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Old April 1st, 2009, 07:27 PM   #1
ablerock
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INDIANA CONVENTION CENTER EXPANSION: PHASE IV | COMPLETED

Beginning in 2009, the Indiana Convention Center will undergo an expansion that will grow the convention center from 403,000 to 745,000 square feet of exhibit space, including 179,000 square feet in the new Lucas Oil Stadium.

The expansion is scheduled to be completed Fall 2010.

The expansion will raise Indianapolis from 33rd to 16th (some sources cite 32nd and 17th) place among Americaís major convention cities in meeting space available Ė and second only to Atlanta among its customary 13 peer cities.

The Indiana Convention Center expansion will sit on the RCA Dome footprint. The RCA Dome closed in April 2008 and has been demolished.

Ratio Architects is the lead firm for the project, assisted by BSA LifeStructures, Blackburn Architects, and Domain Architects. All four are headquartered in Indianapolis.

Monthly construction updates in Microsoft Word format can be found here.

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Old April 1st, 2009, 11:08 PM   #2
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Excellent! Thanks Ablerock for starting this! Its a huge project. I believe the expenditure for the Convention Center portion of the Lucas Oil Stadium / Conv. Center Project is about $250 - $275 million. With the L.O.S. at about $650 million, it was a little over $900 million for the combined project. (And with the connection to the Marriott projects immediately NW of the Convention Center -- its about $1.4 billion worth of connected work in that SW corner of downtown!!
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Old April 1st, 2009, 11:33 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GarfieldPark View Post
Excellent! Thanks Ablerock for starting this! Its a huge project. I believe the expenditure for the Convention Center portion of the Lucas Oil Stadium / Conv. Center Project is about $250 - $275 million. With the L.O.S. at about $650 million, it was a little over $900 million for the combined project. (And with the connection to the Marriott projects immediately NW of the Convention Center -- its about $1.4 billion worth of connected work in that SW corner of downtown!!
Wow. Thanks for the financial perspective!

The Indianapolis Cultural Trail extension will also add another 5 million or so. It's a drop in the bucket, comparatively speaking, but still worth adding.

From in.gov:

Combined with Lucas Oil Stadium, the [Convention Center Expansion is] expected to generate $2.25 billion in economic benefits over 10 years and create about 4,200 new permanent jobs. The combined projects also are expected to generate about $26 million in new tax revenues over the same period.
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Old April 2nd, 2009, 05:33 AM   #4
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They're down to the final, SE corner as they are removing the remnants of the RCA Dome. Probably only a few days left to see any more pieces of the old structure. Foundations for the new expansion are being poured in the NW part of the site.

On another note - I was amazed to hear yesterday that the Convention Center landed a very large future convention - The American Library Association. Its supposed to bring about 20,000 people over five days. The amazing thing to me though was that it was for the year 2021! Amazing that they are scheduling these things that far in advance. Bizarre.
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Old April 2nd, 2009, 03:13 PM   #5
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I know some may have issues with the design, architecture, or layout of a lot of these high-profile projects, but the fact that Indy has such an influx of construction work going on right now ($1.4B in a just couple blocks!) simply amazes me. Given what the economy has been through lately, I think we really are fortunate to have everything going on in this town that we do.

And although roughly 2/3 of money for the "Lucas Oil/Conv. Center" joint project went to the stadium, and the CC only got allocated 1/3 of it...I've always felt the convention center was the more important of the two projects. Sure, not as much glitz'n'glam or TV coverage at the stadium, but it will provide a more consistent lifeblood. Probably could just flip those cost ratios as far as "economic value" to the city goes: 1/3 Lucas Oil and 2/3 CC.

GarfieldPark: I too heard about the ALA convention the other day. I agree, 2021 is far away and seems like a really long lead-in time for a booking. But now that we're gonna be changing the level of our game and going after these large conventions that we previously weren't able to handle, I think we're gonna see this more and more. I look forward to seeing what else they start booking in the new space.
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Old April 2nd, 2009, 10:10 PM   #6
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According to the rendering, Capitol avenue will look very different in terms of street level, although it appears as if it has lost some of its overpowering canyonlike appearance, and has been replaced by the feeling of lowrise structures. It still looks nice though. I didn't realize how vast the convention center area was going to be until seeing the plans.
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Old April 3rd, 2009, 12:55 AM   #7
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I feel that the length of this thing will compensate for the canyon loss. It does seem like a high school, but I do kinda like the surfboard look more. Glad that it is new construction however. It will do. Not an overwhelming design, but nice.
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Old April 3rd, 2009, 02:51 AM   #8
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The design is adequate but I just wish they would nix that awning/platform at the top there. It looks so out of place.
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Old April 3rd, 2009, 04:39 AM   #9
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The design is adequate but I just wish they would nix that awning/platform at the top there. It looks so out of place.
I really have not liked it, but have grown to like it for my sake, because it is something different. No, I would not have it if I were to design it, however, if this is going to be the"eyecatch", then go ahead with it. The color does not appear as light green as before, so I like it somewhat more. Anyone that knows my thoughts knows I am not anywhere near a fan of this firm nor another that does downtown projects, so if this is what they are presenting, then ok... I still have beliefs in the future that the architecture in Indy will dramatically improve, so for the time being...
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Old April 3rd, 2009, 03:01 PM   #10
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That awning does look a bit awkward. Looks like the glass entry cube does not go all the way up to it; so is it cantilevered from the building behind? Geez, that's huge.

