1916 Trumbauer's updated plans are approved by the Art Jury on December 29, clearing the way for the next phase of the project.
1917 City officials accept construction bids on the immense project. Before they can award a contract, the project encounters more legal problems. Local masons and the Indiana limestone industry file opposing lawsuits that dispute city stone cutting ordinances and seek to block construction. The stone cutting litigation drags on for more than a year, limiting progress on the construction to initial excavation of the foundations.
1922 Trumbauer and his designers complete revised working drawings and specifications for the Main Library.
1922 On March 1, city officials award the contract for constructing the superstructure to the P. H. Kelly Construction Company, which submitted the low bid of $1,367,000. Construction work begins in April.
1923 The enormous library's skeletal structure now dominates Logan Circle.
1923 On January 24, library officials and local dignitaries lay the limestone cornerstone. Following the ceremony, the contractor accelerates the construction pace. Within six months, the steel frame is completed and the limestone facade rises as high as the roof line.
1924 and 1925 Stone carvers employed by the John Donnelly Company sculpt the ornate limestone decoration, including seventy columns. Working 100 feet above the ground, artisans from Europe and the United States carve the white stone into delicate architectural ornaments. With the carving finished and the doors and windows set in place, Trumbauer's agent at the site declares the exterior complete in the spring of 1925.