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Crumbling stairs among $7M in fixes for Soldiers & Sailors Monument

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The stairs at the Soldiers & Sailors Monument on Monument Circle are literally crumbling before Hoosiers, and the Indiana War Memorial Commission said it will cost Hoosiers $7 million to have it fixed.

Stewart Goodwin, executive director of the Indiana War Memorial, said, “The steps, also made of limestone are delaminating, in other words, they are breaking up, and the reason is because of the drainage system. It’s not working the way it should.”

Goodwin said water is getting under the steps and freezing, causing even more damage.

“We’re taking a look at each one of the steps and if they’re not in bad shape, then we’ll keep them, and if we are, then we will replace them with more Indiana limestone,” Goodwin said.

While the steps are out crews will also replace the faulty drainage system.

“We’ll start on this side and we will start in October and it should take us until about June of next year,” Goodwin said. “And then we will move to the other side and do the southside.”

He said the monument itself will be sealed to preserve it.

“The shaft of the monument will be cleaned and tuck-pointed, so there are things we can do there and there’s walking areas and we are going to replace them as well,” Goodwin said.

The museum inside of the memorial is closed until at least 2024, but Goodwin estimates the observation deck will open for visitors in late October or early November.

“All of those historic artifacts have been moved up to the (Indiana) War Memorial and then what we will do when this is over is build another museum in here that tells the story of how the monument was built,” he said.

This project will take just under two years to complete. Goodwin said the steps on the south side of the monument should be done by May 2024; crews will start that project in August.