Bettering the Bona
Keeping Irvington's History Alive
Irvington Historical Society's 2023-2024 campaign
the bona's history
The Irvington Historical Society has made its home in the Bona Thompson Center for the last twenty years. Now that we own the building, we plan to update, improve and enhance our historic facility.
In 1964, the Irvington Historical Society (IHS) was organized to preserve and share the values upon which the community was founded. The Irvington Historical Society’s commitment to retaining Irvington’s heritage starts with the name on our building: Bona Thompson Memorial. It is one of few buildings left in Indianapolis built before 1945 named for a woman. This reminds us of the initial pledge of Butler University: to serve all equally regardless of gender, race, or creed. Because Irvington included an international missionary center until 1995, the society’s membership has always been diverse. Our members have worked and raised their families here, drawn in by Irvington’s unique and inclusive heritage.
our goals for 2023-2024
Estimated cost: $90,000
Steam Works Gallery
An early vision was for the Bona to be a community resource. To realize that commitment we need to increase our usable space. We have identified an underutilized area that would make a pleasant public gallery and gathering room. It needs steep ramps and surplus equipment removed to make it handicapped-accessible. We are naming this space “the Steam Works Gallery” (a tip of the hat to the out-of-date piping which will remain visible!) The size of the space will be approximately 33’ long x 20’ wide x 17’ high. The space should accommodate 50.
Estimated cost: $70,000
Greater Irvington Exhibit
Create a new exhibit that captures the essence of Irvington. This exhibit will be called “Greater Irvington”. Its design will be based on input from our extended community. The finished product will engage the viewer and visually represent why this community is so loved by Irvington residents past and present. The content will revolve around the vision of a community and celebrate 150 years of Irvington’s history.
Estimated cost: $100,000
How You Can Help
We are an all-volunteer organization. If you are seeking more involvement with your community, we can offer our volunteers a wide variety of duties.