Friday, December 10, 2010

Monument Circle at the Holidays, 1950s

Architect Edward Pierre (1890-1971) was one of the civic-minded businessmen who spearheaded the effort to decorate the Soldiers' and Sailors' Monument during the holidays as a way to spread cheer and bring people downtown to shop. He first came up with the idea during the 1930s, but the financial constraints at that time prohibited the expense of decorations. It wasn't until 1945, after World War II ended, that he was able to realize his vision of the Circle decorated for the holidays.

This is only one example of Edward Pierre's interest in beautifying and improving the city through architecture and civic engagement. After Pierre died in 1971, then-mayor Richard Lugar described the architect as "one of the most significant and imaginative thinkers in regard to the beauty of Indianapolis". Every year we're reminded why.

Images: Yule Tidings on the Circle, Indianapolis Star Magazine, December 6, 1953. Pierre & Wright Architectural Records Collection, Ball State University Libraries, Drawings + Documents Archive

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