An unveiling of Indianapolis and library history awaits as the entire community is invited to the free Centennial Celebration of Central Library on Saturday, October 7 from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. at Central Library, 40 E. St. Clair St.
The day's activities will include the revealing of contents in a time capsule from March 24, 1916 when the cornerstone was laid for a new Central Library that was dedicated on October 7, 1917. Library records indicate that among the items in the time capsule are original works by beloved Hoosier poet James Whitcomb Riley, copies of Indianapolis newspapers from 1916, programs from local literary clubs, coins, postage stamps, postcard photos, documents relating to Library operations, and many other historic artifacts.
In addition to the time capsule unveiling, the commemorative event will feature performances by the Indianapolis Children's Choir and a quintet from the Philharmonic Orchestra of Indianapolis, a proclamation by the Mayor's Office, family programs, historic period characters and birthday cake. Free parking in Central Library's garage will be available throughout the day.
The event also will mark the opening of a new exhibit, "Cret Building at 100," that celebrates the architecture, people and stories of the Cret Building that played an integral part in defining the city's character 100 years ago. Eighteen full-color, illustrative and interpretive panels designed by local Indianapolis firm RLR showcase more than 50 images and artifacts from Central Library's Nina Mason Pulliam Indianapolis Special Collections Room. The exhibit is made possible by a grant from Katz, Sapper & Miller and will be on display around the balcony of the historic Simon Reading Room during regular Central Library hours.
Visitors are also encouraged to tour the Cret Building, the original limestone building designed by Paul Cret, whose architectural features are highlighted by its classic Greek Doric exterior and interior ceiling mural painted in oil on small canvases. The building was proclaimed in 1918 by Architectural Forum as "the most beautiful secular building in the United States, if not the most beautiful secular building produced in modern times." A six-story glass and steel-framed addition designed by Evans Woollen opened in 2007. In 2016, elledecor.com listed Central Library among its "50 Best Libraries in America."
Central Library's Centennial Celebration is made possible by Buckingham Companies and Friends of the Library through gifts to The Indianapolis Public Library Foundation. For more information, call 317-275-4099, or follow The Indianapolis Public Library on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and Twitter.