Street Savvy: IUPUI

The growing campus offers a smart selection of cultural attractions for the public. Here’s a crash course.


Near the main entrance to Sidney & Lois Eskenazi Hospital, The Commonground (1) micro park is alive with gardens, stone slabs, and waterfalls thanks to a collaboration between major national designers, including the firm behind New York City’s High Line. Wheelchair-bound patients can cross the shallow Healing Waters pool—and discover a poem displayed on the basin floor. 720 Eskenazi Ave., 317-880-0000


To see Indy’s coolest urban garden, take Eskenazi Hospital’s elevator to the roof. The Sky Farm at Eskenazi Health (2) features more than 5,000 square feet of growing space, a working beehive, and a breathtaking view of Indy’s skyline. The hospital’s cafes use a portion of the  annual 3,000-pound harvest. 720 Eskenazi Ave., 317-880-0000


The dramatic glass-and-metal-encased cafe Duos (3) strikes a sleek, airy pose that will nourish the soul as much as your growling stomach. The menu serves up a fresh variety of sandwiches and salads, such as smoked turkey with paprika aioli, a weekly Dish of the East, and tempting brownies, lemon bars, and vegan desserts. 720 Eskenazi Ave., 317-880-5676,

Benches sit near a waterfall at The Commonground park


Hidden treasures often lurk within the most unassuming of campus halls, such as the Van Nuys Medical Science Building. The atrium displays Dale Chihuly’s DNA Tower (4), a 20-foot-tall sculpture representing the twisting strands of a DNA molecule. 635 Barnhill Dr.

IUPUI Chihuly
Dale Chihuly’s DNA Tower.


Downtown’s lone big-box bookstore is the Campus Center’s Barnes & Noble @ IUPUI (5). The two-level shop stocks a good selection of bestsellers, faculty-authored books, magazines, gifts, art supplies, and apparel for Boilermakers, Hoosiers, and Jaguars alike. 420 University Blvd., 317-278-2665,


Student-run and open to the public daily, the free Cultural Arts Gallery @ IUPUI (6) in the Campus Center is a relaxing, casual space where visitors can encounter visual, film, and performance-art exhibits. 420 University Blvd., 317-274-7514


Craving some higher learning? The IUPUI Arts & Humanities Institute (7) cosponsors lectures open to the public, such as a performance by poet Keith Leonard on December 1 and a talk by Noor Tagouri, the first hijabi journalist on commercial television in the U.S., on February 16. The Joseph T. Taylor Symposium (7) addresses civic issues, especially those affecting communities of color, on February 23.


Thankfully, IUPUI established The Center for Ray Bradbury Studies (8) in Cavanaugh Hall before the Fahrenheit 451 author’s private collection could be burned. The impressive archive includes 123,000 pages of personal papers, a detailed rendering of Bradbury’s L.A. home office, and more than 2,000 sci-fi pulp editions from his own library. Call ahead for a tour. 425 University Blvd., 317-274-0081,


Among some 40 outdoor sculptures on campus, one of the more curious is Peirce Geodetic Monument (9), a three-foot-tall brass-and-granite cylinder inscribed with its exact altitude, longitude, and latitude. The installation honors the American philosopher Charles Sanders Peirce, whose personal manuscripts are housed on campus.

The Natatorium
“Where else can you swim laps in one of the world’s fastest pools, use a post office in the former hotel where Tom Brady stayed during Super Bowl XLVI, and relax beside a fountain in front of one of the state’s largest libraries?” – Sarah Bahr, IUPUI senior


No lap around IUPUI is complete without a stop at The Indiana University Natatorium (10), where an $18 million reno is nearly complete. Don’t miss the pro shop. 901 W. New York St., 317-274-3518,


Artwork lines the Herron School of Art and Design (11) corridors and galleries. This spring brings a focus on New York provocateur Tom Sachs, known for his Hello Kitty Nativity window display at Barneys; he happens to be Martha Hoover’s son-in-law, too. 735 W. New York St., 317-278-9423,


Whether you aced art class or not, you can engage your creative side at workshops and courses offered by Herron’s Community Learning Programs (12). Popular Saturday School provides instruction by age level in seven-week sessions for $190, materials included (Christmas gift, hint-hint). 735 W. New York St., 317-278-9404,