It’s a bit weird to feature an article that hasn’t yet fully materialized, but I want to get the word out because it may be months before we see the finished product…and the concept is pretty great.
I recently received a commission to revive the subject of an old blog topic for The Digital Encyclopedia of Indianapolis, a resource courtesy of The Polis Center at IUPUI. This forthcoming web publication will take the 1994 publication, The Encyclopedia of Indianapolis, and both expand it and give it full web-based interoperability. This new platform intends to celebrate the forthcoming bicentennial of INdianapolis, and a variety of partners are assisting in its development: the Indiana Historical Society, Indiana Humanities, Indianapolis Public Library, IUPUI University Library, the University of Indianapolis Mayoral Archives, the Indiana State Archives and Records Commission, the Indiana Historical Bureau/Indiana State Library, Indiana Landmarks, and Butler University.
The subject in question is First Lutheran Church, a 125-year-old landmark that I first covered when it remained in an abandoned, mothballed state after closing as a church in the early 2000s. Then I covered First Lutheran again a few years later, after a local entrepreneur bought it, restored it (partly by stripping its interior to the original plaster) and converted the building into a multi-purpose events venue called The Sanctuary on Penn. First Lutheran remains flourishing as The Sanctuary to this day.
Within the upcoming weeks (or months), the Digital Encyclopedia will reserve a permanent place for First Lutheran Church in the annals of Indianapolis history through this article. I’m gratified that The Polis Center found my blog, and I hope future articles from American Dirt can serve to chronicle the city’s history. Stay tuned for more on this specific entry once the Digital Encyclopedia gets completed, and expect that I’ll repurpose other blog topics from Indianapolis for additional articles in the future.