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10 Years at Levey Mansion


Merging Two Indianapolis Stories

Perched at the corner of Meridian and 29th Streets in downtown Indianapolis, the Louis H. Levey Mansion has served as an ideal setting for Sagamore Institute to conduct its work as a think tank in America’s heartland. Woven together, the separate legacies of Sagamore and Levey formed a new narrative—one fusing city’s centuries’ long commitment to civic participation with a relentless pursuit of innovation. We invite you explore the galleries below to observe the architectural beauty of Levey Mansion, and to celebrate our favorite events and speakers we have hosted here in the past decade.

Mr. Levey's Neighborhood

Louis Levey, owner of a nationally-recognized printing company, was one of the leaders of the Indianapolis social scene at the turn of the century. Levey’s neighbors and fellow residents of Indianapolis were political and cultural giants; his neighbor, Charles Warren Fairbanks, was vice president to Teddy Roosevelt when the Levey Mansion was being constructed. On May 30, 1907, Fairbanks accompanied President Roosevelt on a visit to Indianapolis to dedicate a statue to Civil War Gen. Henry Lawton at the old Marion County Courthouse on East Washington Street. Mr. Levey is pictured here along with TR, Vice President Fairbanks, and dignitaries such as James Whitcomb Riley.

The Louis Levey Mansion

It’s no surprise that the Levey Mansion was known at the turn of the twentieth century as one of Indianapolis’ finest homes. Built by Louis Levey in 1906 for his wife Meta, the mansion was designed as if it were a miniature European palace. A balustrade terrace wraps around the exterior and elements of the Italian Renaissance Revival—like the marble onyx and ormolu fireplace and ornate stained glass skylight—decorate the interior. The parlor was structured to resemble a Louis XV style drawing room, with delicate plaster moldings decorating the walls and ceiling. Please explore the gallery below and see the interior and exterior of Levey Mansion in all its beauty.

A Place for Gathering

Following in the footsteps of Louis Levey, Sagamore has provided a place for convening—a place where policymakers, practitioners, and citizens gather to create grassroots solutions to society’s biggest problems. For the past decade, we are honored to to provide this space for disparate groups and offer wise counsel to a world in progress. We invite you to check out some of our favorite events hosted at Levey.

Notable Speakers at Levey

Sagamore is honored to have hosted several notable civic leaders, business professionals, authors, and the like at Levey Mansion to facilitate solution-focused discussions to society’s biggest problems. Scroll through this gallery to read about some of our favorite speakers throughout the years. 

Indiana Conference on Citizenship 2017

In August 2017, Sagamore held its third annual Indiana Conference on Citizenship (ICOC) at the Levey Mansion. This conference aimed to celebrate the Centennial Spirit of Indiana’s best leaders in government, business, and arts and letters, whose friendships and contributions inspire us to follow their example. ICOC 2017 participants experienced historical reenactments of the Civil War era and heard experts speak about our state’s centennial heroes.

Hunter Smith Band Performs at Levey Mansion

In 2011, former Colts punter Hunter Smith joined Sagamore Institute as Director of its Sports and Culture Initiative. After playing football for Notre Dame, Smith went on to win the Super Bowl in 2006 with the Indianapolis Colts. After a brief stint with the Redskins, Hunter made his home in the Hoosier state and now performs regularly with the Hunter Smith Band, pictured here at Levey Mansion. 

Biblical Artifacts at Sagamore

The Green Collection is one of the world’s largest private collections of rare biblical texts and artifacts. Sagamore scholar Jerry Pattengale served as Executive Director of the Green Scholars Initiative, designed to facilitate academic study of the artifacts in the Green Collection. Sagamore was pleased to host an event at Levey showcasing selected items from the collection. 

Sagamore's Mayors' Roundtable Initiative

In September 2010, Sagamore Institute welcomed a group of Indiana mayors to hear Lt. Governor Becky Skillman highlight her then-recent agricultural trade mission to Zhejiang Province, Indiana’s sister state in China. The event signaled the formal launch of Sagamore’s “Mayors’ Roundtable Initiative,” an effort to serve as a link between Indiana mayors and potential trade relationships in China. While in China, the Lt. Governor delivered Sagamore’s part of a joint study to the Zhejiang Academy of Social Sciences.

Liberia Ambassador William Bull Visits Levey

Sagamore held a lunch reception honoring Liberia’s Ambassador to the United States, His Excellency William Bull. Reflecting Sagamore’s interest in private participation in international assistance, the reception included brief remarks by Ambassador Bull on the role of the Liberian Diaspora and its remittances in Liberia’s National Development.

Amy Sherman and Women Doing Well

Sagamore fellow Amy Sherman served as Principle Investigator for a Women Doing Well project (WDW). WDW was founded with the goal of serving women and bridging their professtional relationships in a faith-based fashion. Sherman presented a public briefing on the report with Ron Blue, co-hosted by Sagamore Institute and WDW.