Location: 401 E. Michigan Street, Indianapolis (Marion County, Indiana)
Erected 1999 Indiana Historical Bureau and Athenaeum Foundation
ID# : 49.1999.2
Visit the Indiana History Blog to learn about the shared Humanism of Clemens Vonnegut and Kurt Vonnegut Jr.
Built for German societies of Indianapolis including Socialer Turnverein: east wing 1893-1894, west wing 1897-1898. Designed in German Renaissance Revival Style by Indianapolis firm of Vonnegut and Bohn. Sculpted terra cotta and limestone by local artist Alexander Sangernebo. Major renovation 1990s. Listed in National Register of Historic Places 1973.
Originally called Das Deutsche Haus; name changed to Athenaeum during World War I because of anti-German sentiment. Facilities included gymnasium, auditorium, restaurant, concert-ballroom, bowling alleys, and beer garden with concert pavilion. Home of Normal College of the North American Gymnastic Union 1907-1970. Has continued as vital social and cultural center.
Immigration and Ethnic Groups, Buildings and Architecture