition outside of California, is held in Indianapolis every July at the Indiana State Fairgrounds. Several beer festivals are held in Indianapolis, the most notable of which is the annual Indiana Microbrewers Festival held in Optimist Park in Broad Ripple
The city has a vibrant arts community that includes many fairs celebrating a wide variety of arts and crafts during the summer months. They include the Broad Ripple Art Fair,Talbot Street Art Fair, Carmel Arts Festival and the Penrod Art Fair
Indianapolis contains the national headquarters for twenty-six fraternities and sororities. Many are congregated in the College Park area surrounding The Pyramids.
One of the largest ethnic and cultural heritage festivals in Indianapolis is the Summer Celebration held by Indiana Black Expo. This ten-day national event highlights the contributions of African-Americans to U.S. society and culture and provides educational, entertainment, and networking opportunities to the over 300,000 participants from around the country.
Indy's International Festival is held annually in November at the Indiana State Fairgrounds. Local ethnic groups, vendors and performers are featured alongside national and international performers.
Other local festivals include:
See main article: Sports in Indianapolis.
The labels of The Amateur Sports Capital of the World, and The Racing Capital of the World, have both been applied to Indianapolis.
Indianapolis is home to the Indianapolis Colts of the NFL, the Indiana Pacers of the NBA, the Indiana Fever of the WNBA, the Indianapolis Indians of the IL, the Indiana Ice of the USHL, and the Indianapolis Trax of the MWHL.
In addition, the headquarters of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), the main governing body for U.S. collegiate sports, is located in Indianapolis, as is the National Federation of State High School Associations. Indianapolis is also home to the national offices of USA Gymnastics, USA Diving, US Synchronized Swimming, and USA Track & Field.Indianapolis also hosts the headquarters of the Horizon League and the Great Lakes Valley Conference; the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference is located in suburban Indianapolis.
The city has hosted the Men's and Women's NCAA Final Fours (the semifinals and final of the NCAA basketball tournament) several times, and as of 2006 the NCAA is scheduled to hold the Women's Final Four in Indianapolis at least once every five years. Conseco Fieldhouse in Indianapolis will host the Big Ten Tournament for five straight years (beginning in 2008) after it won the Big Ten bid over Chicago and the United Center.
IMS hosts two major races every year, the Indianapolis 500 and the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard. Starting in 2008, the MotoGP Motorcycle series will host a weekend at the speedway for the Red Bull Indianapolis Grand Prix. The city was awarded the rights to host Super Bowl XLVI on May 20, 2008. Indianapolis hosted the Pan American Games in 1987 and the 2002 World Basketball Championships.
|Indianapolis Colts||Football||National Football League (AFC)||Lucas Oil Stadium|
|Indiana Pacers||Basketball||National Basketball Association||Conseco Fieldhouse|
|Indiana Fever||Basketball||Women's National Basketball Association||Conseco Fieldhouse|
|Indianapolis Indians||Baseball||International League (AAA - affiliated with the Pittsburgh Pirates)||Victory Field|
|Indiana Ice||Hockey||United States Hockey League||Pepsi ColiseumConseco Fieldhouse|
|Indianapolis Trax||Hockey||Midwest Hockey League||The Forum|
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The Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS), located in Speedway, Indiana, is the site of the Indianapolis 500-Mile Race (also known as the Indy 500), an open-wheel automobile race held each Memorial Day weekend on a 2.5 mile (4 km) oval track. The Indy 500 is the largest single-day sporting event in the world, hosting more than 257,000 permanent seats (not including the infield area). The track is often referred to as the Brickyard, as it was paved with 3.2 million bricks shortly after its construction in 1909. Today the track is paved in asphalt although a section of bricks remains at the start/finish line.
From 2000 to 2007, IMS hosted the Formula One United States Grand Prix (USGP). Contract negotiations between the IMS and Formula One resulted in a discontinuation of the USGP at Indianapolis (at least for the foreseeable future). Formula One has not scheduled a USGP venue for the 2008 and 2009 seasons.
Indianapolis is home to the largest mini-marathon (and eighth-largest running event) in America. 2007 was the 30th anniversary of the Mini, and run in the first weekend in May every year. This event is part of the 500 Festival, its 50th year running. The race starts on Washington Street just off Monument Circle and ends on New York Street back downtown. The Mini has been sold out every year, with well over 35,000 runners participating.
Indianapolis has an extensive municipal park system with nearly 200 parks occupying over 10,000 acres (40 km²). The flagship Eagle Creek Park is the largest municipal park in the city, and ranks among the largest urban parks in the United States. 
Other major Indianapolis Regional parks include:
Opened in 1988, the Indianapolis Zoo is the largest zoo in the state and is just west of downtown. It has 360 species of animals and is best known for its dolphin exhibit which includes the only underwater viewing dome in the Midwest.
See main article: Media in Indianapolis.
Indianapolis is served by local, regional, and national media.
Whether for business or leisure, the city of Indianapolis is a popular destination for tourists. Tourism brings over 20 million visitors a year into the city, who spend about $3.5 billion, resulting in 66,621 full-time equivalent employment positions in the hospitality industry. Behind the efforts to advance Indianapolis tourism and economic growth is the Indianapolis Convention & Visitors Association (ICVA). The ICVA, a non-profit organization established in 1923, seeks to increase the number of visitors and their financial impact, expand positive perception of Indianapolis and positively influence the visitor experience.
