Skip to main content

The Lillys of Indianapolis: A Legacy Continues
Friday, September 13, 2002

Exploring the places near and dear to the Lilly Family was the theme of the day as the Indiana Historical Society and the Society of Indiana Pioneers ventured into the heart of Indianapolis.

Our first stop was the Lilly family church, Christ Church Episcopal Cathedral on the Circle, where a docent led us on a tour and discussed the Lilly connections.

Interior view of Christ Church Episcopal Cathedral on the Circle, Indianapolis

Next, we visited Eli Lilly and Company, where the Lilly archivist presented an overview of the corporate headquarters, its growth, and its impact on the city, followed by a guided tour of the building and grounds, including a look at the first Lilly laboratory building.

Eli Lilly & Company headquarters, Indianapolis
Original Lilly laboratory building, Indianapolis

Heading north, our trip-tic directed us to the Indianapolis Art Museum, where we enjoyed lunch at the Main Café. We were then treated to an in-depth lecture about the restoration and new construction surrounding the former home of J.K. Lilly Jr., “Oldfields” – a true Indiana castle totally renovated to reflect its 1930s splendor. We had enough time for a self-guided tour of the home and its beautiful gardens.

Gardens at “Oldfields,” former home of J.K. Lilly, Jr., Indianapolis

Our final stop on this remembrance tour was the beautiful Lilly House, home of Mr. Eli on Sunset Lane. Dr. James Madison, author of Eli Lilly: A Life, 1885-1977, shared his insight into this generous and dedicated man who gave so much to Indiana. A tour of the home and gardens preceded a book signing reception with Dr. Madison in the main dining room.

Exterior of Lilly House, former home of Eli & Ruth Lilly, Indianapolis
Dr. James Madison