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Speaking of crowds at LOS and other places downtown --- we have been on quite a string of drawing crowds to local events here lately. Brickyard 400 a few weeks ago, Drum Corps Int'l World Championships at LOS this week; Some kind of Women's Christian gathering this weekend at Conseco; First Friday gallery shows tonight; Home series at Victory Field next week; Gen Con next week; Colts home pre-season opener in a week and a half. Fringe festival starting soon on Mass Ave. State Fair for the next two and a half weeks. Lots going on. Definitely should be keeping all of the hotels and restaurants pretty busy.
Not only that, but the bands are all over town. One is apparently staying or practicing at a church just a block or so from my house. To a former HS and college band person like me, the sound of a marching band in the neighborhood is quite distinctive and not mistakable for anything else!
 

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Hmm .... My boyfriend just signed a lease at an apartment across the street this afternoon, and supposedly the landlords in the area were told demolition of the current structures was to begin in the next several weeks .... I'd love to see this project take off. It definitely has the potential to change that entire node.
Demolition would get the property owner off the hook for property taxes on the structures. He'd only owe taxes on the raw land next year.
 

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Good point about the alleys and streets. Our downtown city blocks are pretty large, which is not good for walkability. One of the things that makes Portland unique is that their city blocks are about half the area of most other American downtowns.
Ours used to be. If you look closely at today's downtown aerials/maps, you can still see the remnants of the "back streets" platted by Ralston in the Mile Square: Court St., Wabash St., Tippecanoe St., Scioto St., Pierson St. are a few, in addition to the diagonals.

The "superblock campus" design west of Capitol makes for one-mile "four block walks": One time I decided to walk from the Artsgarden to WRSP after a meeting, thinking it was "just" four blocks. Whew! That fourth block from West St. to Schumacher Drive is a long one. :)
 

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Hmmm... I walked around there recently, and call me crazy, but... I like the Walgreen's better. It wastes less land (has about a dozen less parking spaces) and doesn't appear to be something it's not (they're both one-story, single-use convenience store/pharmacies). The brick on the Walgreen's building looks more attractive to me. Also, the entrance is closer to the sidewalk. Plopping the building on the corner, with service areas backing up to the corner, does nothing for me if you have to walk around the building to get inside. It's actually less convenient for someone walking from 16th Street or farther north.
Walgreens and CVS have exactly the same number of parking spaces: 78 each. (Check an aerial.) Walgreens' lot is divided, with a little more than half their spaces right on the corner of 16th & Meridian and the rest just west of the building behind the adjacent apartments. The CVS lot looks bigger because (1) it's continuous, and (2) connected to an alley which was repaved as a commitment in their zoning case. Parking lot screening exists at CVS. There is none at Walgreen's. CVS handicapped parking is better-located in relation to the front door than Walgreens. CVS makes good use of the alley for access and circulation. Walgreens has more paved surface on its site dedicated to circulation than CVS.

The CVS front door is about 50-60 feet from the Meridian ROW with a direct sidewalk connection; Walgreens' is about 15 feet with access via funky stepping-stone arrangement or handicapped ramp. From north of CVS, a pedestrian does not have to cross a busy driveway apron to get to and from the front door as at Walgreen's. Having walked to each from the north, it's pretty much a wash.

From the east to CVS, there is a "back way" around the building for Herron-Morton and Old Northside pedestrians: a sidewalk along the alley with a crosswalk over the drive-through lane, which is far less busy than the driveway aprons. In the mirror image, access to Walgreens from the west is across a driveway apron and over the parking lot.

Overall pedestrian access to CVS is better and safer.

The Walgreens brick is "jumbo" brick. Some would say that is more suburban than urban in nature, and I'd agree. However, that's a style issue.

There is a real second story over about one-quarter to one-third of the CVS (starts at the 16th Street side), so it's not a "fake" two-story.

CVS created a tree lawn between sidewalk and curb on the 16th Street side. At Walgreens the 16th St. sidewalk is right next to the curb.

Walgreens has the big "W" box sign right up at 16th & Meridian. The CVS monument sign is much smaller and integrated with the wall-planter that screens the parking lot.

I'll grant you personal preference for Walgreens; that's not arguable. But in substantive, measurable site features defined by the Regional Center Design Guidelines, CVS is better than Walgreens (and not just by a little).

