1201 Central Ave., Indianapolis, IN 46202
Before Indiana Landmarks repurposed the former Central Avenue Methodist Church, the vacant complex was empty, the roof rusty and leaking, the domed ceiling crashing down on pews. Some called it a lost cause.
With the support of the Cook family of Bloomington, who contributed $10 million, Indiana Landmarks restored and adapted the sanctuary and Sunday School wings as theaters, reception halls and meeting spaces. We’re raising $3 million to restore the 1922 officebuilding as our new state headquarters, and create a landscaped parking lot.
Historic churches — built to last, with little expense spared in architectural detail and decoration — embody good works, good will, and community heritage. Built in three stages — 1891, 1900, and 1922 — the Central Avenue church once held the largest Methodist congregation in Indiana and played a formative role in the capital city, creating Methodist Hospital and Wheeler Mission and molding leaders who steered businesses and educational institutions.
When the church closed — victim of population shifts and an ever-shrinking congregation — the Old Centrum Foundation tried to operate the building as a home for small nonpro?ts, but by 2008 recognized that it could not adequately maintain the structure.
Indiana Landmarks intervened in 2010 to save the endangered, architecturally outstanding building and give it an exciting new use.