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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I recently made trips to Indianapolis, Charlotte and Louisville. No offense to Louisville residents, but I did not like that city.

I was impressed with Indy though, and, I was surprised to learn that I preferred it over Charlotte. I've always seen photos of Charlotte's gleaming, new skyline, whereas Indy's skyline is nothing special. However, at street level, Indy is quite nice. It has great old buildings and very impressive monuments and fountains. It feels like a mini-DC.

By contrast, Charlotte's street level struck me as lame. There are no stores (only restaurants -- the bulk of which are closed on the weekends), and there are septic plazas.

Outside of the city, Charlotte was much better, as its suburbs and landscape, to me, are far more beautiful. As far as the cities themselves go, however, Indy is very nice and is preferable to Charlotte. I was surprised, and therefore, I wanted to share my thoughts.
 

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Gee what a surprise a gleeming new skyline (Charlotte, Dallas, Houston, and so on)
and no where to go. The American city model for success. NOT.

Yeah Indy is a nice place quite startling-ingly nice, since Chicagoans tend to dismiss it
I overlooked before too.
 

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Louisville is a nice city, but it can seem mundane to some people because it doesnt jump out to a visitor. Indianapolis (downtown) is very active and visitor friendly, I too thought that I would enjoy Charlotte better when considering the two cities for a move, however I shared your opinion.
 

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historybuffer said:
Gee what a surprise a gleeming new skyline (Charlotte, Dallas, Houston, and so on) and no where to go. The American city model for success. NOT.
While I agree that Indy has generally done a good job enlivening the downtown street-level (save some of the blank walls on the Circle Centre), Im kind of disappointed with the number of franchises downtown. MassAve has a strong and growing collection of local shops, but I think that is one of the weaknesses of downtown Indy. Not a bad problem to have, mind you...but...
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
LouisvilleGuy05 said:
I'm guessing you weren't in Louisville for very long.

I was there long enough. There are many, many empty parking lots in the downtown. There are no beautiful, sculpted fountains like Indy has (thhough I recall one outside of the downtown). There are hardly any good stores. There's no movie theatre, and the Fourth Street Live is a joke. Louisville has potential because it has some beautiful, old buildings. Right now, however, I found it to be lame.
 

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oh wow...Lloyd, prepare for a wrath! You have dissed the beloved "Fourth Street Live."
 

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LLoydGeorge said:
I was there long enough. There are many, many empty parking lots in the downtown. There are no beautiful, sculpted fountains like Indy has (thhough I recall one outside of the downtown). There are hardly any good stores. There's no movie theatre, and the Fourth Street Live is a joke. Louisville has potential because it has some beautiful, old buildings. Right now, however, I found it to be lame.
Good thing LouisvillePlaya and Gych don't post here anymore.

I, for one, am glad that you were impressed with Indianapolis. We certainly have a visitor friendly downtown, and some of our inner neighborhoods (such as the Meridian Street corridor from the Circle to 38th) are tremendously impressive.

In fact, I believe that the overall quality and aesthetics of our downtown are top notch. Too bad more people don't realize what we have, though.
 

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cwilson758 said:
oh wow...Lloyd, prepare for a wrath! You have dissed the beloved "Fourth Street Live."
Hardeeharhar.

LLoydGeorge said:
I was there long enough. There are many, many empty parking lots in the downtown. There are no beautiful, sculpted fountains like Indy has (thhough I recall one outside of the downtown). There are hardly any good stores. There's no movie theatre, and the Fourth Street Live is a joke. Louisville has potential because it has some beautiful, old buildings. Right now, however, I found it to be lame.
Actually, yes. Compared to Indy, Louisville's day time activity menu is BLAH. 4th Street Live is only good if you like drinking until 4 am at night clubs. Which I think is stupid. It does however have bowling, which I like. Its my favorite bowling alley in town. :D
Basically though, daytime DT is museums or Waterfront Park, and not much else.
And of course, who wouldn't hate the parking lots? But you're only speaking on behalf of downtown, and nowhere else. Someone should have taken you to the Highlands.
I actually really agree, out of the three, Indy would be an obvious choice for me as far as downtowns go. Very fun place to spend the day. :eek:kay:
 

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I was in Louisville last week during the daytime and found the historic aspects of the city to be very interesting. Not enough interesting activity in Louisville during the day to put it on par with Indianapolis or even Charlotte.