We can continue the debate on Saturday's walkabout, as we dodge utility poles in the sidewalk. :)
 

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Regional Center Design Guidelines? I'm pretty sure any objective reading of the said guidelines would not allow for approval of building without a front door, i.e., one that faces a street. Any street.
The intention of the guidelines (as I have understood their evolution) is not to be prescriptive, as in "said guidelines would not allow..."

What I've been saying boils down to this: CVS does a whole lot better with the spirit and intention of the guidelines than Walgreens.

I concede your front door argument, but ask you this: is your front door right on the sidewalk/ROW line? My office is in the RC area, but the door itself does not face the street. It has a direct walkway, but handicapped access from the public way is very roundabout.
 

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Here's a google map of routes and locations for Saturday's tour:

http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?hl=e...516,-86.162553&spn=0.024606,0.038581&t=h&z=15

We don't have to stick to this exactly, but it'll be a good jumping off point. The route as mapped is 3.1 miles of walking, plus Red Line (remember to bring $1.75 for the bus) and People Mover trips.

Skyscraper City Indy Meetup and Tour
Saturday, August 22nd at 9am
Meet at the outdoor tables at the downtown Dunkin' Donuts (NW Corner of Washington and Pennsylvania)​

Cool. Thanks for doing the planning. I'm looking forward to it.
 

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Apparatus to buy old WFYI building

Indianapolis IT firm Apparatus has agreed to buy the former WFYI office and studios at 1401 N. Meridian St.

The IT consulting and hosting company plans to remodel the 1950s-era building for its new headquarters, confirms Chuck Cagann, president of Mansur Real Estate Services, which is handling the sale.

WFYI, the public radio and TV station, moved out last year when it took over the former Indiana Gas headquarters at 16th and Meridian streets.

Apparatus will move from 912 N. Delaware St.

http://www.indystar.com/article/200...pagecities/Apparatus+to+buy+old+WFYI+building
Gee, that reporter has good sources. :lol:

The block is filling in. Plus, a solid MCM building gets new life. With apologies to WFYI and Mr. Rogers, "it's a beautiful day in the neighborhood..."
 

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http://www.indystar.com/article/20090824/LOCAL18/90824040/1001/news

Article on the Central Towpath Canal bank stabilization. I missed the meeting last night, but it sounds like the canal banks are going to be reinforced gravel, we're going to lose a lot of vegetation, and habitat for muskrats and turtles will be abolished.

Now, I'm not unrealistic about saving every little tree and beetle along a functioning corridor - when IBJ posted the hoopla in Nora over the loss of trees along the Monon Trail I was squarely in the camp of "What's all the fuss? It's not like they're knocking down an old growth forest!" - but I do wonder if environmental impact statements are necessary in situations like this? Also, I'm curious that it's Veolia doing the work, not the City, and what kinds of environmental/regulatory differences come into play when it's a private entity vs. the City? Are there requirements for tree replacement?

Can anyone who knows more about this whole process help me understand if, should my Warfleigh Neighborhood Association get up in arms. we have any say in what happens along the Canal?
Donna, the City Department of Waterworks owns the upper canal (BR to 16th St.). Veolia, as system operator, is responsible for maintenance. It would seem they perceive that they can cut maintenance costs and system risk by having no vegetation along the canal.

The Canal itself is a constructed, man-made environment. It's now kept alive for the sole purpose of conveying water from White River to the near-Downtown treatment plant. The grass, weeds, trash trees and muskrats on its banks are perceived by its owner like weeds in a sidewalk: invasive and destructive. As an area resident, I'm sure you've noticed crews whose entire job is to mow and weed-whack the banks from one end to the other. Perhaps you remember a time in the early 90's when a tree on the canal bank toppled, causing a breach, draining the canal, and interrupting the city's water supply?

Function would seem to be ruling form here.
 

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my wife and I were actually out and about Saturday morning and stopped at Dunkin Donuts. I remember seeing a group of people sitting out there and wondering if it was the meetup group. It was closer to 10:30-11 though and besides, we were going to visit Robert's anyway.... ;-)

Glad to hear you guys had fun. Would liked to have made it. Maybe next time
By 10:30-11, I think we were trying to find our way to the Monorail at IUPUI through the Med School library building. You really have to know exactly how to get to the Monorail stations 'cause there's no signs. Fortunately, we had Monorail commuter CorrND to guide us...and fortunately that was BEFORE the Hoosier Beer Geek function. :cheers:

We were such GOOD urbanites: walking, riding the bus, and riding the train all over downtown for a day. Tourists in our own town. Everyone should spend one Saturday morning a year that way. :)
 

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I hate skywalks. People should WALK outside no matter what the weather is like.
Since the beginning of recorded time humans have sought and built shelter from the elements. I don't really see a problem with it in an integrated hotel/convention center/mall complex.
 

