City Market Catacombs Tour
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.
Discover the Secrets of City Market on Our Catacombs Tour
NOTE: Due to conditions in the Catacombs, participants must wear a face covering over their mouth and nose during tours.
In partnership with Indianapolis City Market, Indiana Landmarks offers guided tours of an unusual site hidden from public view. These tours explore the Catacombs, a Roman-looking expanse of brick arches beneath the outdoor Whistler Plaza of City Market. Along the way, guides share stories of two historic buildings, City Market and Tomlinson Hall.
In 1886, the City of Indianapolis constructed two public buildings on Market Street designed by architect Dietrich Bohlen – City Market and Tomlinson Hall. City Market remains a thriving part of the downtown community. Tomlinson Hall, whose main hall seated 3,500 people, disappeared from the cityscape in 1958. Today only its iconic arch and its basement, known as the Catacombs, recall its once vibrant space.
The Catacombs qualify as both a ruin and a redevelopment opportunity. They’re what remains of Tomlinson Hall, which 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.
Tours are also offered on select Saturdays from May through October. Public tour tickets will go on sale April 3, 2023 and tour dates will be announced at that time.
Tours last approximately 30 minutes and depart from the mezzanine level of Indianapolis City Market, 222 E. Market Street, Indianapolis.
Parking: Park at meters or in garages on the surrounding streets. See parking options in the area.
Get the answers to frequently asked questions about the Catacombs.
City Market After Hours
A special, adults-only Indianapolis City Market Catacombs After Hours Tour is offered on select Thursdays, May through October 2023. Public tour tickets will go on sale April 3, 2023 and tour dates will be announced at that time.
Stay Safe Underground
City Market Catacombs is an undeveloped historic space not accessible for all guests. It is a musty, sometimes damp area with a very rough, uneven dirt floor. The tour is not navigable for guests with walkers, canes, strollers, or wheelchairs. We recommend closed-toed shoes. Ticketholders are required to sign a liability waiver to take the tour. All tourgoers must wear a face covering over their mouth and nose during the tour.
Please address any questions to email@example.com or 317-639-4534.
Another time? We offer City Market Catacombs tours for groups, arranged for the date and time of your choosing. Visit the Indianapolis Group Tours & Field Trips page for full details.