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Indianapolis' History

1988 The $10.9 million restoration of the Indiana Statehouse was completed. The $64 million Indianapolis Zoo opened in White River State Park. Conner Prairie, a living-history museum, opened a $10 million museum center. Madame Walker Theatre Center, a national historic landmark in memory of Madame C.J. Walker, an African-American woman who became America's first female self-made millionaire, completed a $5 million renovation.

The Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art opened. Deer Creek Music Center (now Verizon Wireless Music Center), a 200-acre performing arts amphitheater, opened in Hamilton County, north of Indianapolis. A $1.5 million renovation of Hinkle Fieldhouse on the campus of Butler University was completed. Indianapolis Museum of Art's $36.5 million renovation and expansion was completed. American Cabaret Theatre moved to Indianapolis from New York.

A $15.7 million dollar expansion of The Children's Museum of Indianapolis was completed. Included in the project were a 20,000-square-foot atrium entrance and Welcome Center with the world's largest water clock, the SpaceQuest Planetarium and the Eli Lilly Center for Exploration.

Indianapolis hosted the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Championship (the Final Four), the PGA Championship and the World Gymnastics Championships.

On January 1, Stephen Goldsmith was sworn in as the 46th mayor of Indianapolis. Eli Lilly and Company opened a $204 million Biosynthetic Human Insulin Production Complex at the Lilly Technology Center.

A $43 million expansion and renovation of the Indiana Convention Center &RCA Dome was completed. Construction on the $110 million DowElanco World Headquarters at the Dow Venture Center was completed. The City of Indianapolis kicked off a $529 million infrastructure-repair project, called Building Better Neighborhoods, to improve streets, sidewalks, sewers and parks.

Brickyard Crossing, a Pete Dye-designed championship golf course, opened to the public at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The inaugural Brickyard 400, the first NASCAR Nextel Cup (formerly Winston Cup) stock car race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, ran August 6. It was the first major racing event other than the 500-Mile Race to be held at the Speedway since 1911. Indianapolis hosted the World Rowing Championships. This was the first time that the international event was held in the United States.

The $319.5 million Circle Centre mall opened. Approximately 12 million people visited the mall during its first year of operation. A permanent memorial to the U.S.S. Indianapolis, the legendary World War II flagship that was sunk by a Japanese torpedo two weeks before the war ended, was dedicated. The Indy Racing League, an auto racing series that is aligned with the Indianapolis 500 and that emphasizes oval tracks, was created.

Hughes Electronics Corporation assumed operation of the Naval Air Warfare Center (NAWC) on the city's east side. It was the largest and first full privatization of a military facility in U.S. history. Victory Field, the AAA Indianapolis Indians' new home, opened in White River State Park downtown. The 13,500-seat baseball stadium cost $18 million. The $10 million IWERKS CineDome large-format theater and a $2.5 million ScienceWorks at the Dow Science Center gallery opened at The Children's Museum. Indianapolis' Fort Benjamin Harrison, a U.S. Army post since 1903, closed as a result of military downsizing. The site reopened a month later as Fort Harrison State Park. The historic Central Canal was extended into White River State Park. A $10 million IMAX 3D theater opened in White River State Park. An $11 million expansion and renovation of the Murat Theatre, the largest Shrine Temple in North America, was completed.

Indianapolis hosted the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Championship - the Final Four. Larry Bird, Indiana native and NBA superstar, was hired on May 8 as head coach of the Indiana Pacers.

Work began on a new national headquarters and Hall of Champions museum for The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) in White River State Park.

The national headquarters for Emmis Broadcasting Corp. on Monument Circle opened its doors after three years of construction. White River Gardens, a sister institution to the Indianapolis Zoo, opened. The $15 million project contains 3.3 acres of botanical and water gardens and a five story conservatory. The Indiana Historical Society opened on July 10 in a four-story neoclassical structure alongside the Central Canal in downtown Indianapolis. Conseco Fieldhouse opened November 6 for the Pacers first home game of the 1999-2000 NBA season. The Fieldhouse is also the home of the WNBA's Indiana Fever. Conner Prairie completed an extensive renovation as part of an agressive 5-year plan to enhance the educational and entertainment experiences it provides for visitors.

Bart Peterson was inaugurated the 47th mayor of Indianapolis on January 1. Indianapolis hosted the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Championship - Final Four for the fourth time in April. Indianapolis hosted the event in 1980, 1991, 1997 and 2006. Internationally-renowned architect Michael Graves designed the NCAA Hall of Champions, which opened in March. The Adam's Mark Hotel &Suites converted an existing building near the State Capitol into 332 luxury suites and guest rooms at a cost of $50 million. In July, the Indiana Convention Center & RCA Dome opened an additional 100,000 net square-feet of exhibit space. Total prime exhibit space is 403,700 square-feet. This was the third expansion to the convention center since its opening in 1972. The inaugural United States Grand Prix was held on September 24 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art announced plans for a $16 million expansion that would increase gallery space by 50 percent. The Arena Football League Firebirds made a move from Albany, New York to make Indianapolis their new home.

