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Cory
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There is an article this month in the Indianapolis Monthly for weekend get-away trips to the near-by cities. Chicago, Cincinnati, Milwaukee, St. Louis and Louisville were all featured and painted good pictures of all places (not that they needed any help). I thought that someo of you may want to see what was said about your 'burg.


http://www.indianapolismonthly.com/monthly/home.asp
 

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Cory, I can't help but wonder how many people in Indy have never spent a weekend in places like Louisville or Columbus. Anyone who wants to have a point of view on Indy's place in the world and how it stacks up to the competition absolutely must spend time in the regional cities that are an easy drive with which Indy competes.

I'm happy to supply one day itineraries to some of these places if you are looking for an expedited tour.
 

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JUNCTA JUVANT
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Indianapolis' travel firms are hitting Cincinnati's media hard (thought you guys would be interested in that). Just curious if you are seeing any Cincy ads?
 

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I mean absolutely no disrespect towards Cincy when I say this, but I took my girl there for Valentine's weekend this year (admittedly, just to get away for cheap), and I have to say how much I realized that Indy has quite a bit on Cincy. Their downtown was tiny, disconnected, and contained a TON of surface parking, and closed up at about 10 pm.
I will say, however, that they seem to have some really high quality infill housing around the downtown core, though, which almost seems like an inverse relationship to Indy. They have such an abundance of high quality infill without a very good downtown draw. Now, we have higher grade housing downtown, too, but it makes sense to me, as our downtown is (IMO) much more vibrant. I don't think, however, that our infill is as good or plentiful as theirs. Maybe the difference is cultural, or maybe there are less barriers to development down there. I don't know. Taxation based on land value, not improvements, perhaps?
 

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The Jive is Alive.
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^When speaking of downtowns only, you may have a point. Indianapolis has done a fine job making downtown its center of activity. However, if you're looking at urban fabric and infrastructure of cities as a whole, Indianapolis is sorely lacking, especially when compared to a place like Cincinnati, which has an abundance of solid, urban and historic neighborhoods. Personally, I think those neighborhoods are the true lifeblood of any city, whereas downtowns are secondary. Both cities have pluses and minuses, I just think Cincinnati is a much more "complete" urban city.

btw, is that article online because I can't find it on from the link posted.
 

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I think Cincinnati has much to offer in its downtown area, being a much older city than Indy there are more distinct districts, and established downtown neighborhoods. These neighborhoods were also created do to the hilly topography which is absent in most Midwest cities.
The new Fountain Square district (renovation of the old square) new restaurants and retail. I agree for a downtown Midwest shopping mall Circle Center is one of the most vibrant, and esthetically dynamic in our region.

The Cincinnati Art Museum designed by World famous Deconstructivist,
Zaha Hadid is right downtown and connected to the skywalk system. The new riverfront with recently opened National Underground Railroad Museum connects with the old Riverfront stadium area. There are the nearby downtown neighborhoods of "Over The Rhine" and Findley Market, and Covington, KY across the river.

There is no downtown neighborhood in the Midwest that can compare to the physical beauty, and setting of Mt. Adams like Mt. Royal in Montreal overlooking the city's skyline. The only city close to the region that may offer a comparison is Pittsburgh.
 

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JUNCTA JUVANT
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Wow, Historybuffer, you sound like you got along quite well while you were here ... where are you from?

DMD_Landscape (& Cwilson, because I know he'll probably chime in ;) ), I see what you are saying when comparing the shopping vibrancy of Indy's with DT Cincy's ... no argument there!

We have a mall just a few minutes drive from downtown, called Kenwood Towne Centre. The follow stores are located in KTC and this might help you understand why a mall would struggle in DT Cincy:

(roll over "select directory display" and choose by category)

http://www.kenwoodtownecentre.com/html/storedirectory.asp

As with the vibrancy, nightlife, and eateries ... things are definitely different than they were in the winter. Of course most of these bars and restaurants were already planned, but no construction was in progress or even some of these places are already completed. We now have 2 streets that are fighting for entertainment district rights within in the core of the CBD. We have about 10 new bars/restaurants that have just opened or have leases signed.