Being a former Charlottean, I would have to say the best thing about that city is the people. Its a very friendly upwardly mobil city. The quality of life or the offerings of that city didn't do anything for me.

IMO, Indianapolis has the most going for it. Yes the Downtown area rivals that of larger much larger cities. The estetics outside of downtown was kinda pitiful.

All three of the cities mentioned has potential. Louisville has the charm and soul. Charlotte has the intellect, Indy has the urban glamour like Nordstroms.
 

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I'm actually really impressed that this thread hasn't turned into an enormous disaster. Kudos to everyone on this board!

I definitely agree that Indy has by far the most lively downtown of the three cities mentioned. I think Charlotte and Louisville are far more aesthetically pleasing, both in terms of the natural surroundings and the architecture. If we could combine the vitality and energy of Indy's downtown with Charlotte's skyline heighth and Louisville's old, urban architecture and neighborhoods, we'd really have something!
 

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jacerw99 said:
I'm actually really impressed that this thread hasn't turned into an enormous disaster. Kudos to everyone on this board!

I definitely agree that Indy has by far the most lively downtown of the three cities mentioned. I think Charlotte and Louisville are far more aesthetically pleasing, both in terms of the natural surroundings and the architecture. If we could combine the vitality and energy of Indy's downtown with Charlotte's skyline heighth and Louisville's old, urban architecture and neighborhoods, we'd really have something!
I move there in a heart beat. :cheers:
 

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LLoydGeorge said:
I was there long enough. There are many, many empty parking lots in the downtown. There are no beautiful, sculpted fountains like Indy has (thhough I recall one outside of the downtown). There are hardly any good stores. There's no movie theatre, and the Fourth Street Live is a joke. Louisville has potential because it has some beautiful, old buildings. Right now, however, I found it to be lame.
Wait a second, you're judging the potential of Louisville based on the number of "beautiful old buildings"!? I'm sorry, but that really doesn't make any sense at all. I'm not doubting that Louisville has potential, but why is having some "beautiful old buildings" the deciding factor of Louisville's potential? :?
 

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^^
Because apparently beautiful buildings make a better city.
HEY! Maybe thats why everyone hates Museum Plaza! :lol:
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
RP1 said:
Wait a second, you're judging the potential of Louisville based on the number of "beautiful old buildings"!? I'm sorry, but that really doesn't make any sense at all. I'm not doubting that Louisville has potential, but why is having some "beautiful old buildings" the deciding factor of Louisville's potential? :?
Everyone has a different perspective, but I love old buildings and think that they're essential to a great city. In this regard, Chicago's relative dearth of old buildings compared to NY, Boston, DC and Philly makes it far less appealing to me than those cities. Similarly, while Charlotte's skyline utterly blows Indy's away, I still prefer Indy because it has relatively many great old buildings whereas Charlotte has hardly any.
 

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Good thing LouisvillePlaya and Gych don't post here anymore
At times like this I wish Gych was around, as he was a tenacious defender/booster of Louisville.

Indianapolis has missed some opportunities with its downtown. Mainly with its main feature: the Circle and the Monument.

The axial arrangement between the Monument and Capitol, down the two blocks of Market Street (?) west of the Circle, is potentially one of the more powerfull urban ensembles in the US, akin to a European baroque or neoclassical city, but with a North American twist as this street isn't lined with uniform townhouses or palaces but with midrise commercial buildings. This stretch of street needs to be developed into a sort of short boulevard, with formal tree plantings and lighting, perhaps sidewalk cafes and kiosks..it could be one of the best urban spaces in the Midwest.

The other missed opportunity was the shopping mall and the Circle. The orginal Jerde Parternship plan from the 1980s was to develope the shopping mall as a connection between the Circle and Union Station, with a dramatic entrance on the Circle..either via an anchor store or galleria space, that would then connect to the mall arcade to Union Station.

