Architectural History

Though State records and the state treasury physically moved to Indianapolis in October 1824, and state government was officially transferred to Indianapolis on January 10, 1825, when the legislature convened for its regular session. At that time there was no formal building in which to conduct State business. State offices were scattered across the newly formed city in a host of houses and storefronts. Sessions of the General Assembly were held at the Marion County Courthouse.

A new Statehouse was authorized in 1832. The building was completed in 1835 at a cost of $60,000. The design was Grecian Doric and an Italian Renaissance dome graced the building. It stood on the south end of the present Statehouse grounds, facing Washington Street.

In 1867, the ceiling of the House Chamber collapsed. The damage was repaired, but unsafe conditions led to the 1873 creation of a New Statehouse Committee to study the issue. In 1877, a Board of Statehouse Commissioners was created to complete construction of a new building at a cost not to exceed $2,000,000.00.

The Board held a contest to select the architect. Edwin May submitted a plan called Lucidus Ordo - Latin for "a clear arrangement." The Board selected this plan from among two dozen proposals submitted.