Merchants Plaza, also known as Hyatt Regency Indianapolis, as well as PNC Center, is a high-rise office building with hotel, restaurants, and shops at the corner of Washington and Capitol streets. Located on the site of the former Lincoln Hotel (which was demolished in 1973), the Merchants Plaza complex, designed by J V III of Houston and Browning Day Pollack of Indianapolis, was built over the vacated right-of-way of Kentucky Avenue at Washington Street, which altered the original Ralston plan of 1821.

Hyatt Regency Hotel, 1977 Credit: The Indiana Album: Joan Hostetler Collection View Source

Otto Nick Frenzel Iii was the driving force behind the $50 million project, which was the largest single privately developed project in the state’s history at the time. The square-block complex consists of twin 15-story office towers, trapezoidal in plan, offices of PNC Bank (formerly Merchants National Bank, hence the original name of the complex), the 535-room Hyatt Regency Hotel, underground parking, and restaurants and shops on the first three levels. 

Groundbreaking for the project occurred in November 1974, with construction completed in early 1977. It helped boost Indianapolis downtown’s convention industry. In 1993, expansions to the Indiana Convention Center added a skywalk to the Hyatt Regency, providing direct access to conventiongoers.

Hyatt Regency Hotel interior, ca. 1980 Credit: The Indiana Album: Roberta\’s Daughter Antiques View Source

At the time it was built, the atrium—a 19-story-tall inner lobby which is a Hyatt trademark—was one of the largest enclosed spaces in the country. Through the use of angular exterior walls and entrances positioned on the diagonal, the project reflects the flow of traffic that once traveled over this block. A triangular landscaped plaza sits at the mid-block of the Washington Street entrance. The 20th  floor’s revolving circular restaurant, known as The Eagle’s Nest, affords one of the few public places to enjoy a panoramic view of the city’s downtown.

The building was the headquarters of Merchants National Bank, which previously occupied the Merchants National Bank Building, located on the southeast corner of Meridian and Washington streets. In 1992, the complex was rebranded National City Center when National City Bank of Ohio acquired Merchants. The complex was renamed Hyatt Regency Indianapolis, PNC Center in 2010, following PNC’s purchase of National City Bank. The building was last renovated in 2018.

Revised February 2021

Help improve this entry

Contribute information, offer corrections, suggest images.

You can also recommend new entries related to this topic.