Judge Thuma’s Guide to Indianapolis: More Interesting Things to Do

Bankruptcy Judge David T. Thuma (D.N.M.) wrote the definitive visitor’s guide to his native city, Indianapolis. A previous installment of the Guide covers places to visit near the Marriott hotel where the NCBJ Conference will be held. This installment of Judge Thuma’s Guide covers other interesting places to visit in the City.

Broad Ripple Village. About six miles north of downtown, it is home to many restaurants, shops, and art galleries. I don’t think it is too touristy and trendy, but maybe. The Vogue Theater is a Broad Ripple landmark. The Vogue used to be a movie theater but now is a nightclub with live music. I saw The Ramones at the Vogue in 1983, when I was a summer clerk at Barnes & Thornburg.

Indianapolis Motor Speedway. 4790 W. 16th St. You really should not miss this monument to motorsport. The sheer size of the track and the stands is reason enough to visit—the largest sports venue in the world. It’s about six miles from the hotel, so don’t try to walk. The museum, which is part of the track, is worth a visit too.

Indianapolis Museum of Art. 4800 Michigan Rd. The museum is next to the Lilly house. It’s a nice art museum on lovely grounds near White River.

Lilly House and Gardens. 1200 W. 38th St. Also known as Oldfields, this mansion was built in 1909. The Lillys (of Eli Lilly fame) bought the place in 1932. The house and grounds are beautiful.

North Meridian Street. Meridian Street, starting at about 40th, is block after block of big houses built in the first half of the 20th century. Every ambitious Indianapolis lawyer at some point entertained thoughts of buying “a big house on Meridian.” Meridian Street north of downtown is pretty interesting too. At 34th Street is Shortridge High School, where Richard Lugar, Kurt Vonnegut, Booth Tarkington, and Dan Wakefield graduated, back when the school had a daily newspaper and a linotype in the basement. I went there too, when it was a much different school.

Woodruff Place Historic District. 735 East Drive. An elegant Victorian residential area with wide esplanades that contain fountains, flower urns, and statuary. It used to be run down but has been restored to its former glory.