Seems they're going to have a nice, huge, flat canvas as a roof that would be perfect for future vertical expansions. Do we know if this building is designed with a structure that can be added to vertically if needed? For that matter, that huge, flat roof would be a great green roof...kinda like a small city park, albeit ~40' in the air.

Are there any LEED (or at least "green") opportunities on this one?
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Old April 6th, 2009, 07:18 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SkywlkrSnd View Post
That awning does look a bit awkward. Looks like the glass entry cube does not go all the way up to it; so is it cantilevered from the building behind? Geez, that's huge.

Seems they're going to have a nice, huge, flat canvas as a roof that would be perfect for future vertical expansions. Do we know if this building is designed with a structure that can be added to vertically if needed? For that matter, that huge, flat roof would be a great green roof...kinda like a small city park, albeit ~40' in the air.

Are there any LEED (or at least "green") opportunities on this one?
An elevated Green Roof Park with five or six towers sticking up out of it... for hotel purposes and residential would be nice. (Vertical convention space isn't practical for loading/unloading purposes.) They should have built a hotel tower directly attached to the convention center. They could have made a hotel open up onto a green roof with amentities such as a pool on the roofdeck. Does anyone know if the JW has a pool in the plans?
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Old April 7th, 2009, 09:26 PM   #12
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I don't care for the design.
However, I'm glad this is coming to our city, it will really help downtown.
I wish the design followed the LOS a little more.
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Old April 7th, 2009, 11:08 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by socrates#1fan View Post
I wish the design followed the LOS a little more.
I wish the complete opposite. :-)
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Old April 8th, 2009, 08:41 PM   #14
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I wish the complete opposite. :-)
To each his/her own.
Anyway, I find this design very bland.
There is nothing interesting about it.
At least it isn't LA's Music can.

Take away the awning things and this looks straight out of the 70's.
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Old April 8th, 2009, 11:05 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by socrates#1fan View Post
Anyway, I find this design very bland.
And Lucas Oil Stadium is inspired?

I agree that the design of the Convention Center isn't exactly cutting edge, but the last thing we'd want to do is take any cues from the cluster-f*ck of a design that is Lucas Oil Stadium. That would be a step down, not an improvement.

Lucas Oil Stadium looks like the bastard child of a giant strip mall, the steam plant downtown, Conseco Fieldhouse, The Colosseum, a barn, and an airplane hanger. It's positively schizophrenic, large, and oh-so ugly. Nothing in this city should ever take any design cues from Lucas Oil Stadium. Nothing.

Just sayin'. :-)
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Old April 8th, 2009, 11:40 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by ablerock View Post
And Lucas Oil Stadium is inspired?

I agree that the design of the Convention Center isn't exactly cutting edge, but the last thing we'd want to do is take any cues from the cluster-f*ck of a design that is Lucas Oil Stadium. That would be a step down, not an improvement.

Lucas Oil Stadium looks like the bastard child of a giant strip mall, the steam plant downtown, Conseco Fieldhouse, The Colosseum, a barn, and an airplane hanger. It's positively schizophrenic, large, and oh-so ugly. Nothing in this city should ever take any design cues from Lucas Oil Stadium. Nothing.

Just sayin'. :-)
Oopsy doodles! :-o
I forgot classic design was evil and bad! God forbid we build anything that has any ornamentation or classical shape.
Classic= Hitler.
Let me guess? You would rather have something like the Beijing bird's nest? Right? That stadium that looks like a child got carried away with Daddy's paper clips and glue.
It could be anywhere, nothing screams Beijing about it.
The LOS isn't a perfect design, but at the very least it will be a respectable structure in the future.
It uses brick and stone tastefully (though I think they could have used more stone) and is designed to mimic historic Indiana Basketball stadiums.
The LOS is a decent structure that will still be attractive fifty years from now (unlike the RCA dome).
I'd take this cluster f*ck over most new stadiums any day.
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Old April 9th, 2009, 01:39 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by socrates#1fan View Post
Oopsy doodles! :-o
I forgot classic design was evil and bad! God forbid we build anything that has any ornamentation or classical shape.
Classic= Hitler.
Let me guess? You would rather have something like the Beijing bird's nest? Right? That stadium that looks like a child got carried away with Daddy's paper clips and glue.
It could be anywhere, nothing screams Beijing about it.
The LOS isn't a perfect design, but at the very least it will be a respectable structure in the future.
It uses brick and stone tastefully (though I think they could have used more stone) and is designed to mimic historic Indiana Basketball stadiums.
The LOS is a decent structure that will still be attractive fifty years from now (unlike the RCA dome).
I'd take this cluster f*ck over most new stadiums any day.
I didn't say classic was bad. I love old buildings and art. I am particulary inspired by Art Nouveau. I love ornament. I would give anything to have every building from Indy, circa 1920, restored downtown via time machine.