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Arenn: My point is that the beneficial place to add landscaping along this portion of Meridian would have been between the curb and the sidewalk to protect pedestrians from traffic since there isn't, and likely won't ever be on-street parking adjacent to the building. Instead, by planting the shrubbery between the sidewalk and the building it reinforces the building's separation from the pedestrian.
Pedestrians don't like to walk with their shoulders rubbing buildings any more than they like to walk with their elbows out in traffic. Ideally, the right of way would be wide enough to provide a tree lawn, a sidewalk, and a small buffer yard between the curb and building to absorb some rainwater. But it's not.

The several-foot setback of the CVS building along Meridian preserves the clear-sight triangle, provides space for a bus shelter, creates space for relief in the facade, and allows people to walk on the "inside edge" of the sidewalk without bumping into the building.
 

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Ideally for who? I like my sidewalks wide and touching the building, thank you very much. :)
Ideally for the environment.

Too much water that falls on this (and every other) city ends up "flashing" streams through CSOs instead of percolating down to recharge the drinking-water aquifers. Even Indianapolis could face water shortages if we don't wise up in the way we treat all our resources. Call it "Urbanism 2.0", "Green Urbanism", or "Smart Growth".

That said, I was definitely NOT advocating for 6-foot-wide sidewalks anywhere on Meridian south of 38th St. But I was advocating for a more European/boulevard look and feel to our "midtown" district, such as exists along the Mall: parking lane, tree lawn, wide sidewalk, space to buildings.

Downtown, I get your point and agree: big, wide sidewalks with enough room to get past the sidewalk cafes.
 

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Gotta go with Ablerock on this one.

I'd much rather rub elbows or shoulders with a building, because I've never heard of any getting run over by a building. This one's probably happened at some point, but I've also never heard of anyone tripping, falling into a building, and dying.
I know of an incident where a car leaving the street in an accident ran up on the sidewalk and crushed a person against a stoop. The stoop extended to the sidewalk; the person killed was waiting for a bus. (It happened just a few blocks east of the CVS in question, north of 16th & College.)

^^One reason why I advocate for bus shelters, wide sidewalks with tree lawns, and building setbacks in the midtown area.
 

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there's so much underutilized land at the Ivy Tech campus that there's no justification for their "THIS IS THE SPOT" argument for tearing down a building.
The "underutilized land" is starting to disappear with the advent of structured parking on the campus (at 28th & Illinois). Ivy Tech is about where IUPUI was 20-25 years ago: lots of land slowly accumulated and "banked" as surface parking. Now they are starting to build things to fill in the blanks and meet vastly-increased demand.

As the state's official "low cost provider" of post-secondary education, it's doubtful that they want to start down the "fee for this and that" path...fees for parking, student services, technology, etc. Thus they are totally dependent on the State Legislature (and Federal earmarks, such as the transportation grant for their "multimodal" center) for capital dollars.

The facadectomy seems to be a reasonable compromise: it preserves the "City Beautiful" proportions, scale, and vista of the 100-year-old St. Vincent as a complement to the neoclassical (former AUL) building to its east, while recognizing the fact that the building's design and construction makes adaptive reuse for classrooms next to impossible.

The hospital building is significant historically for both its physical position on one of Kessler's parkways (overlooking the grand bridges across Fall Creek and George Kessler Park) and its sad history as the place of his death. Keeping the facade pays some tribute to that dual history.

Finally, Midtown districts are different than downtowns, especially in a critical watershed overlooking one of the area's few natural assets. "Green" redevelopment is very important in such areas, and thoughtful advocates should be pushing Ivy Tech (and everyone else building in that area) for mitigation of stormwater through means such as permeable pavements, rain gardens, and urban forestry. In short, this is a place where hard-surfacing up to the street edge is not necessary and not good for the city.
 

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Preface: I see your points, and concede their logic.

