This site is dedicated to MJF whose laughter and wit fuel my soul. Thank you for introducing us to John Green, you have made our days brighter.

The Ruins

Toward the end of the book Hazel Grace and her parents embark on a picnic in Holliday Park at the site of "The Ruins"

The history of Holliday Park and The Ruins is actually quite interesting.  In 1916 John and Evaline Holliday donated their country estate to the City of Indianapolis on the occasion of the centennial celebration of Indiana's Statehood.  Holliday intended for the grounds to be used for recreation and the study of nature.  

18 years earlier New York City's first 26 story skyscraper, the St. Paul Building was erected.  The statues at the top of the columns in Holliday park originally festooned the facade' of the St. Paul Building.

Designed by architect Karl Bitter, the statues are made of Indiana limestone and are entitled "The Races of Man".

The statues depict a Caucasian, African-American, and Asian man laboring together and to appear as if they are holding up the St. Paul Building as shown in the old postcard view below.

This is very reminiscent of the Administration Building at Walt Disney Studios in Burbank, CA.

I will find a way to work Dinsey into just about anything I write.

In the 1950's the Western Electric Company, who now owned the building, decided to demolish it to make way for a larger facility.  Fortunately they felt that the Statues on the facade should be saved from destruction.  They held some sort of competition which the City of Indianapolis won and the "The Races of Man" were relocated to Holliday park.

Although the project began in the 1950's the Ruins area was not completed until 1977.  A variety of problems ensued including budget over runs due to the fact that the designer of The Ruins portion of the park, Elmer Taflinger, kept making changes to the project.   He continually added Greek columns from convents and churches throughout the area as well as four limestone statues from the Marion County Courthouse.

But time has not been a friend to Holliday Park Ruins.  Age and exposure to the elements caused many of the added columns and statues to deteriorate.  The shallow reflective pool in front of the "Races of Man" began leaking years ago and was drained.  It now sits empty except for weeds growing up through the pool's bottom and the occasional brick that has fallen off the facade'.  Vegetation has overgrown the area obscuring portions of the facade' containing inscriptions that might give a glimpse at the inspiration of the design and complete presentation.

Thus ends our look at the Ruins of Holliday Park.

Similarly this ends our photo tour of the places mentioned in The Fault In Our Stars.  It was a wonderful story filled with wit, humor, and heart-breaking sorrow.  We have enjoyed playing amateur detective and visiting the specific places mentioned in the book as well as trying to locate others where exact locations were not mentioned.  I have tried very hard not to give away any plot points as this is a book that should be approached with no prior knowledge of it's story line as it is pure and should be consumed by the reader as fresh as possible, without any content spoilage.  If you have already read it you know what I mean.  If you have not read it go forth and do so.


  1. Thanks for the photo tour.

    Being a resident of Indianapolis, it was wonderful (though a bit jarring) to have these real places keep popping up in the book.

  2. So this is one of the coolest things I've ever seen. Thank you for taking these pictures/compiling this blog! Gave me shivers!

  3. Loved the photo tour, thanks for putting this together!

  4. This has been a very, very lovely tour. Thank you so much. And of course: DFTBA.

  5. Thanks for putting this together. It was really enjoyable. So cool to see that these places are real. :)

  6. This was cool. I live in Indianapolis and I go to St. Paul's, but it didn't occur to me that it might actually be the church in the book even though it was where I pictured everything haha. Also, the one thing that bothered me the most in the book (this is weird; don't judge me) is that Hazel's friend (Caitlin?) wants to go to Anthropologie when THERE IS NO ANTHROPOLOGIE IN CASTLETON MALL. Could they not have just gone to Keystone? And the ruins at Holliday Park were actually my childhood. Them and the spider web.

    1. My theory: Anthropologie is the study of humans and Keystone carries a totally different meaning for the novel..

  7. Lovely! Thanks for the look. I love doing photo projects like this one. The first I ever did was locations from American Gods by Neil Gaiman. It's the ideal road trip book. Good job here! I love John Green's books and this one was my favorite.

  8. Thank you so much for this. Though I've seen bits and pieces here and there, it was wonderful to see it all in one place and from a different perspective as well as get more info on the places.

    Thanks again and DFTBA

  9. Thanks for going to all this trouble and for your rigor.

  10. This was an awesome idea! Thanks for sharing the experience, and DFTBA.

  11. What a great idea! Thanks for putting this together and sharing it with the Internet :)

  12. AWESOME blog... I found this book on the shelf in a souvenir shop at Heathrow Airport two weeks ago when I was traveling from London to Sao Paulo, Brazil and I thought, well... it's a long trip, there's a long connection, I've got to find out something to do.. why not read a book? And that was an absolutely amazing book (though it made me cry my eyes out several times) it was just FANTASTIC being able to see all these places through this brilliant blog. Well done, managers! Well done!

  13. Thanks for sharing!! My cousin-in-law and some friends and I are going to do a mini-tour next weekend. Excited to hit the highlights from the book!

  14. I was delighted to stumble upon your pages when I was searching for the ruins. Thank you for your hard work. The book was excellent!

  15. Thanks for sharing this! I actually just went up to Holliday Park for the first time a couple of weeks ago, over my birthday. I really enjoyed reading "The Fault in Our Stars," and was interested in all the references to Indianapolis (I've been living her for about a year and a half).

  16. The Ruins have been fabulously restored in a stirring public-private fund raising project. $3.2 million was privately donated. They had the Big Unveil on 9/17/2016. Awesome.