The Central Library building was designed by architect Paul Philippe Cret, (with Zantzinger, Borie and Medary) and completed in 1917. A complete historic renovation and a major addition to the library was designed by Woollen, Molzan and Partners. The newly renovated Central Library building opened on December 9, 2007, ending a controversial multi-year rebuilding plan.
The Central Library also houses the Nina Mason Pulliam Indianapolis Special Collections Room containing a variety of archival adult and children’s materials, both fiction and nonfiction books by local authors, photographs, scrapbooks, typescripts, manuscripts, autographed editions, letters, newspapers, magazines, and realia. The collection features Kurt Vonnegut, May Wright Sewall, the Woollen family, James Whitcomb Riley, and Booth Tarkington.