Will all of these bars/restaurants spur vibrancy? Most definitely!

This does not include the new lounges opening up in OTR, or the new Sushi Bars, etc ...

Will this fight with traffic from places next door, such as Mt. Adams, or Newport? Yes, but that's ok. I would rather the central core steal that crowd. Mt. Adams will always be ok.

And to echo how Jive probably feels with STL ...

You can always improve a cities' entertainment options and improve it's vibrancy (like Cincy & Stl), but you can never replicate the 19th Century fabric that fill our cities.
 

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Cincinnatis neighborhoods are amazing, and beautiful, especially over the rhine. But dont get me wrong when I want to know what you mean by urban fabric? Indianapolis has its own urban fabric. Indianapolis doesent have any neighborhoods like the ones in Cincinnati, mainly becuase they are too different. Because of geography, many people in Indianapolis chose to build woodframe houses, rather than brick townhouses, now if Indianapolis was built in the same kind of topography, along a major river, it probably would resemble cincinatti greatly, but it isnt a hilly river boomer, its a flatter railroad boomer. I think our problem is our lack of exposing them. If you go on those birds eye view things, and float over Indianapolis, you will see many hidden beautiful neighborhoods.
Nothing like over the rhine, but there are many victorian era neighborhoods still intact. We do need to work on our parking lot problem, but I think that we do have a complete urban fabric, but its nothing like Cincys.
oranges and apples.

example
1)normal Indianapolis urbanism


2) Cincinnati



big difference, central cincy is made dominatly up of old townhousing, and central Indianapolis is made up of mostly victorian and American foursquare houses.
 

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Wow, Historybuffer, you sound like you got along quite well while you were here ... where are you from?

DMD_Landscape (& Cwilson, because I know he'll probably chime in ;) ), I see what you are saying when comparing the shopping vibrancy of Indy's with DT Cincy's ... no argument there!

We have a mall just a few minutes drive from downtown, called Kenwood Towne Centre. The follow stores are located in KTC and this might help you understand why a mall would struggle in DT Cincy:

(roll over "select directory display" and choose by category)

http://www.kenwoodtownecentre.com/html/storedirectory.asp

As with the vibrancy, nightlife, and eateries ... things are definitely different than they were in the winter. Of course most of these bars and restaurants were already planned, but no construction was in progress or even some of these places are already completed. We now have 2 streets that are fighting for entertainment district rights within in the core of the CBD. We have about 10 new bars/restaurants that have just opened or have leases signed.

Will all of these bars/restaurants spur vibrancy? Most definitely!

This does not include the new lounges opening up in OTR, or the new Sushi Bars, etc ...

Will this fight with traffic from places next door, such as Mt. Adams, or Newport? Yes, but that's ok. I would rather the central core steal that crowd. Mt. Adams will always be ok.

And to echo how Jive probably feels with STL ...

You can always improve a cities' entertainment options and improve it's vibrancy (like Cincy & Stl), but you can never replicate the 19th Century fabric that fill our cities.
I understand what you mean. I in no way intended to start a pissing contest between cities. It just really surprised me to see so many amazing urban neighborhoods when the downtown is lacking the way I perceived it was. As far as entertainment, I did visit the new performance hall for a ballet, although I can't remember its name. It was beautiful, and that street was a great urban street.

I like Cincy's narrower streets, as I always feel our wide, one-way streets would need to be flanked by 55 stories or more to make the space feel truly urban. Cincy has plenty going for it (including a fantastic Middle Eastern buffet downtown :banana: ), but the downtown just seemed to lack the cohesiveness that Indy has.

Furthermore, I absolutely destest skywalk cities - meaning those that connect a series of indoor uses in existing buildings via a skywalk system. They take all the people off of the streets and put them indoors almost in fear (it seems) of the streets over which they pass. Some places in Indy are very much like this, but for the most part (National City Center aside), I think we still have good ground floor uses. Cincy would do well to encourage more ground floor uses to put people and eyes on the street. When I was out at midnight, it was pretty scary because of how devoid of people it was.
 

