Whose idea was the Circle of Lights?

Learn about the man who inspired Indy’s Holiday tradition at a talk on Dec. 11

On Christmas Eve in 1937, Indianapolis architect Edward D. Pierre, who was prone to last-minute shopping, noted Monument Circle’s dark and somber atmosphere as he browsed for gifts downtown. He proposed a seasonal display to boost holiday spirits, launching the city’s time-honored tradition of decorating the Soldiers and Sailors Monument.

On Dec. 11 Pierre’s granddaughter, author Lisa Hendrickson, shares the origin story of the Circle of Lights and other highlights from the respected architect’s life and legacy, which includes designing the Indiana State Library and Perry Stadium (later renamed Bush Stadium) in Indianapolis.

U.S. Senator Richard Lugar called Pierre “One of the most significant and imaginative thinkers in regard to the beauty of Indianapolis,” and a former executive director of the Indiana Society of Architects described him as “The greatest architect the state of Indiana ever produced and probably the greatest visionary architectural professional Indiana has ever known.”

Hendrickson, author of Burning the Breeze: Three Generations of Women in the American West, published by University of Nebraska Press, is currently working on a book about her grandfather.

WHAT: “Edward Pierre & the Circle of Lights,” a talk about the story behind Indy’s beloved holiday tradition

WHEN: Dec. 11, 6-7 p.m.

WHERE: Indiana Landmarks Center, Grand Hall, 1201 Central Ave., Indianapolis and Online

COST: $5; free for Indiana Landmarks members

RSVP: or 317-639-4534

About Indiana Landmarks
Indiana Landmarks revitalizes communities, strengthens connections to our diverse 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, visit

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Media contact: Mindi Woolman, Director of Marketing and Communications, Indiana Landmarks, 317-639-4534, 317-417-1204 (cell),

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