Indianapolis prides itself on its rich cultural heritage. Several initiatives have been made by the government in recent years to increase the city?s appeal as a hub for the arts and culture. The Indianapolis Museum of Art, among the largest and oldest general art museums in the United States, boasts a permanent collection of more than 50,000 works of art that span the range and scope of art history. Holcomb Observatory and Planetarium at Butler University, the largest telescope in Indiana, IMAX Theater for extra large 3-D attractions, Indiana Historical Society, Indianapolis Arts Center and Indianapolis Artsgarden are all within 10 miles of downtown. Venture out of Indianapolis to visit Connor Prairie, a 19th century living history museum and frontier village or visit a National Historic Landmark at the Oldfields-Lilly House and Gardens, a 26 acre estate of beautiful formal gardens.
Located in the heart of downtown, White River State Park is Indiana's only urban state park, boasting an awesome array of attractions for residents. The Indianapolis Zoo, White River Gardens, Victory Field baseball park, Indiana State Museum, NCAA Hall of Champions & Headquarters, The Lawn performance venue, Congressional Medal of Honor Memorial, Military Park, McCormick?s Rock, Pedestrian Bridge, River Promenade, Pumphouse, Central Canal, pedal boat rentals, bike rentals, and restaurants at attractions are all located in White River State Park.
At the center of the city is Monument Circle, a traffic circle at the intersection of Meridian and Market Streets that features the Soldiers? and Sailors? Monument. Separated into ?cultural districts,? Indianapolis has several areas to indulge every whim. Broad Ripple Village hosts an active social scene, private art galleries, bars and restaurants. ?Mass Ave,? as the locals refer to it, is focusing on redevelopment. Mass Ave offers rrestaurants, theatres and shops, including a revival of the Athenaeum building, now the home of the American Cabaret Theatre. Fountain Square, a neighborhood on the southeast side, has been a center of commerce for more than 100 years, but is emerging as an ethnic and arts center of the city. In recent history, millions of dollars has been invested in the Wholesale District, transforming it into the city's premier arts and entertainment district. Central Canal was refurbished as a city recreational area. Cultural attractions were built along the canal, home to a life science initiative and technology park. Indiana Avenue?s rich legacy of cultural development, much like the Harlem Renaissance, is now home to a few historic buildings and plans are under way for regeneration.
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