Athenaeum Nearing Campaign Goal

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The Athenaeum was built in 1893. The Athenaeum was built in 1893.

The Athenaeum Foundation in Indianapolis has announced a major boost to its capital campaign. Lilly Endowment Inc. will donate $250,000 and the Indianapolis Foundation will contribute an additional $50,000.

The contributions bring the Athenaeum Foundation to more than 75 percent of its $1.2 million goal. The campaign, "A Makeover on Mass Ave," was launched in January and aims to raise funds to renovate several areas within the historic Athenaeum.

"The ongoing support for this campaign has truly been special," said Athenaeum President Cassie Stockamp. "We are so grateful to Lilly Endowment and The Indianapolis Foundation, and we look forward to beginning renovation of this historic landmark."

Some of the proposed renovations include the west entrance, west entrance reception area, first and second floor lobbies, theater and portions of the popular Biergarten. Renovation of the Athenaeum's lobby will include the addition of a coffee and snack bar, Wi-Fi and comfortable seating.

The foundation says the renovations for the more than century-old theater include restoration of six large art glass windows, cleaning exterior brick work and sound proofing the theater's east wall in order to prevent sound bleed-over from the Biergarten. The theater's light and sound systems will also get an upgrade.

The foundation raised more than half of its goal in January thanks to a lead gift from donors Frank and Katrina Basile. The foundation decided to rename the theater in their honor.

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