Barnes and Thornburg Building

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Barnes and Thornburg Building
Barnes and Thornburg Building, Indianapolis, Indiana, USA.jpg
Barnes and Thornburg Building viewed from the northwest.
Former namesMerchants National Bank Building
General information
Location11 South Meridian Street
Indianapolis, Indiana
Roof245 ft (75 m)
Technical details
Floor count17
Merchants National Bank and Annex
Barnes and Thornburg Building is located in Indianapolis
Barnes and Thornburg Building
Barnes and Thornburg Building is located in Indianapolis
Barnes and Thornburg Building
Location11 S. Meridian St. and 7 E. Washington St., Indianapolis, Indiana
Coordinates39°46′0″N 86°9′29″W / 39.76667°N 86.15806°W / 39.76667; -86.15806Coordinates: 39°46′0″N 86°9′29″W / 39.76667°N 86.15806°W / 39.76667; -86.15806
Area1.8 acres
ArchitectD. H. Burnham & Company
Architectural styleChicago school
NRHP reference #82000066[1]
Added to NRHPFebruary 19, 1982

The Barnes and Thornburg Building is a high rise in Indianapolis, Indiana originally known as the Merchants National Bank Building. In 1905, the Merchants National Bank and Trust Company engaged the architectural firm of D. H. Burnham & Company of Chicago to design a new bank headquarters on the southeastern corner of the Washington and Meridian streets, the most important intersection in Indianapolis. Initial occupancy of the lower floors took place in 1908,[2] while the upper floors were not completed until 1912.[3]


Daniel Burnham was one of the architects associated with the Chicago School. He designed the Merchants Bank Building using Louis Sullivan's formula of base, shaft, and capital. The base, consisting of the first floor and mezzanine, is of Indiana limestone. The shaft is of red brick, while the attic floor capital has profuse Classical moldings of terra cotta.[3]

The 17 floors are used primarily for office space. The building and its annex at 7 E. Washington Street were added to National Register of Historic Places in 1982.[1] It is located in the Washington Street-Monument Circle Historic District. Its current owner and primary occupant is the law firm of Barnes & Thornburg, LLP.

For nearly 70 years, Merchants National Bank and later Merchants National Corporation had used the building as its headquarters from 1908 until the completion of Merchants Plaza in June 1977.[4]

Most of the first floor was, until 2011, most recently occupied by a Borders Book Store.[5] It is now occupied by First Financial Bank.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. July 9, 2010.
  2. ^ "New Home Superb: Bankers Receive Visitors: Public Is Shown Through Elegant New Building of Merchants' National". Indianapolis Star. April 26, 1908. p. 12 – via For the first time yesterday afternoon the public was allowed to view the completed interior of the new Merchants' National Bank home on South Meridian street.
  3. ^ a b "Indiana State Historic Architectural and Archaeological Research Database (SHAARD)" (Searchable database). Department of Natural Resources, Division of Historic Preservation and Archaeology. Retrieved 2016-08-01. Note: This includes Roberson, Samuel A.; Roberson and, Sheryl D. & Williamson, Jr., J. Reid (March 1980). "National Register of Historic Places Inventory Nomination Form: Merchants National Bank and Annex" (PDF). Retrieved 2016-08-01. and Accompanying photographs
  4. ^ "New Quarters Delight Staff Of Merchants Bank". Indianapolis News. June 7, 1977. p. 36 – via Merchants Bank & Trust Co. is in business today at its new home. Bank officers are functioning and tellers are at windows in the main lobby of the bank's new headquarters at One Merchant's Plaza in the heart of the downtown area. The move from its former location at Meridian and Washington was over the weekend, according to John Walls, vice-president, two-thirds of the bank staff moved over the weekend and the remaining, one-third will move next weekend, he reported.
  5. ^ "Indianapolis - Downtown". Borders Group. Archived from the original on 2008-06-18. Retrieved 2008-07-26.

External links[edit]