This month’s FSG branch focus takes us to Indianapolis. Indiana’s state capital is known as the “Crossroads of America”, due to its central location at the junction of four major Interstate Highways: I-65, I-69, I-70, and I-74.
Still, local residents understand that even if Indy might be on the way to wherever you’re going, there are plenty of reasons to stick around once you decide to visit the largest city in Indiana. (Just like Madame Walker did.)
Let’s take a quick look at some of the things that make Indianapolis a special destination on your next U.S. road trip, and some of the reasons why FSG is so happy to call Indianapolis home.
Westward Expansion Into the “Land of Indians“
As far back as 10,000 BC, Native American tribes inhabited the lands that make up Indiana. The name “Indiana”, in fact, means “Land of Indians”.
As the 1800’s unfolded, however, America’s westward expansion led to the clash of cultures that would see many native peoples relocated from their ancestral lands.
Indiana was granted statehood in 1816, at which point the U.S. Congress donated four sections of federal land to serve as a permanent seat of state government.
Two years later, in 1818, the Treaty of St. Mary’s was signed between the United States and the Native American Delaware tribe. Under the terms of the treaty, the tribal lands of central Indiana would become part of the newly formed state, clearing the way for a new state capital.
A City With a Plan
Unlike some other cities that just grew up organically around an industry or a cultural moment, Indianapolis has always been a very intentional city. It was imagined, located, designed, built, and supported to serve as a capital city according to a plan.
On January 11, 1820, the Indiana General Assembly established a committee to select a site for the new state capital. One year later, the state legislature approved the site along with the name Indianapolis, which combines Indiana with the Greek word for “city”, -polis.
In April 1821, state leaders commissioned two noted experts to begin work on surveying and designing a new state capital in Indianapolis. Alexander Ralston, a Scottish surveyor famous for his contributions to the design of Washington D.C., and Elias Pym Fordham, an English immigrant with a knack for metes and bounds, got right to work.
On January 1, 1825, the seat of state government officially moved to Indianapolis from Corydon, Indiana. A U.S. district court in Indianapolis was also established in that same year.
Over the next 25 years, federally-funded highways and private railroads would establish more and more connections between Indianapolis and the surrounding world. By 1853, when Indianapolis Union Station was opened, Indianapolis was off and running.
Indy’s Story, Told in Buildings & Architecture
To begin to understand the city and its past, you only need to focus for a moment on the buildings that remain.
A logical first stop would be the Indiana Statehouse capital building. Indiana’s statehouse was inspired by the U.S. Capitol and presents today a classic example of Renaissance Revival architecture, presented in all the glory of native Indiana limestone.
The beautiful statehouse features stained glass, marble floors, granite columns, towering atriums, and above all a direct link to the past when state leaders decided to build a structure for the ages.
A “Cathedral” Arena
For those who still watch Hoosiers once a year, a trip to Hinkle Fieldhouse will instantly connect you with a bygone era when Indiana basketball was pure, simple, and the best to be found anywhere.
Originally known as the Butler Fieldhouse when it was built in 1928, the arena sits on the campus of Butler University in Indianapolis. When the arena opened its doors, it was the largest facility of its kind in the United States, a distinction it maintained until 1950.
Today, Hinkle Fieldhouse, renamed in 1966 to honor legendary coach Paul D. “Tony” Hinkle, is the sixth-oldest college basketball arena still in use. The facility is included on the list of U.S. National Historic Landmarks, and is widely referred to as “Indiana’s Basketball Cathedral”.
Side Note: Who’s a Hoosier’s Hard to Say
Speaking of basketball and the illustrious Indiana Hoosiers, you might be interested in the origin of the moniker “Hoosiers”. Well, the short answer is…get in line and take a number.
As it happens, there are quite a few theories about the origin of the appellation “Hoosier”. The folks over at the Indiana Historical Bureau have laid out some of the more popular theories, but there does not seem to be a clear consensus on the origin of the name.
So, while the original Hoosiers may be hard to hammer down, modern-day Hoosiers can be found far and wide across the state of Indiana, and are generally known for their superior intelligence, their magnanimous spirit, their enterprising nature, and of course their disarmingly good looks.
Not All Hoosiers are Born Here
The history of Indianapolis is full of outstanding citizens who hail from these parts, but one of the city’s most influential citizens arrived here by chance.
A daughter of a former slave, Sarah Breedlove Walker is today remembered for the height of her ambitions and accomplishments. Beginning in the 1860’s, Walker took her invention of a novel hair treatment product for black women and transformed it into a business empire which made her one of the wealthiest, most successful women in America.
In 1910, while traveling on business, Madame Walker passed through Indianapolis. Her impression of the city was so favorable that she relocated her business to Indy, enjoying her greatest success in the years before her death in 1919.
