Explore Indianapolis German American History with architectural historian Bill Selm. You don’t need to be German to take the tour, but just interested in knowing more about this particular history of Indianapolis.
Free and open to the public // Tour starts at Monument Circle and ends at Athenaeum (a half mile walk in each direction).
MEET at the trailer on the southwest quad of Monument Circle. We don’t walk if the weather is terrible. Check back here (or SPARK social media) for weather updates.
About the tour guide: William L. Selm is an Indianapolis-based architectural historian and fifth-generation German-American. Selm is an instructor at IUPUI and former historian for the Indianapolis Historic Preservation Commission. He authored the National Historic Landmark nomination for Das Deutsche Haus-Athenaeum and co-authored the NHL nomination for the Indiana Soldiers’ & Sailors’ Monument. Selm has authored numerous National Register nominations for buildings and districts throughout central Indiana since 1980. He co-founded the IN German Heritage Society in 1984 and the Athenaeum Foundation in 1991 and authored the 2008 Wegweiser: A Self-guided Tour of German-American Sites in Indianapolis
PHOTO CREDIT: National Turnfest at Das Deutsche Haus (Athenaeum) Indianapolis, 1905. Credit: Indiana Historical Society. Das Deutsche Haus was constructed in two phases from 1893-1898 by the Socialer Turnverein Aktien Gesellschaft and was home to many German organizations over the years. In 1918 it became the Athenaeum because of the anti-German sentiment from WW I.