Indiana War Memorial

Indianapolis, IN

Constructed between 1926 and 1965, the Indiana War Memorial is part of the Indiana War Memorial Plaza Historic District in downtown Indianapolis. The structure occupies one city block and has a mausoleum atop a plaza deck and auditorium.

Water infiltration from the roof was an ongoing issue and as a result many of the historical finishes and murals were being damaged.

Work Included

  • Fabrication and installation of custom size lead-coated flat-seam copper roof panels and flashings on Ziggurat (stepped) Level.
  • Integration of new roofing system with existing drains.
  • Removal and replacement of modified bitumen and built-up roofing system on Statuary Level.
  • Grind and point limited existing mortar joints near base of Colonnade Level.


Weather was an issue as the work was completed during two summers when temperatures often were above 90 degrees with 30-mph winds atop the structure. Team members started and ended work early on hot days and moves to a shady side of the building to take breaks from the heat.

Determining the order of our work depended on the masonry schedule because we were uncertain how many limestone blocks would require replacement and what size block would be needed. It was Renaissance's responsibility to always keep the building dry while awaiting completion of the masonry work.


Restoring a historical landmark while complying with current building codes was a major design challenge and required careful review of the codes and discussions with the general contractor and representatives of the state of Indiana.

The ziggurat roof system is a pyramidal structure built in successive stages with outside staircases and a shrine at the top.

Scaffolding was constructed on all sides of the building and materials were loaded using a cable hoist.

Renaissance worked in conjuction with the masonry craftpersons who were replacing the vertical surfaces of the 'steps' as needed and Renaissance fabricated and installed each custom sized lead-coated flat-seam copper roof panels and flashings.


The Renaissance team completed work on the Indiana War Memorial in December 2019. Work took longer than anticipated because of changes required after workers discovered unknown building conditions during construction. And, as an early winter season arrived in Indianapolis in October 2018, masonry and roofing work had to be paused.

Renaissance was named a finalist for the Roofing Alliance 2021 Gold Circle Award for its work on the Indiana War Memorial.

To learn more about this project, refer to the article in Professional Roofing.  (link below)