The Indiana Government Center is a state office complex including the State Office Building North, the State Office Building South, the Indiana State Library and Historical Building, the State House, and parking garages.
Completed in 1888, theinitially accommodated the two legislative chambers, courtrooms, the State Library, and offices for the governor, members of the Supreme Court, legislators, and other state officials. In 1934, the library moved from the State House and, along with the and the , relocated to the newly completed at 140 North Senate Avenue.
In 1953, the Indiana General Assembly passed an enabling act for the construction of a state office building. The new structure, dedicated on December 20, 1960, was the largest state office building in the nation. Designed by the Chicago architectural firm Graham, Anderson, Probst & White, and Raymond Kastendieck of Gary, Indiana, the $30 million ($262 million in 2020) structure at 100 North Senate featured 2,000 windows, a 900-seat cafeteria, and a large plaza. It was connected by tunnels to the State House, the State Library, and nearby parking facilities.
By 1975, state bureaucracy had outgrown this building, and the structure was deteriorating. Legislators allotted $1.5 million that year for emergency renovation work. Ten years later, projecting substantial savings in office space rental fees over a 25-year period, the General Assembly approved the $103 million funding for construction of a new office structure and renovation of the existing building and grounds in order to create a complex of state buildings.
In 1988, the Washington Street parking facility became the first completed building in the new complex. With a ground floor of Indiana limestone and a tower at the northeast corner, the garage foreshadowed the architectural themes of the new office center. Beginning in 1988, CSO Architects and Cole Associates, two Indianapolis firms, reconfigured the 1960 structure, completely refacing its exterior, reorienting its entrance to Government Place (facing the south building), and renovating its interior. Concurrently, HNTB architects andof Indianapolis, and Edmund L. Hafer of Evansville, designed and began construction on the south building. Notably, a large mural completed by internationally renowned printmaker , which depicts Lincoln’s boyhood, is located near the escalators in Government Center North.
The E-shaped south building’s spine faces Washington Street. It is a four-story, limestone structure with five-story, copper-roofed towers at each corner. The building’s over 1 million square feet of space includes a cafeteria, central atrium, training center, conference area, and office space. The façade also encompasses the former Employment Security Building, which was completely renovated. A loggia (a gallery or room with one or more open sides) facing Washington Street runs the full length of the south building.
In 1991, the Senate Avenue parking garage completed the new construction. The garage echoes the structural components of the south office building. The overall appearance of the compound is one of unity in which the new construction complements and repeats features of the State Library and the State House.
The design of the Indiana Government Center accommodates the people who work and carry on business there. Three courtyards around the south building provide outdoor vistas to employees and visitors. The north building cafeteria opens onto the renovated, presenting workers a picturesque dining spot and providing joggers and walkers along the canal a lunch site. Facilities also include a child care center and a conference center.
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