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Washington and Illinois streets, Indianapolis panoramic photograph

 Collection — Object: OBF011
Identifier: OBF011

Scope and Contents

This collection includes a black-and-white panoramic photograph taken from the top of a building at the intersection of Washington and Illinois streets with a view looking east down Washington Street and mainly south on Illinois Street in Indianapolis circa 1920-1940. Architect Edward D. Pierre's name is handwritten on the back.


  • circa 1920-1940

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Legal title, copyright, and literary rights reside with Rare Books and Manuscripts, Indiana State Library, Indianapolis, IN. All requests to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted to Rare Books and Manuscripts.

Historical Note

The site for the new state capitol of Indiana was determined in 1820. The next year, Alexander Ralston and Elias Pym Fordam surveyed the spot and designed a town plan for the new settlement, which became known as the "Ralston Plan." The Indiana General Assembly officially named the new capitol "Indianapolis" on December 31, 1821.

The original Indianapolis plat covered a mile-square, gridded along the four cardinal directions, with a circle with a 300-ft. diameter in the center. The 10-block by 10-block grid also had 4 diagonal streets meeting at the center. That center circle would be renamed Monument Circle after the construction of the Indiana Soldiers and Sailors Monument in 1888. Twenty-one of the original 26 streets were named after states. Washington Street was known by several names in its history including Cumberland Road, National Road, and U.S. 40. Both Washington and Illinois streets were included in the Mile-Square, as it has come to be called.


Item in the collection.

Browne, William A., Jr. "The Ralston Plan: Naming the Streets of Indianapolis." Traces of Indiana and Midwestern History 25, no. 3 (Summer 2013): 5-. Accessed March 22, 2022.

Wikipedia. "Indianapolis." Accessed March 22, 2022.


0.1 Cubic Feet (1 panoramic photograph)

Language of Materials



This collection consists of one item.

Custodial History

This collection was received by Rare Books and Manuscripts as a donation.


No further additions are expected.

Existence and Location of Copies

The photograph from the collection is available online in the ISL Digital Collections:

Processing Information

Collection processing completed 2022/03/22 by Brittany Kropf. EAD finding aid created 2022/03/22 by Brittany Kropf.
Washington and Illinois streets, Indianapolis panoramic photograph
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Rare Books and Manuscripts Repository

140 North Senate Avenue
Indianapolis, Indiana 46204 U.S.A.