Indianapolis Central Library by Paul Philippe Cret with Zantzinger, Borie & Medary

Indianapolis Central Library by Paul Philippe Cret with Zantzinger, Borie & Medary

This is a bit pathetic: I lived in Indianapolis for two years, not far from the Central Library, and I’ve visited countless times before finally stepping foot inside this building. Wow!

The Central Library is located at 40 East St. Clair St. and extends from Meridian to Pennsylvania Sts. The building was designed by Paul Philippe Cret with Zantzinger, Borie & Medary and completed in 1917. It was renovated in 2007, and a major addition was designed by Woollen, Molzan and Partners.

I won’t bother showing you the new behemoth that threatens to swallow the Greek Doric original building. Above and below is the ceiling in the stacks area of the Simon Reading Room.

Indianapolis Central Library by Paul Philippe Cret with Zantzinger, Borie & Medary

The ceiling in the main part of the Simon Reading Room was painted by C. C. Zantzinger:

Indianapolis Central Library by Paul Philippe Cret with Zantzinger, Borie & Medary

Holy moly, I want this chandelier:

Indianapolis Central Library by Paul Philippe Cret with Zantzinger, Borie & Medary

Indianapolis Central Library by Paul Philippe Cret with Zantzinger, Borie & Medary

The R.B. Annis West Reading Room features dark oak-paneled walls, a vaulted ceiling and massive chandeliers:

Indianapolis Central Library by Paul Philippe Cret with Zantzinger, Borie & Medary

Indianapolis Central Library by Paul Philippe Cret with Zantzinger, Borie & Medary

Indianapolis Central Library by Paul Philippe Cret with Zantzinger, Borie & Medary

The exterior is made of Indiana limestone on a base of Vermont marble. The Greek influence is especially evident on the front of the grand building:

Indianapolis Central Library by Paul Philippe Cret with Zantzinger, Borie & Medary

Zantzinger, Borie & Medary was a Philadelphia-based architecture firm that collaborated with Paul Philippe Cret on several commissions, including this one. Cret was born in Lyon, France, and his practice was based in Philadelphia; he also taught architecture at the University of Pennsylvania. If his name is familiar to my readers, that’s because he also worked on the design of Union Terminal in Cincinnati.

7 thoughts on “Indianapolis Central Library by Paul Philippe Cret with Zantzinger, Borie & Medary

  1. Pingback: Looking Back: Best VL Posts of 2014 | Visualingual

  2. Pingback: A Perfect Weekend in Indianapolis | Visualingual

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s