As they seem to find "land banking" with surface parking perfectly suitable, let's "building bank" this structure and wait for a time when the economy can support a proper reuse.
Unfortunately, most in the neighborhood see a vacant, unused, deteriorating building as "blight", but don't view cleared land or parking lots the same way.

Do you realize that you're talking about "green development" practices in the same breath as an argument for tearing down a building? No factor you mention there would overcome the wastefulness of tearing down and building anew.
I'm not arguing for "absolute greenest". More like greenest possible under the circumstances.

Redevelopment of some kind is a foregone conclusion. Ivy Tech needs classrooms and parking YESTERDAY.

Is it really wasteful to tear down a very old and functionally obsolete building which can't be retrofitted and re-purposed economically by its owner? There are lots of pros and cons in this one.

Often decisions of this nature rely in part on intangible factors, such as the conditional support of a key legislator, funder, or local elected official. As such, they don't necessarily pass the "fully rational" test.

If you want permeable pavements, rain gardens and urban forestry, that's fine. Reduce the footprint and build taller (great views). It would probably still cost less than $39.5M. For comparison, the 14 story, ~350k sq.ft. Simon Building cost about $57M. Ivy Tech wants 150k sq.ft.
The Ivy Tech cost is probably "furnished". Simon didn't build fully-partitioned and furnished classroom spaces or labs, so it would be fair to add in their cubicle-farm costs (including wiring) for a reasonable cost comparison.

Simon employees don't move en masse from room to room and floor to floor every hour, so the public area, elevator, hallway, restroom, and stairway demands of their building are much lower than Ivy Tech's, arguing for a mid-rise instead of high-rise configuration with a bigger floor plate for the college space.

Other than dorms, hospital facilities and football palaces, I'm only familiar with a handful of high-rise college structures. The vast majority of academic buildings, even in big cities, are midrise.
 

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The JW Marriott in Downtown Indianapolis will include an art-filled central plaza with a 60-foot waterwall and a stylized cardinal.

The design of the Marriott Place plaza, at West and Washington streets, was unveiled today by developers White Lodging Services and REI Investments.
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Opening in March, the plaza was designed by Claire Bennett Associates of Indianapolis, with the artwork designed by Jeff Laramore of 2nd Globe Studies of Indianapolis.

The cardinal -- which is Indiana's state bird -- will be 36 feet in height. The sculpted bird will appear to be sitting in a tulip tree branch formed in stonework.

The picture they provided doesn't really depict the area very well. I'd like to see more pictures of the art!
This is like a lot of urban design projects: they look really cool in aerial/plan views, but average or busy or incomprehensible at ground level "inside" the design.

In this case, though, one must credit the designers somewhat: people on the east side of the hotel tower will have a skyline to look at from their windows. People on the west side of the tower (and in the "hotels-in-a-box" too) will be able to look down on this and "get" the design.
 

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Ditto... I've never heard anyone object to walking next to buildings. Having both a tree lawn and a lawn in front of an urban commercial building is a little too suburban for my taste.
I didn't say "lawn in front" but did mention space for rain gardens. The CVS has no lawn in front, it has bushes, daylillies, and mulch, and it's about the same width as a typical tree lawn (3-8 feet). Call me an occasionally-romantic apologist, but I like the occasional small garden in the midst of the city hardscape. To me, a planted bed creates a different kind of interest than a window, but it is interesting to a pedestrian nonetheless. A raised planter adjacent to the building is even better, as it provides a seat for the weary pedestrian.

If you look at places where there are really wide sidewalks right up to the building, and snow isn't removed promptly (one such place is visible from my office window), people do walk closer to the building than the street, but generally 3-5 feet off the building front. This choice may be subconsciously informed by experience with doors swinging 3 feet outward and people rushing out without looking up and down the sidewalk.

So in a roundabout way, I'm saying the first 3-5 feet out from a building is often dead space...at least outside of the 10-20 block core of downtown, and certainly in a midtown district like 16th & Meridian.

^^ I suspect this post may descend to the level of "beating a dead horse". I apologize to those who get it, and those who are tired of it. :)
 

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Looks like the majority of the block will be left for......more surface parking?

Looks like campus greenspace to the east and west in the rendering; undoubtedly parking and main entrance behind (north). Probably the only people who would ever use the "grand entrance" (south) will be science students going to and from classes in the outdoor lab at Barton Park across Fall Creek.
 
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