By 1927, sales at the company, now run by Walker’s daughter A’Lelia, had grown to such an extent that a new company headquarters was needed. A’Lelia Walker hired one of the best firms in Indianapolis, Rubush & Hunter, to design the tan brick flatiron-shaped Walker Building at 617 Indiana Avenue.
Today, the Walker Manufacturing plant is now the Madame Walker Theatre Center, which commemorates Madame Walker’s zeal and drive to succeed. The theater is among the last of the iconic buildings which once lined Indiana Avenue and provides a fantastic study of 1927 architecture.
The best lesson of all, however, relates to the message for us all when we consider the nature of hard work, determination, and the application of the unbeatable Hoosier spirit.
Indy Motor Speedway: A Race Like No Other
Any visit to Indianapolis must include a stop by the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the historic venue for the Indianapolis 500-Mile Race, as it was originally called.
“The Greatest Spectacle in Racing” is considered part of the Triple Crown of Motorsport, a title that refers to three of the most prestigious auto racing events in the world, which along with the Indy 500 includes the Monaco Grand Prix and the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Every Memorial Day Weekend, the start of the Indy 500 marks the beginning of summer, with 33 cars lining up 3-wide, pacing the track while waiting for the green flag to drop. The roar of the engines blends exquisitely with the voices of 250,000 racing fans singing “Back Home Again in Indiana”.
If your visit to the city doesn’t correspond with race weekend, don’t worry. The Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum is open year-round for fans who want to visit the site of America’s premier automobile race.
Besides being racing fans in Indy, FSG has also enjoyed working with companies like Andretti Autoport, who decided it was time to phase out their older, outdated, fluorescent lighting for new efficient LED lighting. By upgrading more than 500 fixtures to LED in the shop areas and business areas of Andretti’s world class facility in Indianapolis, Andretti was able to improve efficiency while also improving the working environment for the team.
FSG Indianapolis – We’re All Indy, All the Time
FSG Indianapolis is different from other electrical contractors in the area for one big reason: we do love our business, but first and foremost we care about the people who live and work in Indianapolis.
We show how we feel about our neighbors with the exceptional service and lasting value we deliver to our customers every day. To support this effort, we also provide excellent career opportunities for talented individuals looking to join our team.
Customer satisfaction is something we work hard to deliver. Our 24-hour service line is always available, and our customers have peace of mind knowing their emergency is our emergency, too.
Our office maintains a strong connection to the community in Indianapolis. FSG Indianapolis is a member of the local branches of both the Building Owners and Management Association (BOMA) and the Institute of Real Estate Management (IREM), and we proudly support annual golf tournaments, trade shows, and other special events to further expand our contacts within those organizations.
Additionally, our office supports many non-profit organizations in Indianapolis. We have worked together at the Gleaners Food Bank, and have worked closely with the United Way network to establish more healthy environments for the community. Our team has also contributed and sponsored events with the local Big Brothers and Big Sisters chapter here in Indianapolis.
We participate in our community because Indianapolis is our home, and because we love it here, and because we’re here to stay.
FSG – Right at Home in Indianapolis
FSG’s Indianapolis branch fits right in amid the hustle and bustle of a steadily growing economic climate in Indianapolis. Our team is working hard to burnish a reputation for excellence in the delivery of premier electrical services and turnkey lighting solutions for new and established businesses.
Our office is located just northeast of downtown, and we routinely provide industry-leading service to businesses and facilities of every size in the following areas:
Turning the Key on Turnkey Service
At FSG Indianapolis, we work hard to be the ultimate partner for general contractors, real estate developers, facility owners, engineers, and managers. Since 1982, our team has been in the relationship-building business. We focus on listening to what our customers say, as well as what they do not say, to identify the right product or solution for each circumstance.
When we look back on the list of our completed projects, we remember the times we delivered maximum value for our customers, when we truly helped them succeed in meeting their business goals.
Projects like the one we completed for Noblesville Indiana Schools remind us of what matters most to our organization. Working at our highest level reminds us that our mission at FSG is to willingly contribute to the quality of life of our employees, customers, vendors, and the community in which we live.
For design, lighting, electrical, facility disinfection, signage, and technology solutions that allow you to do more call (317) 342-9898 or visit FSG Indianapolis online.
Come Join the A-Team in Indy!
Thinking about living and working in Indianapolis? At FSG, we recognize and reward talent, and we would love to meet you.
Let your career be more than just a series of jobs. The journeyman electricians, master electricians, and project supervisors who make up FSG’s construction teams understand that the projects they complete are some of the most advanced and high-profile projects being executed anywhere in the world today. It feels great to be on the A-Team!
If you like what you’ve learned about FSG and you desire a career in the electrical trade, visit our careers page, contact our recruiting department, and find out how you can get ahead while doing the best work you’ve ever done.