$5 – $10

Multiple Dates

Athenaeum Tours 2019

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Athenaeum

401 East Michigan Street

Indianapolis, IN 46204

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The Athenaeum Foundation, built in 1894 and 1898 as Das Deutsche Haus, remains true to the “sound mind in a sound body” ethos of its freethinker German founders. Author Kurt Vonnegut’s architect grandfather designed the German gymnasium and clubhouse, which the author declared his favorite of all of his ancestor’s works. Anxious to preserve their culture, and accustomed to clubs, German-Americans created societies for music, recreation and social activity, political and philosophical discussion, theater, exercise, and more. The Athenaeum united all the German clubs under one roof.

In partnership with the Athenaeum Foundation, Indiana Landmarks offers guided tours of the National Historic Landmark on the second Saturday of the month, May through September. The tour explores the evolution of the building from a German clubhouse to a hub of modern urban life, with a theater, YMCA, and the Rathskeller, a restaurant/pub in continuous operation since the landmark’s earliest days.

You’ll learn about the German Renaissance Revival architecture, and the original mix of activities it housed—a gymnasium that promoted gymnastics and other physical exercises, a lecture hall and a theater, a restaurant and pubs (there were 8 in the building!). You’ll hear how the building was saved when it faced an uncertain future and restored, still fulfilling the role of a clubhouse for cultural development and physical health.

Tours last approximately one hour and depart from the vestibule inside the Coat Check Coffee entrance to the Athenaeum, 401 East Michigan Street, Indianapolis. Enter using the west wing doors. Enter using the west wing doors and walk up the stairs or use the Rathskeller entrance and ride the elevator to the lobby, adjacent to Coat Check Coffee. With your ticket, you’ll also receive a handmade pretzel provided by the Rathskeller Restaurant at the tour’s conclusion.

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Location

Athenaeum

401 East Michigan Street

Indianapolis, IN 46204

View Map

Refund Policy

Contact the organizer to request a refund.

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