LOS is just a shite design. It's the super-sized equivalent of the Subway they've proposed on Meridian:



LOS's "classical" elements are cookie-cutter and unrefined. Just slapping some arches on the bottom of a building doesn't make it good. Slathering little bricks all over a monstrous building doesn't make it timeless. If you want to see a classical stadium done well, look at the original Soldier Field, or the Colosseum for that matter. If you want to see a good homage to Indiana fieldhouses, look at Conseco Fieldhouse.

LOS is the bastard child of too many architectural precedents. It doesn't know what it wants to be and it doesn't do anything well, except loom.

Classical design is all about time-honed proportions and grace. The Colosseum, while massive, is still elegant and balanced. LOS is hulking, awkward, and crude.

You're also right about the Bird's nest. That building wouldn't be appropriate for Indy either. I really would've been fine with a classic, conservative, retro stadium, if it was done well. LOS is not an excellent building, no matter what era of architecture it was inspired by. There's good classical design and then there's just bad design, period.
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Old April 9th, 2009, 03:38 AM   #18
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The JW is at least going to be a model for going forward. Even if a design is old, like from the 20's, or modern but back a few years like the JW, it is still eye catching. Maybe the bitching that happened with the JW will carry on in the future, whatever is proposed. The convention center looks like a smalltown high school, I am not happy with it, but is new. Now-In the future the public needs to complain about designs to the people that might listen. It seemed to work for the JW, maybe it would have worked with this thing.
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Old April 9th, 2009, 06:19 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ablerock View Post
I didn't say classic was bad. I love old buildings and art. I am particulary inspired by Art Nouveau. I love ornament. I would give anything to have every building from Indy, circa 1920, restored downtown via time machine.
Oh, I see.
I thought you were attacking new structures in traditional styles.
I also like Art Nouveau, however, I'm sort of stuck on Greek Revival.
Personally, I would love to see a lot of our historic architecture restored but I wouldn't want the city to never change either.
I think the reason many residents have this feeling towards pre-WWII Indianapolis is because of the architecture.
Do you think the victorians really felt upset over the loss of Greek revival and federal houses?
I think that is why there is such power in historic preservation. Maybe people are not preserving this buildings because they are historic (not everything that is old, is historic) but are preserving them because they like ornate structures and most modern buildings cannot stand up in that department to historic styles.


Quote:

LOS is just a shite design. It's the super-sized equivalent of the Subway they've proposed on Meridian:


LOS's "classical" elements are cookie-cutter and unrefined. Just slapping some arches on the bottom of a building doesn't make it good. Slathering little bricks all over a monstrous building doesn't make it timeless. If you want to see a classical stadium done well, look at the original Soldier Field, or the Colosseum for that matter. If you want to see a good homage to Indiana fieldhouses, look at Conseco Fieldhouse.

LOS is the bastard child of too many architectural precedents. It doesn't know what it wants to be and it doesn't do anything well, except loom.
Of course it is. I wish it was more like Soldier Field (without the space ship in the middle) but I still don't think it is that bad. Its design isn't that amazing and yes, in many ways it does look cheap and suburban however there are some lovely elements about the structure.
Still, this city could have done WAY better with a traditional style.
Oh come on, you don't love that cheap Subway?
You know, if you take a brick off you will find wooden boards. It is like they took it off a set or something.
Quote:

Classical design is all about time-honed proportions and grace. The Colosseum, while massive, is still elegant and balanced. LOS is hulking, awkward, and crude.

You're also right about the Bird's nest. That building wouldn't be appropriate for Indy either. I really would've been fine with a classic, conservative, retro stadium, if it was done well. LOS is not an excellent building, no matter what era of architecture it was inspired by. There's good classical design and then there's just bad design, period.
I totally agree about classic architecture, that is why I love it and why I hope people will lose their fear of it.
I suppose the LOS could have been designed better, but I still think it is elegant in its own way. It really isn't that bad, it could have been worse.
However, I hope in the future, if this city decides to build in traditional styles (which, I hope they do) they actually go classic and take a few hints from Nashville.
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Last edited by socrates#1fan; April 9th, 2009 at 06:24 AM.
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Old April 9th, 2009, 08:18 AM   #20
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That Subway is pretty bad, Ablerock.

As for Lucas Oil Stadium--it's not an abomination, but from a design standpoint it more or less is a failure. It tries too hard to define something that never really was there in the first place. Instead, it comes across as awkward, aggressive, tacky, and imposing. The thing is damn near 300' tall. The brick veneer panels don't match. Don't even get me started on the skew.

The convention center expansion is definitely a step forward and a welcome addition to our fair city, and even though its design isn't particularly awe inspiring it doesn't attempt to come across as something it's not, unlike LOS.
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