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. The Soldiers & Sailors Monument is Indiana's official memorial to the Hoosiers that served in the Revolutionary War, the War of 1812, the Mexican War, the Civil War, the Frontier Wars and the Spanish-American War.
The Limestone used for the monument is gray oolitic limestone from the Romona quarries of Owen County. It stands 284 feet, 6 inches high, only 15 feet shorter than the Statue of Liberty. It cost $598,318 in 1902. It has been estimated that building a similar structure today would cost more than five hundred million dollars.
The commission for the monument construction requested architects to submit design proposals. Of the seventy proposals turned in, two finalists were chosen. From those two, Bruno Schmitz of Berlin, Germany, received the appointment.
There are a number of art works either built into the Monument, or placed throughout the grounds. Bruno Schmitz brought with him Rudolf Schwarz. Schwarz was sculptor for the statuary groups "War" and "Peace", "The Dying Soldier", "The Homefront" and the four statues at the corners of the Monument that represents the Infantry, Cavalry, Artillery, and Navy. The Monument is crowned with a statue of Victory, holding a sword in her right hand and a torch in her left. For more information, please see:
- View the Art and Architecture of the Monument
- Story of the Monument's Limestone Sculptures
- History of the Victory Sculpture
- Victory Repair and Restoration Project
- Victory Project Photos
Gift Shop and Observation Tower
The Soldiers & Sailors Monument houses a Gift Shop and Observatory. From the Observatory, visitors can experience panoramic views of the city skyline from 231 feet above street level. The Observatory can be reached by climbing 330 steps at no charge, or by riding an elevator for a small fee. Visitors must still walk 49 steps to reach the Observation Level after the elevator ride.
Hours of Operation:
- May through October: Wednesday - Sunday, 10:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
- November through April: Friday - Sunday, 10:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
The Monument is closed on Monday and Tuesday, and on all National and State holidays except Memorial Day and Veterans Day. If you are making a special trip and would like to know if the tower is open on a given day, please call the Monument Gift Shop at 317-234-6999.
- Adult & Senior: $2.00
- Youth (age 6-17): $1.00
- Child (under 6): FREE
- Veteran: FREE
- U.S. Military: FREE
There is no charge to walk the steps. Elevator tickets may be purchased in the Monument Gift Shop during business hours. Each ticket is good for one ride up in the elevator. Tickets are not sold after 5:15 p.m.
Important Notes & Guidelines
- Visitors must climb 37 exterior steps to reach the Gift Shop and Observation Tower entrance.
- The elevator holds four adults at a time.
- Minors riding the elevator must be accompanied by an adult.
- Because the Observation Level is a small space, large groups touring together will be asked to break into smaller groups of 15 or less before proceeding into the tower.
- Views of the city are not available upon exiting the elevator at the top of the tower. 49 steps must still be climbed to reach the Observatory.
- The Observatory is not open-air. It is enclosed on all sides by glass windows.
- Strollers are permitted in the Gift Shop but cannot be taken up into the tower.
- While the Gift Shop and Observatory are heated and air-conditioned, the elevator and stairwell are not. Summer temperatures in the tower often exceed 80 degrees.
- Access to the tower stairs is restricted when outside temperatures exceed 90 degrees, or on days when interior temperatures exceed 85 degrees. On especially hot days, elevator access may be restricted as well. Elevator fees still apply on days when stair access is restricted.
- The Observation Tower experience is not recommended to those who suffer from claustrophobia or a fear of heights, or to those in poor general health.
- No food or drinks are allowed inside the Monument with the exception of plastic water bottles.
- No pets are allowed inside the Monument. Service animals are permitted.
- Lockers and storage are not available. Monument staff members are not responsible for unattended strollers. Visitors may not leave coats, bags, or luggage unattended inside the Monument.
- There are no public restroom facilities inside the Monument.
- Disorderly guests may be asked to leave the facility.