Copyright © 2022 IndySpeedway.com All Rights Reserved
When the Speedway opened in 1909, there were two 3-story
buildings located at the start/finish line that was used for
While the first Indy 500 was first ran in 1911, multiple shorter
auto and motorcycle races were first held at the speedway
As race speed increased over the years, it was determined
the control tower should sit further back from the track.
So, the first pagoda was burned down on purpose after the
1925 Indy 500.
A new, larger 6-story wooden control tower was then built for
the 1926 race. This new design was also in the
It featured concession areas on the first floor and spectator
seating on the 2nd floor. The top four floors were all for
This tower served from 1926 - 1956.
Tony Hulman had purchased the speedway in 1945.
By 1956, he decided to construct a new control tower.
The 2nd wooden pagoda-style tower was torn down and a
glass and aluminum tower was built for the 1957 Indy 500.
Stylish, it was not.
Also at this time, the Tower Terrace stands were built, as
was a new pit lane.
Hulman's grandson, Tony George, completed a major overhaul
of the speedway during his tenure as president. In 1998, a
major construction project began that included building a new
control tower. George chose to go with a pagoda-style tower
again. It was completed in time for the 2000 Indy 500. It was
90 feet taller than the previous tower and the square footage
was almost 13 times more.
Besides the tower, a new media center, pitlane garages and
suites, and flagman stand were built along with a road course
that ran inside the infield and connected to the oval track.
See 1999 IMS Construction web page for photos of all that.
The glass in the new control tower and pit garage suites is
The tower consists of twin concrete towers. Metal and glass
make up the rest of the tower. The four different sized decks
that give the building a pagoda look extend outward north &
south, but not east & west. Consequently, the control tower
does not look like a pagoda when viewed directly from the
north or south.
|The Indianapolis Motor Speedway Control Tower Through the Years
In 1913, a five-story control tower was built. Each floor was
slightly smaller than the one below. It turned out to look like a
Japanese pagoda. It is not known if this was on purpose or an
|1954 - Two Years Before It Was Tore Down
Ray Harroun and Joe Dawson
in their Marmon race cars.
It was a photo finish in a ten-mile race.
|1911 - The First INDY 500
New Tower Rises Behind New Seating
|2003 - Viewed from the South
|2009 - This sign was created in 2000
|The Main Gate Entrance Through The Years