Soldiers and Sailors Monument
Recognized as one of the world’s outstanding monuments, the structure has come to symbolize both the City of Indianapolis and the State of Indiana. Located in the heart of downtown in Monument Circle, it was originally designed to honor Indiana’s Civil War veterans.
It now commemorates the valor of Hoosier veterans who served in all wars prior to WWI, including the Revolutionary War, the War of 1812, the Mexican War, the Civil War, the Frontier Wars and the Spanish-American War. One of the most popular parts of the monument is the observation deck with a 360-degree view of the city skyline from 275 feet up.
Hours inside: Friday – Sunday, 10:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. Learn more
Hours outside: Open from dawn to dusk
BRUNO SCHMITZ OF BERLIN, PRUSSIA (GERMANY) constructed the monument and incorporated many art works into the monument and around the circle. Sculptor Rudolf Schwarz designed the statuary groups “War” and “Peace,” “The Dying Soldier,” “The Homefront” and the four statues at the corners of the monument that represent the Infantry, Cavalry, Artillery and Navy. Additionally, George Brewster created the thirty-eight-foot-tall figure of Victory that caps the monument, as well as two astragals, and Nicolaus Geiger created the bronze Army astragal that represents the carnage of war.
The Soldiers and Sailors Monument was constructed between 1887 and 1902 and formally dedicated on May 15, 1902.
The Soldiers and Sailors Monument is 284 feet, 6 inches tall—only 15 feet shorter than the Statue of Liberty.
The complete cost of design and construction was nearly $600,000. Building a similar structure today would cost more than $500 million.
The commission for the monument’s construction requested architects to submit design proposals. Of the 70 proposals turned in, two finalists were chosen. Then from the two, Bruno Schmitz of Berlin, Prussia (Germany) received the appointment.
The observation deck can be reached by climbing 331 steps or riding an elevator 90% of the distance and climbing the remaining 31 steps.