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The Jive is Alive.
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Cincinnatis neighborhoods are amazing, and beautiful, especially over the rhine. But dont get me wrong when I want to know what you mean by urban fabric? Indianapolis has its own urban fabric. Indianapolis doesent have any neighborhoods like the ones in Cincinnati, mainly becuase they are too different. Because of geography, many people in Indianapolis chose to build woodframe houses, rather than brick townhouses, now if Indianapolis was built in the same kind of topography, along a major river, it probably would resemble cincinatti greatly, but it isnt a hilly river boomer, its a flatter railroad boomer. I think our problem is our lack of exposing them. If you go on those birds eye view things, and float over Indianapolis, you will see many hidden beautiful neighborhoods.
Nothing like over the rhine, but there are many victorian era neighborhoods still intact. We do need to work on our parking lot problem, but I think that we do have a complete urban fabric, but its nothing like Cincys.
oranges and apples.

example
1)normal Indianapolis urbanism


2) Cincinnati



big difference, central cincy is made dominatly up of old townhousing, and central Indianapolis is made up of mostly victorian and American foursquare houses.
The biggest difference between Cincinnati and Indianapolis fabric is not topography or geography or proximity to a river. It is age, plain and simple. Cincy is a 19th Century city. Indianapolis is a 20th Century city.
 

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The biggest difference between Cincinnati and Indianapolis fabric is not topography or geography or proximity to a river. It is age, plain and simple. Cincy is a 19th Century city. Indianapolis is a 20th Century city.
curiousity a second here,
Cincinnati was found in the very early stage of the 19th century, but Indianapolis was founded in 1821, Indianapolis had a major boom in the 19th century railroad era, now it dident boom nearly as much as Cincinnati did off the river, but becuase of the railroad boom, I think its safer to say that Indianapolis is a later 19th century city and an early 20th century city.
Cincinnati boomed much more, and you can tell by the endless 19th century architecture, but Indianapolis had a large boom off the 19th century railroad, as it was a major railroad hub in the late 19th century. And yes, it does have something to do with geography, if Cincinnati was developed on flat land, there would probably be single family homes, instead of townhouses, and if Indianapolis was built amongst large hills, it probably would have townhouses aswell.
 

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The Jive is Alive.
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Points well taken. I do, however, take issue with this statement:

And yes, it does have something to do with geography, if Cincinnati was developed on flat land, there would probably be single family homes, instead of townhouses, and if Indianapolis was built amongst large hills, it probably would have townhouses aswell.
St. Louis is a city of similar vintage as Cincinnati. The topography here is predominantly flat, yet single family homes comprise a very small minority of the city's housing stock. Multi-family flats predominate. I don't think topography alone is what dictated Cincinnati's stock of townhomes. That was just the primary housing style of the era in which the city grew.
 

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JUNCTA JUVANT
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Did someone say VICTORIAN!!!

http://www.pbase.com/cincyimages/tusculum
http://www.pbase.com/cincyimages/east_walnut_hills
http://www.pbase.com/cincyimages/walnut_hills

Cincinnati was found in the very early stage of the 19th century, but Indianapolis was founded in 1821, Indianapolis had a major boom in the 19th century railroad era, now it dident boom nearly as much as Cincinnati did off the river, but becuase of the railroad boom, I think its safer to say that Indianapolis is a later 19th century city and an early 20th century city.
Cincinnati boomed much more, and you can tell by the endless 19th century architecture, but Indianapolis had a large boom off the 19th century railroad, as it was a major railroad hub in the late 19th century.
Cincinnati (Losantiville) was purchased by John Cleves Symmes and founded in 1788 and Indianapolis was founded in 1821. In 1850, when Indy had 8,100 people, Cincinnati had 117,000.

Just to give you an idea of what Jive and I are trying to say is, Cincinnati doesn't lack the Victorian (wood) architecture at all ... it's just that it is mainly in the suburbs, because this is the time that it took for our population to migrate outwards. The central city is made up of mostly brick and that's because of age. We're talking a time when foreign languages were still spoken. In fact there was a German paper ("Hochwaechter") in circulation up until the 1900's.

