City Market Catacombs Tour

Underground Indy

Explore the amazing beneath the familiar. The Indianapolis City Market and Indiana Landmarks offer guided descents into the City Market catacombs, a long-hidden ruin beneath City Market’s Whistler Plaza.

Catacombs tour
(Photo credit: Jeremy Meier)

Discover the Secrets of City Market on Our Catacombs Tour

Indianapolis City Market and Indiana Landmarks stage tours of an unusual site usually hidden from public view. Our guided tour of the Catacombs shows you a Roman-looking expanse of brick arches beneath the outdoor Whistler Plaza of City Market.

The Catacombs qualify as both a ruin and a redevelopment opportunity. They’re what remains of Tomlinson Hall, an imposing building whose main hall seated 3,500 people. Dietrich Bohlen designed the hall in 1886 to complement his earlier work at City Market. He also designed Indiana Landmarks’ Morris-Butler House. Tomlinson Hall burned in January 1958, turning Market Street into an icy lake as firefighters battled the blaze. The city took down the remains later that year. Our Catacombs don’t contain bones or crypts—at least none that we know of—but rather scores of brick barrel-vaulted arches that remain from what was the basement of Tomlinson Hall.

Tour schedule

We offer Catacombs tours on the 1st and 3rd Saturdays, May through October 2018, including an additional Saturday before Halloween:

May 5 and 19

June 2 and 16

July 7 and 21

August 4 and 18

September 1 and 15

October 6 and 20 and 27

The tour lasts approximately 30 minutes and departs from Whistler Plaza, the west plaza of City Market, 222 E. Market Street, Indianapolis. In the event of bad weather, look for the check-in table inside the West Wing rather than on the plaza.

Tickets Must be Purchased in Advance

The tour costs $12 per person age 12 and up; $6 per child (age 6-11); $10 per member of Indiana Landmarks, and $5 per child of a member. Free for children age 5 and under (no strollers).

Tickets must be purchased in advance, using the online form below, or by calling Indiana Landmarks, 317-639-4534 or reservations@indianalandmarks.org. Refund requests must be received seven days in advance of tour date.

Please, No Bare Toes

City Market Catacombs are an undeveloped historic asset and are not accessible for all guests. The Catacombs feature a very rough, uneven dirt floor. The tour is not navigable for guests with walkers, canes, strollers, or wheelchairs. We recommend closed-toed shoes.

Alert to people with breathing sensitivities:

The Catacombs are a musty, sometimes damp area. Guests are required to sign a waiver of liability to take the Catacombs tour.

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