“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Downtown in Indianapolis in Marion County, Indiana — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)

American Legion Mall

Indiana War Memorial Plaza National Historic Landmark

American Legion Mall Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Devry Becker Jones (CC0), April 20, 2019
1. American Legion Mall Marker
American Legion Mall comprises two city blocks and is the largest of the five-city block plaza. The actual mall is located at the north end of this part of the plaza. The plaza's overall design is reflective of The National Mall in Washington, D.C. and the City Beautiful Movement, a popular design trend in the 1920's.

The American Legion, itself was the catalyst for the Indiana War Memorial Plaza. The history of this plaza is inextricably connected to the history of the American Legion. The search for the national headquarters location led to the creation of this plaza as one of the greatest national tributes to our veterans.

The same tools that General John Pershing used in laying the original Indiana War Memorial cornerstone in 1927 were used in a like ceremony on May 6, 1949 for the enlarged American Legion Headquarters. A time capsule was placed inside and contains the following: a current edition of the Indianapolis Star, other city newspapers, facsimiles of several historic documents and a history of the War Memorial, itself.

Throughout the 1990's three monuments were added to the mall to honor Indiana
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veterans of World War II, Korean and Vietnam Wars.

Cenotaph Square
The Sunken Garden

★ The Sunken Garden with the Cenotaph, situated between the State and National American Legion Headquarters Building, was dedicated on Armistice Day, November 11, 1932. A Cenotaph is a monument erected to honor a deceased person whose remains lie elsewhere.

★ The north side of the cenotaph is inscribed with e memorial to Jame Bethal Gresham of Evansville, Indiana, the first member of the American Expeditionary Force to lose his life in the World War.

★ The Cenotaph is made of black granite and sits upon a red and dark green granite base. The inscription on the tomb is mounted inside a bronze wreath and with a gold star.

★ The Sunken Garden is lower in elevation than St. Clair Street, but still higher than the mall. At the four corners of the cenotaph are black granite columns capped by golden eagles. A bronze wreath with a central star is located on each of the east, west, and south sides of the cenotaph platform.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Parks & Recreational AreasWar, World I. In addition, it is included in the Time Capsules series list. A significant historical date for this entry is May 6, 1949.
Location. 39° 46.681′ 
American Legion Mall Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Devry Becker Jones (CC0), April 20, 2019
2. American Legion Mall Marker
N, 86° 9.455′ W. Marker is in Indianapolis, Indiana, in Marion County. It is in Downtown. Marker is at the intersection of North Meridian Street and East St. Clair Street, on the right when traveling north on North Meridian Street. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Indianapolis IN 46204, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. In Honor of Arthur St. Clair (within shouting distance of this marker); Central Library (within shouting distance of this marker); The American Legion (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); a different marker also named American Legion Mall (about 400 feet away); Benjamin Franklin (about 500 feet away); Independent Turnverein (about 500 feet away); Susan B. Anthony (about 500 feet away); 800 North Pennsylvania Street (about 500 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Indianapolis.
Credits. This page was last revised on February 4, 2023. It was originally submitted on April 27, 2019, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. This page has been viewed 115 times since then and 23 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on April 27, 2019, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia.

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Oct. 4, 2023