Made in Indiana

OK, class, today we start with a pop quiz. What do these massive buildings have in common?

Empire State Building, New York

The Pentagon, Arlington, Virginia

National Cathedral

The National Cathedral, Washington, D.C.

Yes, they are all gargantuan structures, and it would be cool to run the length and height of each.

But beyond that, they are all made of Indiana limestone — a fact I learned (or re-learned; I’m sure I heard this before) during my lunchtime run today.

I was taking a rare run downtown, something I usually take great pains to avoid. I’m not crazy about sidewalks or traffic or thousands of pedestrians. That’s why I’m a sucker for trails.

But I didn’t have time to drive to a trail or run before work. So I did what I had to do and ran on crowded city streets.

My particular route was a four-mile loop along the White River. The most interesting segment was a half-mile or so stretch behind the Indy Zoo called the River Promenade. It’s a shady, paved walkway bordered by more than 1,000 limestone boulders. The promenade also provides a great view of the river and the city skyline.

But it’s also like a mini history lesson of Indiana limestone. If you slow down a bit, you can read some fun facts and pictures of the topic chiseled into the rocks. Turns out that southern Indiana is home to thousands of acres of limestone quarries. A lot of it was used to build some of the world’s best-known structures.

Afterward, I did a little reading and learned a few other interesting facts. For example, 35 of the 50 state capitol buildings are made of Indiana limestone. So is the new Yankee Stadium and the Holocaust Museum.

The River Promenade in Downtown Indy, bordered by limestone bolders.

So that was my education for today.

But back to running. Overall, the outing wasn’t a bad one, even though it was 100 percent on pavement, and went through some of the busiest streets of downtown. Some days, you just have to be a little flexible, and take whatever run is available.  If you keep your eyes open, you might see something new.

And when you think about it, pavement endorphins are better than no endorphins at all.

My time was 33:49. I got back to work all refreshed and ready for a full afternoon.


One Response to “Made in Indiana”

  1. I also have passion for art. I am mystified by grotesque structures. And good for you that you are able to pursue your education. Keep it steady all throughout! ; )

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