Up on the Roof

Rooftop envy is now in season on the Circle. You can’t tell it from the street, but several low-rise buildings boast decks that employees can use. Maybe you’ve never even considered the concept, because Indy isn’t one of those overcrowded cities where the use-every-inch lifestyle prevails. Most of our rooftops are forgotten tar-ritory.

At the Emmis building, we’re lucky to have access to several outdoor areas, furnished with tables and chairs. But the last time I went up to the Monument’s observation area, some cool orange furniture caught my eye. It sat on a handsome deck atop the Guaranty Building at 20 North Meridian—our neighbor. The prime occupant of that building is ExactTarget.

There are splashes of orange decor everywhere (orange is the company’s signature color). Even the elevator buttons light up bright orange, although reportedly that’s a coincidence. The top-floor break room provides access to the modestly sized wooden deck. It’s furnished with shaded tables and curvy, modern chaises (orange, of course). The Monument looms so large, it seems like you could touch the limestone. One ExactTarget staffer has figured out that 30 minutes on a chaise is enough to get a flash tan on days when she’s going out after work.

The tech company hangout is definitely enviable—but even they would have to admit that the Test Building (now the Lacy) on West Market Street deserves top honors for the best roof in Circle history. Back in the 1920s, it boasted a miniature golf course! The whole place was somewhat of a curiosity at the time. Behind the elegant Neo-Classical Revival facade was a six-level parking garage, called the Circle Motor Inn. That part is recorded history. The reason for the golf course, however, is a total mystery. 

Test Building photo courtesy Indiana Historical Society.