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Book Smart: Butler University's Irwin Library Turns 50

Irwin Library isn’t nearly as famous as it should be. Here’s a crash course on the unheralded landmark, which hits the half-century mark this month.

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Wanted: Chairs From Local Landmarks

Own a piece of Indianapolis history: armchairs from Clowes Memorial Hall, The Coliseum, and Bush Stadium, all the product of recent renovations.

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Weiwei Out There: Chinese Artist Breaks into the IMA

Asian-art scholar and curator Britta Erickson explains that, for many years, Ai worked with found objects—a photo he took of his head after an instance of police brutality, for example, or a pile of porcelain crabs that represents the Chinese government’s efforts to bring him into the fold.

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Our Gangster: John Dillinger

Though the ambush in Chicago cut short Dillinger’s crime spree and meteoric rise to fame, it sealed his reputation as one of the great bank robbers of all time. And his untimely, violent death made him an idol.

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In the Shadow of a Giant: Fairmount, Indiana, James Dean's Resting Place

The laws of nature dictate that the fainter the light source, the longer the shadow. Given his brief career and long-ago death, Dean’s light should have been all but extinguished by now. But in Fairmount his shadow looms large, his name and image a currency to be traded. The Rebel Rebel gift shop and the Giant Bar & Grill and the Boulevard of Broken Dreams scene painted on the side of the antiques mall distinguish Fairmount from other Grant County map dots like Jonesboro and Gas City and Swayzee.

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Lincoln Like Me

If it’s true that family reunites in the afterlife, sooner or later I’m bound to bump into Abraham Lincoln.

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Six Things You Don't Know About Abraham Lincoln

He loved to tell dirty jokes, and reportedly hated being called “Abe.”

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After the Fire

Even now, on off-duty drives through downtown, some of them will seek another route, any other route, to avoid the shadow of the nine-story building at Meridian and Vermont streets. For most of the city, the Indianapolis Athletic Club is an elegant landmark from an earlier time, an old-boy haven where Democratic Party elites once hosted parties and presidents. But for firefighters who crouched in its halls 20 years ago, it is still an imposing reminder of one of the Indianapolis Fire Department’s darkest nights.

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Loved & Lost: The Life of Jan Ruhtenberg

At the very least, argues Vess Ruhtenberg, the chairs place his grandfather at the center of a pivotal moment in 20th-century architecture and design. And they bolster his case that Jan Ruhtenberg deserves wider recognition.

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The Pillar: Evans Woollen

People would drive out of their way to see an Evans Woollen house, says one longtime friend. “In the ’60s, that stuff wasn’t happening here.”

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A Night at the Red Key

“As all of us change, this place stays the same. Ever since I was a little girl, I wanted to get in here. And one of the first times I bartended, my grandfather was sitting at the end of the bar watching everything I did. Which was intimidating. I just wish he could see me back there now.”

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