Building Elements

Indiana limestone

The materials used in the Heritage Center are the same as used in the Capitol Building, but they are highlighted in the Heritage Center in new ways. These building elements do not speak to a specific style and are components of a timeless design for the decades to come.

Indiana Limestone

Even though there are a variety of architectural styles, all the building exteriors on the Capitol Grounds are clad in Indiana limestone. At the Heritage Center, limestone is also used on some interior walls.

Visible fossils on these inner walls provide opportunities for treasure hunts throughout the building. These are fossils of animals that lived about 340 million years ago in a shallow, warm water sea, similar to the Caribbean, that covered Indiana where the limestone was deposited. The limestone used in the expansion came from the same quarry as the limestone used in the original building completed in 1980.


The copper has turned black on the Capitol Building and is not readily recognizable. At the Heritage Center, copper is brought forward as a highlight to the building and as a warm metal to embrace the steel and glass box of the Northern Lights Atrium. The exterior copper is left to develop a natural patina over time, while the patina of interior copper panels was chemically induced before the panels were sealed and installed. Eventually the exterior copper will match the warm rich hues of the interior walls.