In the middle of downtown Indianapolis also known as the Mile Square (referencing the city plat developed by Alexander Ralston and Elias Pym Fordham at Indianapolis' founding) many state and federal government facilities are housed including various performing arts venues. But one thing that stands out above all others is the Soldiers and Sailors Monument. It is a 284 ft 6 in (86.72 m) neoclassical monument built on Monument Circle, a circular, brick-paved street that intersects Meridian and Market streets.
It was designed by German architect Bruno Schmitz and built over a thirteen-year period, between 1888 and 1901. The monument's original purpose was to honor Hoosiers who were veterans of the American Civil War ; however, it is also a tribute to Indiana's soldiers who served during the American Revolutionary War, territorial conflicts that partially led to the War of 1812, the Mexican–American War, and the Spanish–American War. The monument is the first in the United States to be dedicated to the common soldier. The obelisk-shaped monument is built of oolitic limestone. It rests on a raised foundation surrounded by pools and fountains. Broad stone steps on its north and south sides lead to two terraces at its base. Stone tablets above the bronze entrance doors on the obelisk's north and south sides bear inscriptions commemorating Indiana's soldiers. (source)