The Indianapolis Marriott Downtown, opened in February. This $90 million project connects an additional 615 rooms to the Indiana Convention Center &RCA Dome. The $1 million Indiana Law Enforcement and Fire Fighters Memorial, on the corner of Government Way and Senate Avenue, was dedicated on June 6. The Black Coaches Association relocated its national headquarters to Indianapolis. In an effort to strengthen Indianapolis' reputation as a cultural destination and maximize local arts experiences for both visitors and area residents, the Capital Improvement Board and the Lilly Endowment collectively granted the city $10 million. After 26 years of hosting everything from the Indiana Pacers to Elvis' legendary last concert, the era of Market Square Arena came crashing to a dramatic close when the structure was imploded on July 8.

After being housed in the old Indianapolis City Hall for more than 33 years, the Indiana State Museum opened a new 270,000-square-foot, $105 million structure on May 22. Located in the White River State Park, the museum is constructed of Indiana materials, including limestone, sandstone, steel brick and glass.

After more than 20 years of planning and development, White River State Park is officially completed in its entirety, including a new park entrance, performance lawn, visitor center, play area for small children and a formal oval garden. Governor Frank O'Bannon died while in office following a stroke. Lieutenant Governor Joe Kernan is sworn in as Governor of Indiana. Mayor Bart Peterson joins with airport officials to announce plans for the New Indianapolis International Airport. The new midfield terminal will also include a new concourse and parking garage.

Mayor Bart Peterson was inaugurated to a second term. The Children's Museum of Indianapolis opened its new, $25 million permanent exhibit Dinosphere, a collection of world-class dinosaur fossils in an immersive, multi-sensory environment. The Indianapolis Museum of Contemporary Art (iMOCA) opened in downtown Indianapolis, providing the first permanent home for artwork of this kind in the city. The Conrad Hotel broke ground on its new 23-story building situated adjacent to Circle Centre mall. The Adam's Mark Hotel & Suites Downtown obtained new owners and became the Hilton Indianapolis. This upscale hotel features 215 guestrooms, including 30 spacious suites. After four years in Indianapolis, the AFL's Indiana Firebirds of the Arena Football League ceased operations. The FINA World Swimming Championships were held in Conseco Fieldhouse, home of the NBA's Indiana Pacers, October 7-11. Two temporary pools were constructed inside the Fieldhouse in just three weeks. Air service was expanded in Indianapolis. Northwest Airlines doubled its departures out of Indianapolis International Airport. ATA Airlines, Indy's leading carrier, added six new daily flights and increased non-stop service to a number of destinations. Independence Air began offering low fare, non-stop service to Washington Dulles Airport with connections to 22 other destinations. The additions represent a 15% increase in daily flights to and from Indianapolis.

Mitch Daniels was sworn in as the 49th Governor of Indiana. A year-long celebration of cultural convergence, Indianapolis 2005, began in an effort to promote the city's cultural offerings. The new Indianapolis Museum of Art opened following a $74 million expansion and renovation, including additional gallery space, new events and entrance pavilions and a restaurant operated by Wolfgang Puck Catering. The Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art completed a 47,000 square foot expansion, adding the Mel and Joan Perelman Wing. The new wing expands the museum's exhibit space by 50 percent and includes three new galleries and a sculpture court. The new Dolphin Adventure opened at the Indianapolis Zoo. A fully-submerged dome allows visitors a 360 degree view of the mammals. The Zoo also began offering an in-water experience, taking participants waist deep in the water and face to face with the dolphins. Indianapolis hosted the NCAA Division I Women's Final Four at the RCA Dome for the first time. Groundbreaking took place in August for the new Indianapolis International Airport. Funding for a $900 million expansion of the Indiana Convention Center and a new multi-use stadium venue was approved. Groundbreaking for the new stadium took place in September and plans call for completion in time for teh 2008 NFL season. The expanded Indiana Convention Center is scheduled to be completed in 2010.

Conrad Indianapolis celebrated its grand opening and addition to the city’s skyline in March. The luxurious hotel is the fourth Conrad property to debut in the United States and the first to be built from the ground up. “Fireworks of Glass,” the largest permanent exhibit ever created by renowned glassblower Dale Chihuly, opened at the Children's Museum of Indianapolis in March. It rises three stories above the museum's atrium. Indianapolis played host to 41 basketball games in 33 days, culminating with the NCAA Division I Men’s Final Four basketball tournament, which marked the last Final Four to be played in the RCA Dome. The Deserts Dome at the Indianapolis Zoo reopened in May following a renovation and expansion. A new permanent exhibit, “Meerkats,” opened in conjunction with the Deserts Dome. Indianapolis was awarded the Big Ten Men’s and Women’s Tournaments for five consecutive years, beginning in 2008. Indianapolis Raceway Park announced the renaming of the park O’Reilly Raceway Park at Indianapolis.

In January, the Indianapolis Colts hosted their first AFC Championship game in the RCA Dome and defeated the New England Patriots during the biggest comeback in a conference championship to earn their first Super Bowl trip since moving to Indianapolis in 1984. In February, the Indianapolis Colts defeated the Chicago Bears, 29-17, to win Super Bowl XLI. It was the city’s first major professional championship since the Indiana Pacers won the last of their three American Basketball Association titles in 1973.




Document Information
Source: Indianapolis CVB; magazineUSA.com
Last modified: 20070712
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