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Indy Needs an Open, Public City Hall

Indy Needs an Open, Public City Hall
Recent History For most of the past 2 decades, Old City Hall was a jack-of-all trades. It was the site of the Indiana State Museum when I arrived here in 1999. Later, it became the temporary home of the Central Library, while the original one undertook an extensive renovation. After the library moved back to its original location, the City Hall saw several other temporary uses. During the 2012 Super Bowl, it housed a large public art exhibit called “Turf“. It was even home to Yelp’s Christmas Bazaar. Its most recent incarnation was as “The Hall”. The Department of...
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The Indianapolis’ Sidewalk Donut

The Indianapolis’ Sidewalk Donut
I work on map layers for Indianapolis, and recently I’ve been updating the sidewalk layer. Something that really jumps out is a donut that’s about 6-8 miles out from the center of the city which has very few sidewalks. Aaron Renn of the Urbanophile might call this the new donut. There are some noted exceptions here, especially within the excluded cities of Beech Grove and Lawrence. But, the city went through a ~2 decade period of purposely not building new sidewalks. Much of that development lies within this donut: This area of the city was largely developed between the 1950’s and the...
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Indiana: The State That Works. Twice!

Indiana: The State That Works. Twice!
Recently, I was traveling with the family on I-70 just south of downtown. We hit a bad traffic snarl just to the west of the south split. The traffic jam allowed my wife to notice something amusing in the large “attractions” sign: I didn’t notice this quirk at all. But, sure enough, Indiana Govt Cntr is listed on the same sign twice. Soon after that, we went down the list of many of the other attractions downtown that were left off due to this redundancy. I’m not sure if this says anything about anything, other than the sign makers really want people to know that this is the...
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One Up, One Down…

One Up, One Down…
There was a recent petition to demolish the old gymnasium building at 625 S Meridian to be replaced with…a surface parking lot, which was modified to be a “plaza”. This building is within the Regional Center, but not within an IHPC district, so it will likely be approved.     Somewhat ironically, a new petition as submitted for Regional Center Approval for a new building immediately adjacent to the above. These are separate lots and, I believe, separate owners, but it is sad to think that, in essentially the exact same location, it doesn’t make sense to re-purpose an...
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Land Use Plans Are Not Sacred Texts

Land Use Plans Are Not Sacred Texts
Recently, a spate of reasonable proposals have been shot down by the Metropolitan Development Commission due to fears of over-densification. The MDC has been using previous neighborhood land use plans to defend their repeated denials. While it may be true that the most recent land use plan called for a different type of development, that does not mean that there can not be some wiggle room left for development of multi-family residences. The best recent example of this is in Fountain Square, starting on page 41. A run-down old tire shop could be redeveloped as a small duplex. Some renderings are shown...
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