The Athenaeum, built in 1894 and 1898 as Das Deutsche Haus, remains true to the “sound mind in a sound body” ethos of its freethinker German founders. Author Kurt Vonnegut’s architect grandfather’s firm Vonnegut & Bohn designed the German gymnasium and clubhouse, which the author declared his favorite of all of his ancestor’s works. Anxious to preserve their culture, and accustomed to clubs, German-Americans created societies for music, recreation and social activity, political and philosophical discussion, theater, exercise, and more.
In partnership with Indiana Landmarks, we proudly offer guided tours of our National Historic Landmark.
On the 60-minute guided tour of the Athenaeum, tourgoers will:
- Learn about the Athenaeum’s unique German-inspired architectural features.
- Explore the evolution of the building from a German clubhouse to a hub of modern urban life, with a theater, YMCA, and the Rathskeller, a restaurant/pub in continuous operation since the landmark’s earliest days.
- Discover how the Athenaeum was saved when it faced an uncertain future and restored, still fulfilling the role of clubhouse for cultural development and physical health.
- See spaces usually inaccessible to the public, including rooms overlooking the Biergarten and gym, and the theater’s stage. Please note these spaces are subject to room availability and all spaces may not be available depending on building programming.
Please be advised that the tour includes trips up and down three sets of stairs. If you need accommodations for a more accessible route, please alert your guide prior to the tour.
TICKETS: Must be purchased at least 72 hours in advance by contacting Indiana Landmarks at 317-639-4534 or firstname.lastname@example.org. No walk-up tickets will be available.