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Branding the border crossing: when one side of the boundary builds a landmark…and absorbs all the monumentality.

Branding the border crossing: when one side of the boundary builds a landmark…and absorbs all the monumentality.
The City of Indianapolis deploys the word “monument” far more than most American cities, and not without good reason.  Most metrics indicate that it has the second highest concentration of memorials, landmarks, and civic plazas (behind only our nation’s capitol), and the landmark that gives the city its well-defined absolute center—the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Monument—comprises a geometrically precise plaza called “Monument Circle”–hence the nickname “Circle City”.  Indy’s popular marathon takes the name “Monumental”, not only as a hat-tip to the city’s numerous...
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Pandemic Parking: Reclaiming the Streets for Embattled Restaurants, Through the Parklets of Al Fresco Dining

Pandemic Parking: Reclaiming the Streets for Embattled Restaurants, Through the Parklets of Al Fresco Dining
I’m revisiting this site after a long, long hiatus, not because I’m back in Indy or because I have an update on development and planning.  These days, I barely make it back more than a few days each year.  And this article will not feature Indy-based photos.  But, after all those disclaimers, let me make my case: I still diligently follow the goings-on in the Circle City, and I think a subtle discoveries like the one featured here can show precisely how cities like Indianapolis can further leverage the novel approaches that they’re currently pioneering.  Specifically, let’s explore the...
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Washington DC begins to swarm its darkest streets with civic art. Sound familiar?

Washington DC begins to swarm its darkest streets with civic art. Sound familiar?
On the back end of Washington DC’s Union Station, numerous passenger railways stretch to the northeast across several city blocks, by means of a lengthy, viaduct-like structure. By and large, this viaduct separates the gentrifying Near Northeast neighborhood, consisting primarily of two- and three-story rowhomes set back from the street, and the gentrifying NoMa neighborhood (“North of Massachusetts”) which is redeveloping into an array of fashionable office and apartment high-rises (probably mid-rises by most other cities’ standards), along with retail on the lower level.   Perpendicular...
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City Market (Again): Maximizing the Tenant Potential.

City Market (Again): Maximizing the Tenant Potential.
I first featured the plight of the City Market on my personal blog, American Dirt, back in 2009, when it was in dire straits, just as it had been for many years. Decades, even. It was a pretty grim place: most of the perimeter simply offered unnecessary seating, the central vendor stalls were only-half full, and the ambiance of the market was cavernous and sterile, even during the peak lunch hour. I specifically interviewed local businesses for their opinions on City Market—successful operations like Moody’s Meats and Goose the Market—but neither one had much positive to say: the former business...
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Cultural Trail parking in front of the Conrad

Cultural Trail parking in front of the Conrad
The past few weeks have been exciting regarding the completion of a short portion of the Cultural Trail along Washington Street in downtown Indianapolis. The reason for the excitement, was the expedited method with which construction was completed at the apparent request of the Conrad hotel. Many local talking heads have discussed the issue here as well as the Skyscraper City Indianapolis Development forum. Some local property managers and owners whom have been affected have even weighed in on the issue which highlights just how touchy people have become about this portion of trail. Not only that, the...
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