Minton–Capehart Federal Building

The Minton–Capehart Federal Building is a United States federal building in Indianapolis, Indiana, that is named in honor of former U.S. Senator and U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sherman Minton and former U.S. Senator Homer E. Capehart.[7]

Federal building in Indianapolis, IN, USA
Minton–Capehart Federal Building

Minton–Capehart Federal Building in 2019
General information
Status Complete
Type Government offices
Architectural style Brutalism
Location 575 N. Pennsylvania St.
Indianapolis, Indiana
Coordinates

39°46′29″N86°9′19″W

Construction started November 6, 1972; 49 years ago (November 6, 1972)[1]
Opening 1975
Cost US$20 million[2]
($117 million in 2020 dollars[3])
Technical details
Floor count 6
Floor area 406,872 sq ft (37,799.6 m2)[4]
Design and construction
Architect Woollen, Molzan and Partners
Developer U.S. General Services Administration
References
[5][6][7]

The building was designed by Indianapolis architect Evans Woollen III, the principal and founder of Woollen, Molzan and Partners. Completed in 1975, the structure is notable for its exposed concrete slabs, which are typical of the Brutalist architecture style.[8] Some have called the $20 million project a “pigeon coop” and “the ugliest building in Indianapolis.”[9]Boston City Hall, completed in 1968, is similar in design and may have served as inspiration for Woollen.[10]

Built to fill in the east side of the Indiana World War Memorial Plaza, the block-long, six-story structure is raised 24 feet (7.3 m) above grade on large columns. The concrete building includes 290,000 square feet (27,000 m2) of flexible office on five floors and a parking garage level for 500 cars. Its distinctive, horizontal façade tilts outward as the square footage of each upper floor increases, forming an inverted ziggurat.[11]

Graphic designer Milton Glaser, designer of the stylized I Love New York heart logo, designed the building’s graphic rainbow mural, Color Fuses, another notable feature of the building. The colorful mural wraps around the exterior’s base. Many local residents disliked the colorful mural, which has faded over time, as well as the building’s stark design, but architects have considered it one of the city’s few “cutting-edge designs from the 1970s.”[9]

The building was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2021.[12]

. . . Minton–Capehart Federal Building . . .

  1. “New Federal Building Work To Start”. The Indianapolis News. November 3, 1972. p. 36. Retrieved August 21, 2021.
  2. “Federal Building Already ‘Too Small. The Indianapolis News. June 30, 1973. p. 1. Retrieved August 21, 2021.
  3. 1634–1699: McCusker, J. J. (1997). How Much Is That in Real Money? A Historical Price Index for Use as a Deflator of Money Values in the Economy of the United States: Addenda et Corrigenda(PDF). American Antiquarian Society. 1700–1799: McCusker, J. J. (1992). How Much Is That in Real Money? A Historical Price Index for Use as a Deflator of Money Values in the Economy of the United States(PDF). American Antiquarian Society. 1800–present: Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. “Consumer Price Index (estimate) 1800–”. Retrieved January 1, 2020.
  4. “U.S. Rents Space For Agencies”. The Indianapolis News. September 28, 1976. p. 21. Retrieved August 21, 2021.
  5. Minton–Capehart Federal Building at Emporis
  6. Minton–Capehart Federal Building at Structurae
  7. “Minton–Capehart Federal Building”. General Services Administration. Retrieved 20 August 2014.
  8. “Biographical” Sketch in Woollen, Molzan and Partners, Inc. Architectural Records, ca. 1912–2011. Indianapolis: Indiana Historical Society. 2017. See also:Mary Ellen Gadski, “Woollen, Molzan and Partners” in David J. Bodenhamer and Robert G. Barrows, eds. (1994). The Encyclopedia of Indianapolis. Bloomington and Indianapolis: Indiana University Press. pp. 1453–54. ISBN 0-253-31222-1.CS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link)
  9. Megan Fernandez (June 2010). “The Pillar: Evans Woollen”. Indianapolis Monthly. Indianapolis, Indiana: 72. Retrieved December 18, 2017. See also: Philip J. Trounstine (May 9, 1976). “Evans Woollen: Struggles of a ‘Good Architect“. [Indianapolis] Star Magazine. Indianapolis, Indiana: 20.
  10. David J. Bodenhamer and Robert G. Barrows, eds. (1994). The Encyclopedia of Indianapolis. Bloomington and Indianapolis: Indiana University Press. p. 563. ISBN 0-253-31222-1.CS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link)
  11. “Recent Work of Evans Woollen”. Architectural Record. New York City: McGraw-Hill. 141 (5): 142–43. May 1967.
  12. “Weekly listing”. National Park Service.

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. . . Minton–Capehart Federal Building . . .

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