The Block Building


1911, 1935 | Indianapolis, Indiana

Vonnegut and Bohn, Original Architect


Originally constructed in 1911 for William H. Block to house his rapidly expanding department store, the Block Building was in continual use as a department store until late into the 20th century.  After years of vacancy, the building was rehabilitated in to house 136 apartments with retail use remaining on the ground floor.  The large, deep floor plate – typical for many department stores – posed a unique problem for daylighting for the new housing units.  To address this issue a central four story atrium was sensitively introduced to bring daylight into the central core while characteristics defining the 396,000 sq. ft. department store use were restored and featured. Construction cost of the project totaled $27 million when completed in 2003.


Services Provided:  Architect of Record, Preservation Consultant for Federal Historic Tax Credit, Lost Development and Conservation Easement, Code Compliance