The Athenæum/Das Deutsche Haus was built by the Indianapolis Socialer Turnverein (1893-1898) as a "house of culture" for the mind and body. Many liberal minded Germans, who immigrated to the United States after the failed revolution of 1848, believed in the philosophy of Friedrich Jahn - "a sound mind in a sound body."
The landmark building was built by the noted architectural firm of Vonnegut and Bohn in two phases, the East Wing in 1893-94 and the West Wing in 1897-98. in 1918 the name was changed from Das Deutsche Haus in 1918 because of anti German sentiment due to the first world war. Today the building houses the Rathskeller Restaurant and Beer Garden and the downtown YMCA.In this photo I took yesterday you can see the crane "arm' is against the side of the building
The exterior damage was contained to the East wing where the 90 foot crane fell against the side of the building. The damage seemed to be confined to a large soffit/gutter on one side of the building. The impact damaged water pipes in the building and there was some flooding of one portion of the building and reports of some plaster damage. The building was immediately evacuated and according to a report issued late yesterday the restaurant will reopen in a few days but the YMCA may be closed for up to two weeks ans repairs are made.
The crane was on site as a crew was tuckpointing part of the building.
The East Wing facade (front of a building) is in the German Romanesque style - architecture developed in Italy and Western Europe between the Roman and the Gothic styles. The West Wing facade is in the German Renaissance Revival style - incorporating German architecture with Renaissance elements focusing on a highly decorated gable. The Building is constructed of brick with limestone detailing and features a prominent 3 storied brick tower with a conical slate roof that anchored the eastern end of the structure and an Elaborate Gables (the vertical triangular end of a building from cornice or eaves to ridge) that rises above the roof line on the Western end.