Construction began on the Indiana World War Memorial Plaza in 1919 to honor the American servicemen who had fought in World War I. A prime example of the "City Beautiful" movement that stressed the beautification and cleanliness of American cities, city planners allotted five city blocks to the plaza.
Serving as the centerpiece of the plaza is the Indiana World War Memorial, modeled after the Persian Mausoleum at Halicarnassus. Serving as both a memorial to fallen soldiers and a museum chronicling the history of Hoosiers in the armed forces, General John Pershing laid the cornerstone in 1927. The museum features prominent artifacts from World War I and World War II including the commission plate of the USS Indiana.
In addition to the war memorial, the plaza hosts the national headquarters of American Legion, an organization founded by World War I veterans.