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Street Smarts: The Circle City

INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA - Nothing should be thrown together without purpose. I like to believe that there's an explanation for why things are the way that they are.

The video above breaks down Indianapolis' Mile Square and gives an explanation for each one of the street names. I've touched on Mile Square before, it was back in 2017 in an article dedicated to Indy's underground river. I went over the boundaries, East Street, West Street, North Street and South Street, and it all seemed so simplistic.

Recently, I came across a post on the Historic Indianapolis blog, that caused me to take a deeper look into the other street names that fill our city's square. The major streets (excluding Meridian and Market) are all named after US States. At first it may seem like these states are just randomly thrown onto street signs, but once you take a closer look, it's easy to see that that's not the case.

For a better look of this map you can click here

Meridian Street cuts the city in half, the north/south way, just as Market Street cuts the city in half the east/way. Towards the east end of Market Street... you'll find City Market, and that's where City Market still is today.

Here's a look at a map of the United States in 1831. This will help decode the city of Indianapolis. Remember: Indiana is the center, Indiana is the circle, Indiana is the HEART..

All of the "state streets" that are above Market... are also above Indiana.

- Ohio

- New York

- Vermont

- Michigan


The state streets below Market.. are below Indiana.

- Washington (D.C.)

- Maryland

- Georgia

- Louisiana


The same applies when going west to east from Meridian Street. These states are all east of the heartland.

- Pennsylvania

- Delaware

- Alabama

- New Jersey


Now if we go from east to west from Meridian, we'll see the same pattern, all of these states are west of Indiana.

- Illinois

- Tennessee (later renamed Capitol)

- Mississippi (later renamed Senate)

- Missouri


The same way I recapped the video is the same way that I'll bring this story all together. It's extremely rare that things are thrown together without an explanation, you just have to look for it.

This is how I view myself, I know that things in my life didn't happen without a purpose. I know the qualities that I have, my personality, my talents, and my interests are what they are for a reason. The key is to just keep looking, keep digging, until you can make it all make sense.

There's some value to being book smart, knowing your numbers and your facts. However, I still find more value in being street smart, knowing myself and understanding the people and the places that are around me.

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