Indianapolis is the international headquarters of the pharmaceutical corporation Eli Lilly and Company, wireless distribution & logistics provider Brightpoint, health insurance provider Wellpoint, insurance company American United Life (OneAmerica), airline Republic Airways,consisting of Republic Airlines, Chautauqua Airlines and Shuttle America real estate companies Simon Property Group & Hunt Construction Group, Finish Line, Inc., Duke Realty Corp. and Teleservices Direct. The U.S. headquarters of Roche Diagnostics, Thomson SA, Conseco, First Internet Bank of Indiana, Peerless Pump Company, CP Morgan, Dow AgroSciences, Emmis Communications and Steak 'n Shake are also located in Indianapolis. Other major Indianapolis area employers include Clarian Health, Sallie Mae, Cook Group, Rolls Royce, Delta Faucet Company and General Motors. Indianapolis has also developed into a major logistics center. It is home to a FedEx hub and many major distribution centers for companies like Amazon.com, FoxConn, and numerous pharmaceutical distributors.
Before Detroit came to dominate the American automobile industry, Indianapolis was also home to a number of carmakers, including American Motor Car Company, Parry Auto Company, and Premier Motor Manufacturing. In addition, Indianapolis hosted auto parts companies such as Prest-O-Lite, which provided acetylene generators for brass era headlights and acetylene gas starters.
The National Association of Home Builders and Wells Fargo ranked Indianapolis the most affordable major housing market in the U.S. for the fourth quarter of 2008, and Forbes magazine ranked it the sixth-best city for jobs in 2008, based on a combined graded balance of perceived median household incomes, lack of unemployment, income growth, cost of living and job growth. However, in 2008, Indiana ranked 12th nationally in total home foreclosures and Indianapolis (which is four times as large as any other city in Indiana) expectedly led the state 
See main article: Transportation in Indianapolis.
Thirty years in planning, Indianapolis recently completed building a new airport. The $1.1 billion project is the largest development initiative in the city's history. The new Indianapolis Airport covers 1200000square feet, with 40 gates, a 145000square feet baggage processing area, a 73000square feet baggage claim area, and Civic Plaza, a large pre-security gathering and concession space with a 60feet skylight, containing both local and national restaurants and retailers as well as local Indianapolis artwork. The new terminal is the first built since 9/11. It opened officially for arriving flights 11/11/08 and departures 11/12/08.
Several interstates serve the Indianapolis area. Interstate 65 runs northwest to Chicago, Illinois, and southward to Louisville, Kentucky. Interstate 69 runs northeast to Fort Wayne, Indiana, and terminates in the city at I-465. Interstate 70 follows the old National Road, running east to Columbus, Ohio and west to St. Louis, Missouri. Interstate 74 moves northwest towards Danville, Illinois, and southeast towards Cincinnati, Ohio. Finally, Interstate 465 circles Marion County and joins the aforementioned highways together. Recently the interstate segment connecting Interstate 465 to Interstate 65 on the northwest side of the city was redesignated Interstate 865 to reduce confusion. The Indianapolis area also has three other expressways; Sam Jones Expressway (old Airport Expressway), the new Airport Expressway, and Shadeland Avenue Expressway.
The Indianapolis Public Transportation Corporation, known locally as IndyGo, provides public transportation for the city. IndyGo was established in 1975 after the city of Indianapolis took over the city's transit system. Prior to 1997, IndyGo was called Metro. Central Indiana Commuter Services (CICS), funded by IndyGo to reduce pollution, serves Indianapolis and surrounding counties.
See main article: Clarian Health People Mover. Clarian Health operates a people mover connecting the Indiana University School of Medicine, Riley Hospital for Children, Wishard Hospital and IUPUI & Indiana University School of Medicine facilities at the north end of the Downtown Canal with Methodist Hospital. Plans for a larger system are being considered that would operate throughout downtown Indianapolis. The existing people mover is sometimes inaccurately described as a monorail, but in fact rides on dual concrete beams with the guideway as wide as the vehicle.
Amtrak, the national passenger rail system, provides service to Indianapolis at the Indianapolis Union Station. Amtrak provides a thrice-weekly service of the Cardinal to Chicago, New York City, and Washington, D.C. and the daily Hoosier State to Chicago.
Greyhound Lines also operates a terminal from Indianapolis Union Station downtown. The terminal is open 24 hours daily, 365 days a year.
Indianapolis suffers from numerous transportation issues, such as a lack of sidewalks in suburban areas and a lack of adequate mass transit for a city its size. Plans are being developed to enhance the current transit system by adding commuter rail routes and improving bus frequency.
The television sitcom One Day at a Time was set in Indianapolis. The opening credits of the show include a shot of the Pyramids, a set of three distinctive office buildings located near the northwestern edge of the city. The first seasons of Good Morning Miss Bliss (later to become Saved by the Bell) and Thunder Alley were set in Indianapolis. The American version of Men Behaving Badly and CBS's 2005 drama Close to Home were also set in Indianapolis. In a darker view, in the television show Jericho, Indianapolis is one of twenty-three American cities destroyed by nuclear weapons, a fate which also befalls the city in the Worldwar series of novels by Harry Turtledove. Currently, Indianapolis is featured in The Shift on the Investigation Discovery Channel, as cameras follow Indianapolis's homicide unit.