Step Back in Time
Built as a German cultural center in the 1890s, today the Athenaeum houses the Rathskeller Restaurant, the YMCA, Coat Check Coffee, and more. In partnership with the Athenaeum Foundation, we offer two ways to enjoy this historic landmark. Both allow guests to see spaces not typically open to the public and find out why this was one of author Kurt Vonnegut’s favorite buildings in the city.
ATHENAEUM BUILDING TOUR
Discover Indianapolis’s German roots at the historic Athenaeum, as guides trace the building’s evolution from a German clubhouse to a hub of modern urban life. Tourgoers will enjoy unique architectural features throughout the late nineteenth-century building, while learning how they reflect the founders’ “sound mind in a sound body” ethos.
Along the way, guides will highlight the Athenaeum’s connections to the Vonnegut, Lieber, and Schnull families and the mark they left on the streetscape, culture, and business community in a growing Indianapolis throughout the early 1900s. Participants will leave with a better understanding of the German American influence on the city and the importance of preserving cultural landmarks.
Athenaeum Building Tours will be offered September 17 and November 5, 2023, and February 25, 2024.
Tours last approximately one hour and depart from the vestibule inside the Coat Check Coffee entrance to the Athenaeum, 401 East Michigan Street, Indianapolis.
Please note spaces are subject to room availability and all spaces may not be available depending on building programming. The tour includes trips up and down three sets of stairs. If you need accommodations for a more accessible route, please alert your guide prior to the tour.
Parking: Park at meters on the surrounding streets. On-street parking nearby is typically free on Sundays.
Tickets: Tickets cost $12/adult, $10/Indiana Landmarks member, $5/child (age 6-11), and are free to children age 5 and under. Purchase tickets online at athenaeumbuildingtours2324.eventbrite.com or using the form below.
Bier & Building Experience
Athenaeum Bier & Building Tours will be offered on October 1, 2023 and March 3, 2034. On this adults-only (21+) experience, tourgoers sample traditional German appetizers, participate in fun activities, and see hidden spaces along the way. Four appetizers and a beer are included in the ticket price.
Tickets: Tickets cost $30/adult, $25/Indiana Landmarks member. Purchase online at https://bierandbuilding2324.eventbrite.com or using the form below.