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Home > History > The Catacombs of Tomlinson Hall

The Catacombs of Tomlinson Hall

This article tells all about the mysterious Catacombs of Tomlinson Hall that exist beneath downtown Indianapolis, Indiana.

catacombs of Tomlinson Hall

Tomlinson Hall

Underneath the City

Beneath the bustling Indianapolis City Market are the catacombs of Tomlinson Hall - a complex of passageways, tunnels, and arches made of brick and limestone, originally built in 1886 beneath the hall. Tomlinson Hall was a massive building and centerpiece of the city market. It could hold over 3,500 people! The catacombs were used by workers of the City Market to transport and store goods to be sold in the market. The underground spaces allowed refrigerated goods to stay cooler than they would above ground, thus preserving them longer. Tomlinson Hall burned down in January of 1958. City workers cleared out the debris, leaving the limestone and brick structures in place. The catacombs were never utilized again and Tomlinson Hall would never be rebuilt.

Still Intact

The Market Street Catacombs span twenty-thousand square feet, and remain mostly intact more than one hundred years after they were built. These catacombs are one of a dozen catacomb sites in the United States. Though they are not open directly to the public, visitors can schedule appointments with tour guides. The site is becoming increasingly well-known in Indianapolis.



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