It’s been 16 months since it was first reported that the Indianapolis Museum of Contemporary Art (iMOCA) was considering a move from their original home at Senate Ave. and Vermont St. to Fletcher Place. The potential location was an intriguing mixed-use development called Fletcher Place Arts, to be located on a piece of land along Virginia Ave. between Norwood St. and McCarty St. The developer, Craig Von Deylen of Perkins VonDeylen Architects, proposed 56 1BR apartments with garage parking and 8,700 sq.ft. of commercial space along the Virginia Ave. frontage. This would place the project directly adjacent to the forthcoming Cultural Trail Southeast Corridor. A second floor office suite would have been designed specifically for iMOCA to relocate.
For whatever reason, these plans never panned out and the development stalled. Craig Von Deylen purchased the Murphy Building in Fountain Square in November 2009, and iMOCA instead reopened there in December 2009. That move was dubbed “Temporary Contemporary” at the time, a nod to the move being a stepping stone to permanent space at Fletcher Place Arts. Regarding the Murphy Building space, a piece from December 2009 on the Discover Fountain Square website notes:
The new space is in the Fountain Square neighborhood, just down the street from iMOCA’s future permanent home, a 6,500-square-foot exhibition space on the second floor of a new building at the corner of Virginia Ave. and McCarty Street. The new building is planned to open in Spring 2011 and is a project of local architect and developer Craig Von Deylen.
The Fletcher Place Arts plans have just resurfaced — now dubbed the iMOCA Arts Building — as the developers are seeking rezoning before the MDC Hearing Examiner tomorrow (10/28/10, 1pm, 2nd Floor Public Assembly Room). The staff report includes new renderings for the proposed development, and the project has apparently been revamped a bit. Originally reported by IBJ to be a five story project, it appears to have been trimmed down to four stories, and the design has been given a complete overhaul:
The design has clearly changed for the worse. Whatever dash of design edginess there was in the ’09 rendering has been washed away. The siteplan may show it to be urban in form, but we now see an architectural design that’s one step away from a suburban hospital. Where’s the pizazz? In a letter included with the rezoning report, the developers call this, “A Gateway Project for the Virginia Avenue Corridor.” If they think so, they missed the boat — this ain’t making much of a statement.
What do you think?