Indianapolis is the county seat of Marion County, and the state capital. The city’s population was estimated at approximately 844,220 by a 2012 U.S. census. It is the 14th largest municipality in the nation and the third largest in the Midwest region. Chicago and Detroit are number 1 and 2 respectively. No other city in the state approaches Indianapolis, Indiana in terms of size or economic influence.
While it had historically derived much of its economic activity from the manufacturing industry Indianapolis has gradually transformed into a diverse economy, with such sectors as health care, finance, information technology and education contributing significantly. With high-profile events like the Indianapolis 500, Brickyard 400 and NCAA Basketball Tournaments, as well as several professional sports franchises such as the Indianapolis Colts, Indiana Pacers and Indiana Fever, Indianapolis benefits greatly from a constant influx of tourism dollars. Click here to learn more about Indianapolis, Indiana.
Indiana Supreme Court justice Jeremiah Sullivan invented the name Indianapolis by conjoining the word “Indianapolis” with the Greek word for city, “Polis”. Like most cities in the Midwest and throughout the country, the area that would eventually become the city of Indianapolis had be previously occupied by Native Americans; in this case, the Lenape and Miami tribes. But around the time Indianapolis’ official designation as the state capital, in 1820, these tribes were pushed out of the area.
Indianapolis, more than any other U.S. city is located closest to the exact geographical center of the state. It was founded on the White River and is also bisected by Fall Creek. Because major roads radiated out of Indianapolis in so many different directions the city naturally developed into a major economic hub in the region, connecting to other hubs such as St. Louis, Detroit, Chicago, Louisville and Cincinnati to name a few--hence the name, “Crossroads of America”.
High rise structures didn’t exist in Indianapolis until the year 1888, with the construction of the Statehouse. This was followed by construction of the Soldiers' and Sailors' Monument in 1898. City Hall aside, not much changed until the 1980’s when city council laid plans to transform the city’s skyline. So began a succession of skyscrapers that lasted for years, culminating in the construction of the state’s tallest building, the Bank One building, subsequently renamed the Chase Tower. The city now boasts a very recognizable skyline and a diversity of beautiful architectural styles.
A vast amount of economic activity takes place in downtown Indianapolis, from industrial to commercial to retail. At the geographical heart of the city—the area which radiates outward from the circle—is an impressive selection of shops, pubs, restaurants and other merchants, all conveniently within walking distance of one another. The downtown area features three major sports facilities, Lucas Oil Stadium, Conseco FieldHouse and Victory Field. The Circle Center Mall, an impressive 4-level shopping mall with close to 1 million square feet of space, connects to 7 different hotels via skywalks as well as the Indianapolis Arts Council’s Artsgarden building.
Since a 1970 act of the Indiana state legislature the city of Indianapolis has operated under form of government known as “Unigov”, which is a consolidated city-county form of government. Under this form of government many county and city functions are consolidated, while at the same time, some functions remain unconsolidated.
At the top of the Indianapolis governmental hierarchy is an elected mayor and 29-member city council. The mayor is elected in a city-wide vote and serves 4-year terms. Twenty-five of the city council 29-members are elected in their respective districts, while the remaining 4 are elected at-large.
The Indianapolis courts system is a subset of the Indiana state court system.
The Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department (IMPD) was created in January of 2007. Prior to this, two separate and autonomous departments existed, one for the city and one for Marion County. Over 1,000 sworn police officers and some 65 civilian personnel make up the department’s six districts. All officers are highly trained in all aspects of law enforcement, including firearm usage, vehicular pursuit, interrogation, drug and narcotics investigation, criminal investigation, computer investigation, self-defense, domestic violence and more much. In addition to the department’s six districts there are 4 special units as well as a criminal investigations unit. The criminal investigations unit investigates crimes related to organized crime, gangs, narcotics, rape and murder. An aviation unit commands for helicopters which are used in vehicular pursuits as well as patrols; a Canine unit is responsible to training police dogs; a Mounted Patrol is responsible for areas that are not accessible by vehicle, and a SWAT unit handles high-risk situations.
Over 1,050 firefighters and some 100 civilian support personnel make up an Indianapolis Fire Department that covers over 237 square miles, including downtown Indianapolis and its many surrounding areas. The department has been in operation for over 150 years. The department runs 38 separate fire stations and 37 fire trucks. Its average response time is 4 minutes. All firefighters possess basic EMT-level life-saving skills. Over 160 possess paramedic-level skills. The department is responsible for ensuring that all fire safety codes are met throughout the city; this includes conducting periodic fire inspections. The department is also very much involved in educating the Indianapolis community on a variety of fire safety subjects.
Schools and Education
Indianapolis Public Schools (IPS) has an enrollment of roughly 34,000 students. It is the largest school system, not only in Indianapolis, but in the state of Indiana as well. There are 79 schools in the IPS district, including 49 elementary schools, 9 intermediate schools, 2 community schools and 5 high schools. It is the only schools system to offer, at no cost to parents, a variety of magnet programs.
In addition to grades k-12 Indianapolis is home to several major universities, colleges, technical schools and vocational schools. Among these are Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI), Ivy Tech Community College of Indiana and Butler University.
Real Estate Market
The Indianapolis real estate market is multifaceted, with several distinct areas sprinkled throughout the city. The Meridian-Kessler area, for example, dates back to the early 1900's, and is most known for its collection of old, architecturally unique homes. And then there is the Broad Ripple area, which has a reputation as one of the more progressive cultural districts in the city. While the Broad Ripple real estate market is known for its many Cape Cods and Bungalows, you’ll find many larger homes, including Colonials, Tudors, Four Squares and more. And then there is the downtown Indianapolis real estate market, which, among other things, is known for its great collection of high-end condos, many of which can be found in the Mass Ave cultural district. And let us not forget the beautiful homes that line the historic Meridian Corridor—just try to keep your eyes on the road as you travel down Meridian Street! Of course, all this represents only a small fraction of the Indy market as a whole. Click here to see Indianapolis homes for sale.
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