Indiana World War Memorial Plaza
Bounded by St. Clair, Pennsylvania, Vermont, and Meridian Streets
Indianapolis, Marion County, Indiana
Photo: License: Public Domain
The Indiana World War Memorial Plaza is an urban feature located in Indianapolis, Indiana, originally built to honor the veterans of World War I.
At the north end of the plaza is the American Legion Mall, which is the site of the administration buildings of the Legion, as well as a memorial cenotaph. South of that is the Veterans Memorial Plaza with its obelisk. The centerpiece of the plaza is the Indiana World War Memorial, modeled after the Mausoleum of Halicarnassus, which contains "the Altar of the Flag" in the Shrine Room. There is also a military museum and an auditorium. At the south end is University Park, the oldest part of the plaza, filled with statues and a fountain.
The origins of the Indiana World War Memorial Plaza lay in a 1919 attempt by the city of Indianapolis to lure the newly formed American Legion from its temporary headquarters in New York City. The city and state reached an agreement whereby the city would pay for the site and maintenance costs, while the State of Indiana would pay for the memorial's construction. The Plaza was dedicated by the Legion in November 1921 with the laying of a cornerstone from the bridge over the River Marne at Château-Thierry.
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