INDIANAPOLIS (Nov. 5, 2021) – With visits to century-old places of worship still in operation and sacred spaces that have found new uses, a Dec. 4 tour in and around Indianapolis’s Old Northside neighborhood offers insights into the ways 10 Indianapolis churches have adapted to changes in the city and its residents’ spiritual lives.
Indiana Landmarks’ Holiday Church Tour highlights institutions built between 1891 and 1929 to serve residents who settled beyond the city’s core. Focusing on how congregations responded to post-World War II changes that resulted in a neighborhood with increasingly diverse religious and social needs, the event showcases efforts to preserve the historic buildings through creative reuse, community outreach, or liturgical adaptations. The Holiday Church Tour was developed in collaboration with area congregations and the “Old Churches Indy” Instagram account.
Old Churches Indy was launched in 2018 by Old Northside churchgoer Lee Little, who was inspired by the discovery of a 1952 copy of Polk’s Indianapolis City Directory to research area church buildings in Indianapolis. In addition to contributing to the Instagram account, Little also shares his knowledge on walking tours and in the recently published book, Circle City Steeples.
Church buildings featured on the tour range from the 1926 Allen Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Church–built to serve a congregation of newly freed slaves established after the Civil War– to Indiana Landmarks’ state headquarters at the former Central Avenue Methodist Church, and the former First Friends Church on Alabama Street, which now serves as condominiums.
Tour attendees will see inside seven buildings, including the
Episcopal Church of All Saints,
Redeemer Presbyterian Church,
Joy of all Who Sorrow Orthodox Church,
Indiana Landmarks Center,
Allen Chapel A.M.E. Church,
Psychic Science Spiritualist Church, and
the former All Souls Unitarian Church.
The tour also includes exterior views of the former Central Universalist Church, former First Friends Church, and Trader’s Point Christian Church.
The self-guided tours take place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tickets are $20 for the general public, $15 for members of Indiana Landmarks, $10 for children ages 6 to 11, and free for children ages 5 and under. Tickets may be purchased in advance at indyholidaychurchtour21.eventbrite.com, or on the day of the tour at Indiana Landmarks Center, 1201 Central Avenue. Day-of-tour tickets cost an additional $5 each (except for children ages 5 and under).
To begin their tours, attendees may check-in at any of the sites open for interior visitation to exchange their Eventbrite receipts for tickets and programs.
A Nov. 30 preview event will feature Lee Little discussing churches featured on the tour as well as other area houses of worship. The program will be offered in-person at Indiana Landmarks Center and online via Zoom. The talk is $7 for the general public and free for members of Indiana Landmarks. Tickets may be purchased at oldchurchesindytalk21.eventbrite.com or by calling 317-639-4534. Attendees will be able to purchase copies of Circle City Steeples, with a portion of the proceeds going to support Indiana Landmarks’ Sacred Places Indiana program.
Holiday Church Tour
WHAT: Holiday Church Tour
WHEN: Dec. 4, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
WHERE: Tourgoers may begin the tour at any of the sites open for interior visitation, where they will exchange their Eventbrite receipts for tour tickets and programs.
COST: $20 for the general public; $15 for members of Indiana Landmarks; $10 for children ages 6-11; free to children 5 and under.
TICKETS: Purchase tickets in advance at indyholidaychurchtour21.eventbrite.com, or by contacting Indiana Landmarks at 317-639-4534 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Day-of-tour tickets cost an additional $5 per ticket (except for children ages 5 and under) and will be available only at Indiana Landmarks Center, 1201 Central Avenue.
About Indiana Landmarks
Indiana Landmarks revitalizes communities, reconnects us to our heritage, and saves meaningful places. With nine offices located throughout the state, Indiana Landmarks helps people rescue endangered landmarks and restore historic neighborhoods and downtowns. People who join Indiana Landmarks receive its bimonthly magazine, Indiana Preservation. For more information on the not-for-profit organization, call 317-639-4534, 800-450-4534, or visit www.indianalandmarks.org.
Mindi Woolman, Director of Marketing and Communications, Indiana Landmarks, office 317-639-4534, cell 317-417-1204, email@example.com
Kasey Zronek, Director of Volunteers and Heritage Experiences, Indiana Landmarks, office 317-639-4534, firstname.lastname@example.org
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