Walking around the Circle, you may have noticed the faint etchings of names in the bricks. In the late 1970’s, Commission for Downtown began a revitalization project that included re-bricking Monument Circle and allowed citizens to have their names engraved there in return for a small donation. These are the stories of the individuals, families, and companies whose names can be found engraved along the most famous streets in the city.
When a native New Yorker living in the Bronx joined the army and found himself stationed at Fort Benjamin Harrison in Indianapolis, few could have guessed that he would go on to become one of Circle City’s local celebrities and an international real estate icon. Mel Simon started Melvin Simon & Associates in 1960 with his brother Herb; the company, now known as Simon Property Group, is the largest retail real estate company in the United States.
Although Mel owned malls throughout the world, he made Indy his adoptive hometown until his death in 2009. “People always ask about the connection between Mel and Indianapolis,” says Les Morris, director of public relations with Simon Property Group. “I’m just glad he didn’t wind up at Fort Knox or something.”
Mel’s brick on East Market Street lies just two blocks from his greatest contribution to the city, a mass of bricks and mortar called Circle Centre Mall.
Know a story about one of the bricks? Contact Elyse Causey at email@example.com.