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Public Art on the grounds of “Lawrence Village at the Fort”

 

Sculpture by Jared Cru Smith (image credit: Curt Ailes)

Sculpture by Jared Cru Smith (image credit: Curt Ailes)

I was contacted earlier this summer by a friend of mine and approached about crafting some coverage for Lawrence Village at the Fort. For those of you who are not in the know, the old Fort Benjamin Harrison has been undergoing a reuse of sorts guided by the Ft. Benjamin Harrison Reuse Authority. What has resulted, is a nice street grid of platted open land as well as reuse of existing building stock.

"Threshold" by Cydney Cambell (image credit: Curt Ailes)

"Threshold" by Cydney Cambell (image credit: Curt Ailes)

A master plan was put together as a framework for putting this vast tract of land back together in a useful, productive and attractive neighborhood. Creating land uses that promote efficient development, complete streets and plenty of open space for parks and artwork were all given due consideration. As you can see from the map below, all the parcels have been designated for a specific type of usage.

Lawrence Village Site Plan (image source: Reuse Authority Master Plan)

Lawrence Village Site Plan (image source: Reuse Authority Master Plan)

Some crafty business owners have already begun moving in. Triton Brewing has taken an old livestock barn and has converted it into a local brewery with large plans for it’s product. I have tasted some of their beers and they are very good!

Bike Lane at Lawrence Village (image credit: Curt Ailes)

Bike Lane at Lawrence Village (image credit: Curt Ailes)

Additionally, a robust art program has sprung up guided by one Judy Byron. Judy went out of her way to make sure I knew the score in regards to the arts program going on at Lawrence Village. She had this to say regarding the state of public artwork on the grounds,

“In 2010/2011 three pieces of public art were designed, created and installed in Lawrence through a partnership with Herron School of Art and Design’s Basille Center for Art, Design and Public Life….we now have the selected sculpture by Jared Cru Smith at the originally specified location of the west entrance to the Village on Post Road.  AND, Cydney Cambell’s sculpture ” Threshold” by the walking path around the pond at the Village.  The 3rd piece of sculpture was commissioned by the city of Lawrence Redevelopment Commission which I was appointed to by Mayor Cantwell and again by Mayor Ricketts.  This sculpture went through a jury process similar to those of the FHRA for a location in our TIF district of the Pendleton Pike corridor at the intersection of 56th St.  The selected design, “Together We Can” by Ava Larkin, consists of four 4-letter words that were selected by polling the community (from a narrowed list). Our contract includes 2 more sculptures.  One a year for the next two years.  I feel confident that the next one will be designed this fall for the location of the NE corner of Pendleton Pike and Franklin Rd.”

As you can see, there is a robust effort to enrich the area with sculptures and create a unique sense of place with this new land use opportunity. Even examining the basic infrastructure, you get the sense that these elements were at the core of the master plan. Bioswale rainwater collecters are implemented around the site and over a lot of the curb cuts, are embellished grates shown below.

Rainwater Collector at Lawrence Village (image credit: Curt Ailes)

Rainwater Collector at Lawrence Village (image credit: Curt Ailes)

I noticed new apartments going up when I snapped these pictures so development is alive and well on the grounds. Additionally, the Lawrence Art Center is open for business and worth a visit. It’s nice to see a complete approach to property redevelopment in the Indianapolis area that addresses a lot of the core principals that we advocate here at Urban Indy. Items such as narrow streets, urban street grids, robust sense of place, sustainable infrastructure elements, bike lanes and not a collection of cul de sacs.

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4 Responses to “ “Public Art on the grounds of “Lawrence Village at the Fort””

  1. Wonderful. It is reassuring to know the the efforts at at Fort Harrison still have momentum and they are not resting on their laurels.

    I attended a meeting on the grounds over this past summer and was pleased with what I saw.

  2. Drew says:

    I Think that this project has the potential to outshine Carmel’s city center for sure. I Have a class i take at that IvyTech over there, and drive through the area a lot, and to Go visit that new Triton Brewery !!! It’s some Dank Beer ! They have this space-tech level, reverse osmosis system so the water they use in their beer is top quality. You can get the Rail Splitter on tap at FatDan’s on the strip if you don’t wanna hike out to Lawrence.

    The whole place is well located, next to a 2,000 + acre state park, which is more than part of the reason i think we see well executed, efficient use of the space here. I think, if the city took it upon themselves to create larger, more extensive parks in the middle of the city, you’d see a more effective use of space in the neighboring area.

    This place should be looking great by next summer, Glad they didn’t rush into something this big, and glad you guys are covering its progress !

  3. Joe Smoker says:

    This is a great project and it was designed and is run by good people, but the main part of the success story is that this area was a government camp, the land was free and the re-use authority was easily established with state and federal backing. This isn’t a problem, but makes projects like this scarce, at least for now.

  4. marjorie white says:

    I was asking about the art sculptures at the intersection of 56th St. and Pendleton Pike (that was removed)I miss seeing them for the past couple years and keep hoping they will be returned to that location.They were very uplifting and always brightened my day seeing them.I know several others I have talked to also misses them and wonders why they are no longer displayed.

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