Omni Severin Hotel, Indianapolis
The now historic Omni Severin Hotel is downtown Indianapolis' oldest center for hospitality and luxury accommodations. Opened by savvy businessman, Henry Severin Jr., in 1913 as the "Grand Hotel of Indianapolis", the lavish hotel was strategically located just steps away from the world's first union station.
The passenger train would arrive at the station and into the district known as the Wholesale District, as wholesale grocers sold fresh goods to consumers before the advent of the modern grocery store. Farmers could also bring their produce to "Commission Row" and have merchants sell their goods for a commission.
Severin Jr. had the foresight to capitalize on this prosperity. He sought financial assistance from Carl G. Fisher and James A. Allison, founders of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and built the grand Omni Severin Hotel.
When the train-traveling public began to dry up towards the 1960s, so did business at the Omni Severin. The hotel closed down for a spell until it was sold to businessman, William Atkinson, who renovated the hotel and put his name on it.
However, he defaulted on some loans and the hotel went through a few different owners until a locally based developer, Mansur Group purchased the landmark Severin hotel and invested $40 million in its renovation and additionally, adding two 13-story wings.
The area in which the Omni Severin sits is now considered the Indianapolis Union Station Wholesale District, a historic district, and since the re-opening of the Omni Severin in 1989, the area around Union Station has been revitalized.
The Omni Severin sweeps visitors back to the past with its dramatic, romantic marble staircase and breathtaking Austrian crystal chandelier located in the Severin Ballroom Lobby, both dating back to the original 1913 structure.
The Omni Severin also uses the original 1913 mailbox and pieces of original furniture can be found on the elevator landings on each floor of the hotel.