The Athenæum, originally named Das Deutsche Haus, is the most ornate and best-preserved building affiliated with the German American community of Indianapolis. Once used as a German American Turnverein and clubhouse, it currently houses many groups, organizations, and businesses. The Athenæum is located across Massachusetts Avenue from the Old National Centre. It was placed on the National Register of Historic Places on February 21, 1973. On October 31, 2016, it was named the 41st National Historic Landmark in Indiana.
Indiana became the home of many German immigrants who socialized together and maintained their unique traditions. In the early 1890s, it was decided to build a clubhouse. For a cost of $32,000, two lots were purchased at the corner of Michigan and New Jersey streets. A German neighborhood called Lockerbie Square, also known as Germantown, surrounded the clubhouse. Construction of the East Wing began in May 1893, and was finished in 1894. The West Wing construction started in 1897 and was completed in 1898. German American architects Bernard Vonnegut, Sr. (grandfather of Indianapolis novelist Kurt Vonnegut) and Arthur Bohn designed both wings. It was called Das Deutsche Haus and hosted many organizations, including the German-American Veterans Society, the German-American School Society, the Socialer Turnverein Women's Club, the German Ladies' Aid Society, and the Turner Building and Savings Association.There were 500 members by 1896
401 East Michigan Street, Indianapolis, IN 46204