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Although presently home to a parking lot, this was the location of one of the largest and most opulent hotels in the region. Constructed to house the National Surgical Institute after a fire destroyed its Indianapolis headquarters in 1892. Construction costs forced the managers of the National Surgical Institute to raise their costs, a practice which led the company to bankruptcy by the end of the century. The building was converted to a hotel by 1900 and was home to the Imperial Hotel between 1900 and 1914. The hotel changed hands during World War I, and was even used to house soldiers as they trained to become gunsmiths and mechanics. The Imperial Hotel housed state legislators and many of the city and state's most powerful men made deals at its ornate bar. The hotel changed names three times, but the story for each owner was similar. The building's maintenance costs led each of its tenants to financial problems, and the building was demolished in the late 1940s.

  • The Imperial Hotel, 1904. Photo held by the Library of Congress.
Indianapolis Then and Now: National Surgical Institute / Imperial Hotel accessed 1/22/15