As built, the mall connects with that winter garden space suspended over a street intersection, but never makes the connection with the Circle.
 

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LLoydGeorge said:
I was there long enough. There are many, many empty parking lots in the downtown. There are no beautiful, sculpted fountains like Indy has (thhough I recall one outside of the downtown). There are hardly any good stores. There's no movie theatre, and the Fourth Street Live is a joke. Louisville has potential because it has some beautiful, old buildings. Right now, however, I found it to be lame.

Louisville is not a city that will jump out at you. I am guesisng you saw none of the waterfront, Waterfront Park, the skate park, the new condos and art gallery district on east/main market. Main and Market street especially are littered with upscale restuarants, a couple urban grocers, and art galleries.

You may have went to 4th street Live and thought it sucked (FYI it is very similar to South Meridian St in Indy). But did you walk around further and see the Palace Theatre or the Brown and Seelbach Hotels? Perhaps you walked down 2nd street and saw too many surface lots...but it sounds like you didnt give the city a chance.

More than any mid sized city, you really need a tour guide in Louisville. The coolest stuff is not where you would expect it. Many of the large statues and monuments are in some of the finest urban neighborhoods like Cherokee Triangle or Belgravia Court. Louisville has a wonderful urban movie theatre just over a mile east of downtown in the Orginal Highlands neighborhood (Baxter Thateres). Indy nor Charlotte does not have neighborhoods that can any way compete with these.
 

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Jeff_in_Dayton said:
At times like this I wish Gych was around, as he was a tenacious defender/booster of Louisville.

Indianapolis has missed some opportunities with its downtown. Mainly with its main feature: the Circle and the Monument.

The axial arrangement between the Monument and Capitol, down the two blocks of Market Street (?) west of the Circle, is potentially one of the more powerfull urban ensembles in the US, akin to a European baroque or neoclassical city, but with a North American twist as this street isn't lined with uniform townhouses or palaces but with midrise commercial buildings. This stretch of street needs to be developed into a sort of short boulevard, with formal tree plantings and lighting, perhaps sidewalk cafes and kiosks..it could be one of the best urban spaces in the Midwest.

The other missed opportunity was the shopping mall and the Circle. The orginal Jerde Parternship plan from the 1980s was to develope the shopping mall as a connection between the Circle and Union Station, with a dramatic entrance on the Circle..either via an anchor store or galleria space, that would then connect to the mall arcade to Union Station.

As built, the mall connects with that winter garden space suspended over a street intersection, but never makes the connection with the Circle.
Both of those "missed opportunities" will be at least partially addressed when the Cultural Trail is finished in the next couple years.

http://www.indyculturaltrail.info/

 

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LLoydGeorge said:
Similarly, while Charlotte's skyline utterly blows Indy's away, I still prefer Indy because it has relatively many great old buildings whereas Charlotte has hardly any.
While I will agree that the design of the buildings in Charlotte certainly blows Indy's away, as far as height, mass and spacing, they are extremely even!

As for Indy's hoods, they get a bad rap because they are overshadowed by downtown. Meridian-Kessler/Butler-Tarkington, IMO, is as comparable to Louisville's Highlands area. No, Indy doesn't have the topography as Louisville, but the housing style, size of the combined areas, etc are extremely similar. Each has multiple neighborhood commercial nodes and a great sense of place. For those that disagree, I suggest going and ACTUALLY exploring both of these areas and you will see that they are very similar. To say that Indy can't compete in the neighborhood department makes me laugh.

Also, because of all of the growth in and around downtown, you are seeing neighborhoods really come into their own these days. There is such a HUGE push to improve all areas in and around Center Township. Its not that Indy doesn't have the historic neighborhoods, its just that in years past, they may have not been seen as an asset. It won't be long until all of Center Township claims to be "historic!"

As for Circle Centre...Saks was to have been the store that had access to the Circle. They backed-out (located at the Fashion Mall instead) and now the Conrad sits where they were to have been.
 
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