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.
We offer Catacombs tours first and third Saturdays, May through October 2020, except in July when tours are on the second and fourth Saturdays. We also offer an additional tour the last Saturday in October. Tours begin at 10 a.m., 10:30 a.m., 11 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 12 p.m., 12:30 p.m., and 1 p.m. on the following dates:
May 2 and 16
June 6 and 20
July 11 and 25
August 1 and 15
September 5 and 19
October 3, 17, and 31
The tour lasts approximately 30 minutes and departs from Whistler Plaza, the west plaza of City Market, 202 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; $10 per member of Indiana Landmarks; $6 per child (age 6-11); free for children age 5 and under (no strollers).
Tickets must be purchased in advance, by visiting catacombs2020.eventbrite.com, or by calling Indiana Landmarks, 317-639-4534 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Refund requests must be received seven days in advance of tour date. If tickets are purchased through Eventbrite, you will receive a partial refund as Eventbrite no longer refunds their processing and service fees.
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.