Gary Public Schools Memorial Auditorium - The Ruins of a Cultural Monument

In the Downtown City Center Historic District of Gary, Indiana stand the abandoned ruins of Gary Public Schools Memorial Auditorium, a victim of the Great Gary Arson of 1997.

Gary Public Schools Memorial Auditorium abandoned Indiana

After exploring the awesome remains of Horace Mann School, I continued my tour of Gary, Indiana's beautiful abandoned historic buildings.

Gary Public Schools Memorial Auditorium abandoned Indiana

Gary Public Schools Memorial Auditorium was built in 1927 to honor Gary residents who had died in World War I. It was part of an emerging movement to build structures of significant public utility rather than traditional monuments.

Gary Public Schools Memorial Auditorium abandoned Indiana

Designed by architect Joseph H. Wildermuth, the structure incorporated elements from Italian Renaissance and Spanish Colonial Revival architectural styles.

Gary Public Schools Memorial Auditorium abandoned Indiana

Gary Public Schools Memorial Auditorium abandoned Indiana

Gary Public Schools Memorial Auditorium abandoned Indiana

The land was donated by The Gary Land Company and construction was financed through a public campaign by the people of Gary.

Gary Public Schools Memorial Auditorium abandoned Indiana
Rusting iron rails out front once guided lines of people to the box office.
The massive auditorium had a capacity of 5,000 and was used for high school graduations, athletic events, and music festivals. Notable performers include the Jackson Five and Frank Sinatra.

Gary Public Schools Memorial Auditorium abandoned Indiana

It was also the location where Harry Truman addressed his supporters in October 1948 during his presidential campaign.

Gary Public Schools Memorial Auditorium abandoned Indiana

The site was added to the National Register of Historic Places on November 25, 1994.

What remains of the massive Gary Public Schools Memorial Auditorium is only a third of the original structure. The rest of the building, including the main auditorium, was destroyed in the Great Gary Arson of 1997, which decimated other historic buildings including City Methodist Church.

Gary Public Schools Memorial Auditorium abandoned Indiana

Gary Public Schools Memorial Auditorium abandoned Indiana

The roof is almost entirely gone, except for the main crossbeams and a few chunks of ceiling.

Gary Public Schools Memorial Auditorium abandoned Indiana

Gary Public Schools Memorial Auditorium abandoned Indiana

Gary Public Schools Memorial Auditorium abandoned Indiana

The ruins are not entirely safe to explore, for several staircases have crumbled and now end suddenly in a long fall to the hard stone floor below.

Gary Public Schools Memorial Auditorium abandoned Indiana

Gary Public Schools Memorial Auditorium abandoned Indiana

Thank you for checking out this article. If you enjoyed it, please share it on Facebook. Be sure to join me next time, when I will share the story and photos of another of Gary, Indiana's famous abandoned historic buildings, the Palace Theater.

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Until then, check out my previous posts about the incredible places I explored on my Epic Rust Belt Road Trip

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Gary Public Schools Memorial Auditorium abandoned Indiana


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