One of my favorite parts of Indianapolis is Market Street. The east side of Market Street once hosted two really awesome buildings, the City Market building which is still there and Tomlinson Hall which was lost to fire in 1958.
My experience with Tomlinson Hall began when I worked as the engineer for the City Market renovations. The market space was upgraded and people seem to love it. What a shame that we lost its companion so many years ago. There are still parts to admire including an old arch in the west wing plaza. But if you think that is the only part left, you might be surprised.
Pieces of Tomlinson Hall sit just below the West Wing plaza. And not just any random bits of structure, but one of the most impressive basements in Indiana. This place is special, and people in the city refer to it as the “the catacombs.”
The foundations of Tomlinson Hall were built using some amazing materials and construction techniques, which you just don’t come across often. The details of the masonry show an attention to detail and familiarity with brick and stone that is hard to replicate.
Although it was not in the scope for the latest renovations for City Market property, this is really cool asset that I hope the city finds a way to share with the public at some point.
Recently, City Market opened a taproom on their mezzanine and named it in honor of Tomlinson Hall. The catacombs aren’t accessible by the public yet, but anyone can stop in at Tomlinson Taproom and celebrate it with a fresh, local pint of beer.
Footnote: You can watch a video tour of the catacombs on this Youtube video from 2009 (fast forward to 4:30).