The president of the Athenaeum Foundation says she hopes a recent National Historic Landmark designation for the more than 100-year-old property will lead to more funding for needed renovations. She says the aim of ongoing work is to attract more Millennials and create a public gathering space downtown. She tells Inside INdiana Business the designation shows the Athenaeum is "part of the national historical story" and worth the investment.
The foundation announced the designation last month, saying it was the result of eight years of work. To become a National Historic Landmark, a site must be associated with major historic events or patterns or be connected with individuals who have made a significant or exceptional contribution to the nation’s history. More than 40 landmarks in Indiana have received the designation, but no site in Indianapolis had in nearly 15 years.
Stockamp says the foundation is underway with a $1.2 million capital campaign. She says the organization has raised enough funds to begin work on the lobby and the theater to make them "much more conducive to gathering." She says the Athenaeum has a sustainable operation to maintain its baseline, but needs to raise funds in order to make improvements.
The Athenaeum was originally home to the Normal College, which later became the Indiana University School of Physical Education. It is currently home to a YMCA, the Young Actors Theatre and the Rathskeller restaurant.
You can find more information on the foundation by clicking here.