Chase Tower

Opened in 1990 near Monument Circle in Indianapolis, the Chase Tower (formerly known as the Bank One Tower and originally conceived as American Fletcher Tower) is the tallest building in Indianapolis. It surpassed the AUL Tower (now OneAmerica Tower) in Indianapolis for the distinction. The building's twin spires pierce 830 feet (253.0 m) into the Indianapolis skyline, while the 48 floors of office and retail space below peak at the 700 feet (214 m) roof. It is the headquarters for Chase's (formerly Bank One's) Indiana operations. While the building has two spires of equal height, only one of them is actually functional as a transmission antenna. The other mast is merely an architectural decoration. The Chase Tower is the 38th tallest building in the United States and 193rd tallest in the world.

The tower's step pyramidal cap reflects the design of the Indiana War Memorial, three blocks due north. The War Memorial, in turn, reflects the descriptions of the original Mausoleum. Because of the height of this building, its roof was specifically designed to house communications relay equipment, in order to provide additional revenue to the building's owners. Over the past several years, two large banners have occasionally been placed outside of the north and south communication bullpen areas of the roof in support of two of the city's professional sports franchises. These "GO PACERS" and "GO COLTS" signs are highly visible being on the tallest structure in the city.

Background and history

The tower was originally conceived in the late 1970s by the late Frank E. McKinney, Jr., chairman of American Fletcher Corporation (the holding company for American Fletcher National Bank and Trust Company (AFNB), which at the time was Indiana's largest financial institution) to allow for consolidation and expansion of his company's headquarters. Land was slowly being assembled for the building, with several predecessor structures along Ohio Street and Pennsylvania Street being demolished in those years and the early 1980s to clear the way for what McKinney hoped would soon be Indiana's tallest office tower.

Before actual construction of the building could begin, American Fletcher became the first major Indianapolis bank holding company to be sold to an out-of-state financial institution, agreeing in the spring of 1986 to merge with Ohio's rapidly growing Bank One Corporation. Upon consummation of that merger, Mr. McKinney became chairman of Bank One's Indiana operations and tower planning picked up momentum. Ground was broken and construction began in 1988 on the newly designated Bank One Center Tower, which was to be integrated with AFNB's existing headquarters complex on Monument Circle and adjacent Market Street.

This was done mainly to secure the prestigious Monument Circle address for the new tower, which actually rises between Ohio Street and Wabash Street (the east-west alley between Market and Ohio). Thus, the Ohio Street entrance to the tower is actually the complex's back door with a concourse-style passageway on the second level running over Scioto Street (the north-south alley between Pennsylvania and Meridian) to connect the skyscraper (and its attached parking garage along Pennsylvania Street) to the main entrance in the original 1960 American National Bank Building at 111 Monument Circle.

A separate skywalk across Scioto once connected the Circle Building to the adjacent Fletcher Trust Building at 10 E. Market Street, but that was later removed after the bank moved all operations formerly located in that structure into the new tower. The Fletcher Trust Building itself was subsequently sold and has since been renovated into a Hilton Garden Inn hotel. Banc One Corporation (later renamed Bank One Corporation) went through several additional major acquisitions before it was itself bought by J.P. Morgan Chase in the early 2000s. Upon consummation of that merger, the Indianapolis structure was renamed to become known as the Chase Tower.


2 photos

Building Activity

  • OpenBuildings
    OpenBuildings updated 9 media and uploaded a media file
    rfsh chase tower in chicago
    about 6 years ago via
  • Gregory Day
    Gregory Day commented
    The pictures are actually of the Chase tower in Chicago, IL, USA.
    about 6 years ago via Mobile
  • removed a media and updated a digital reference
    about 6 years ago via
  • updated a digital reference
    about 6 years ago via Annotator