DMD_Landscape, I honestly don't think you are trying to start anything. People here know that there is a lot going on construction-wise and it just keeps people from enjoying their evening when there is concrete dust flying in their eye.
 

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King of Flyover Country
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^I was just going to say "that type of architecture is in the suburbs."

For example, this photo:



...could be found in a number of mid-ring suburbs such as Lockland, Reading, or Lincoln Heights. I just think it has to do with age, plain and simple. Lockland, Reading, Indianapolis, whoever all grew up around the same time, thus the same architectural style.

As far as downtown Cincinnati vs. downtown Indianapolis, they are functionally different. Downtown Cincinnati mostly acts as a business hub (thus, it isn't "as big" as it should be) while the neighborhoods take care of the "play." Indianapolis' downtown acts as the hub of basically the state of Indiana (successful mall, canal walk, the little arts district, manicured sidewalks and faux-brick streets, etc). Essentially, Easton with skyscrapers. There is nothing wrong with that as downtown is supposed to be the hub anyway but in cities such as Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, St. Louis, and even on a larger scale, DC and Boston, cities' "hearts" are truly in their neighborhoods. That isn't to say downtown Cincinnati doesn't need help (it does, and as you can see, they are fixing it) but it does show that there was a reason why it needed help to begin with.
 

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thanks for all the information, it gives me a clearer view on your points.
Indianapolis had a german newspaper aswell, and german was spoken in Indianapolis throughout the 19th century, but, it dident have as much german influence as Cincinnati, but we have it, just take a stroll through lockerbie, past the german haus. Anyways, true, Indianapolis was small up untill the railroad came through, now if the whiteriver was functional for river trade, there probably would be more brick townhousing then there is now. Now this isnt what the oldest neighborhoods look like, just a majority of the central city.
Does anyone know where I can find maps of Indianapolis per say in 1880?
Cincinnati was found in the latw 18th century? I did not know that, I will have to remember that. The only time it really bugs me is when people assume that Indianapolis had no major growth in the 19th century.
 

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King of Flyover Country
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Trust me, there are many cities in this country that wishes it had Indianapolis' historic architecture (*hint hint*, south of that river that borders your state).
 

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1981 Civic
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thanks for all the information, it gives me a clearer view on your points.
Indianapolis had a german newspaper aswell, and german was spoken in Indianapolis throughout the 19th century, but, it dident have as much german influence as Cincinnati, but we have it, just take a stroll through lockerbie, past the german haus. Anyways, true, Indianapolis was small up untill the railroad came through, now if the whiteriver was functional for river trade, there probably would be more brick townhousing then there is now. Now this isnt what the oldest neighborhoods look like, just a majority of the central city.
Does anyone know where I can find maps of Indianapolis per say in 1880?
Cincinnati was found in the latw 18th century? I did not know that, I will have to remember that. The only time it really bugs me is when people assume that Indianapolis had no major growth in the 19th century.
It bugs me that people assume Indy just up and sprang out of nowhere and it couldn't be farther from the truth. Indianapolis always hovered around 25 in terms of ranking sizes of cities from 1890 on, and people on this site especially tend to measure a city's urbanness by how super old, blighted, decay, etc a city is and it doesn't tell the whole story.

I have a map of Indianapolis from 1870. I'll post when I get off work.
 

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It bugs me that people assume Indy just up and sprang out of nowhere and it couldn't be farther from the truth. Indianapolis always hovered around 25 in terms of ranking sizes of cities from 1890 on, and people on this site especially tend to measure a city's urbanness by how super old, blighted, decay, etc a city is and it doesn't tell the whole story.

I have a map of Indianapolis from 1870. I'll post when I get off work.
or that it just happened.
Indianapolis developed naturally around the circle, and still does.
Due to revitilization, many unsalvagable 19th century structures were demolished, rather than boarded up.
 

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Trust me, there are many cities in this country that wishes it had Indianapolis' historic architecture (*hint hint*, south of that river that borders your state).
You are talking about Louisville? I beg to differ - Louisville has fantastic Victorian era architecture.
 
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