May 15, 2007
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Newest rendering:
New JW

Older renderings:
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  • BORING! How about some color. Its a taller box with different glass. and just about as exciting as the Simon HQ (not saying much). If this city wants to promote culture, architectural design is a great way. Unfortunately, it looks like the city missed on another opportunity.
    They should buy the architectural rights to the proposed Intercontinental Hotel- now that one has style.
  • Looks like Soviet housing. Thanks for having no vision. Is it too late to buy the Intercontinental design?
  • Looks like yet another boring glass/concrete monstrosity to blight the downtown skyline. There is more to architecture than grey buildings with steel and glass. Unfortunately downtown Indianapolis has become stuck in this mindset of structural mediocrity.
  • Apparently $48.5 million in taxpayer incentives is not enough. Why is Barbara Lawrence wanting another $20 million in taxpayer incentives? For that matter, why did she cave in on $48.5 million????? Apparently she is a worse negotiator than my 3 year old daughter.

    Indianapolis Public Improvement Bond Bank Executive Director Barbara Lawrence says the city has already committed $48.5 million in tax increment financing (TIF) for the project but will tomorrow ask the Metropolitan Development Commission to consider up to $66 MILLION in TIF funds to help pay for costs related to the transaction. She says the City Council's Economic Development Committee will consider the measure at its meeting tomorrow night.
  • Can someone on one of these prominent committees please show some vision and foresight for the city? This is unacceptable. The Intercontinental was in a better location, better for convention goers, better design, and better for the people and future of Indianapolis. This monstronsity would not fly in any city with an understanding of civic design. Please tell me something can be done to reverse this nightmare!? How do we get these people fired???
  • Nice....they made bland and unoriginal taller and more visible. What a lost opportunity for Indianapolis.
  • I have to agree, it could have been much more striking. While tall is nice, nothing else stands out about this building
  • How about adding a green roof with grass and bushes on top of the meeting space?
  • I can't agree more with everyone. Frankly, why can Columbus, IN manage to host significant architectural achievements while Indy can't? How can we be so close to Chicago geographically, yet so far from them architecturally? How can we be the hometown of Michael Graves yet lack so much in civic imagination? We can build all the sporting venues you want, you can add every kind of racing to the Speedway, you can have a canal and a culture trail and all that - but until we really commit to artistic and cultural innovation, Indy will never live up to its potential as a city.
  • The Soviets built this same building all over eastern Europe in the 70s and 80s.
  • What concerns me most is what is at the grade level. The renderings don't focus on that, but it appears to be a 2-4 story blank wall at least along Maryland. Wonderful to walk along on your way to White River State Park or Victory Field. And a great welcome as you come around the Maryland curve into Downtown. And why not make that giant roof in the middle, which is presumably the convention space, into a green roof with gardens? Ironic this is released on the day Mayor Peterson announces his Greenprint to make the city greener.
  • I was really looking forward to something a little bit nicer than this. It really is disappointing to see what this project could have been (the Intercontinental) and what it is really going to be (JW).
  • Friction Pickle,

    The Cummins Foundation used to cover the architect's fees for companies that wanted to hire big-name architects. That's how Columbus got the way it is.
  • Gee, I'd guess you all (Will, Bandersnatch, Fozz, Kennedy) work for Intercontinental...if not, then perhaps you are intelligent and creative enough to design and engineer something more spectacular? Please do and submit the plans to the city. Um...something with the pizazz of say, the Sydney Opera House!
  • Even though the design isn't the greatest, the worse part will be all of the guests on the south end of the hotel as well as in the banquet/ballroom...I'm sure it will positioned as great views overlooking Victory Field although it will be the hideous smoke stacks that stand out as the backdrop. Ugghh!
  • Actually, I disagree with Will up top. I think this is worse than the Simon HQ,
    just taller. The Simon HQ at least has color. The view as you drive into
    downtown is so nice right now, this will just cover it with a blanket of white
    and gray stripes. I think I liked the original boxy design better, at least it
    would have blended in.

    And be fair guys, it doesn't look like Soviet housing! They added four little
    offset squares on top to assure it! Not convinced? See it also looks a bit like
    an American flag! Looks like we might have to wait another 16 years for
    a building of any significance to be added to the Indy skyline.
  • A major disappointment.
  • They do need to add color to it. Maybe they can put some sort of colorful artwork on the blank wall facing Maryland. Sort of like the artwork under the bridges south of downtown.
  • View the World’s Largest Green Roof which was built by Ford in Michigan
  • Why not a green roof for the convention center expansion?

    It would establish of habitat at roof level, assist with storm water management, reduce ambient temperatures, absorb urban noises, improve air quality, and double the life of the roof by protecting the roof membrane.

    No doubt it would also improve the views from the upper decks of Lucas Oil Stadium and downtown office/hotel towers.
  • Honestly, I don't think it is that bad at all. The size of the building alone makes it quite grand. I am not necessarily opposed to the lack of color, either. At least its not the overused retro brick finish used on almost every other building constructed downtown in the last 5 years. I happen to think a stark white building would be an iteresting focal point, especially in relation to the green spaces of White River State Park and the lawn of Victory Field. Even more so if they decide to go with the green roof proposal. As for the long wall along Maryland Street, it appears to be filled with windows, as opposed to being a solid, blank wall as someone had suggested earlier. I also like the way the taller tower is positioned, north to south. This will help to provide a sort of visual backdrop to our downtown, when viewed from the east. This backdrop will create an optical illusion, if you will, that the downtown area is larger by filling in gaps in the skyline.
  • Didn't I see somewhere that Jonathon Hess of Browning Day was recruited to do this re-worked design? If so, that could be part of the problem. He seems to be becoming the local in house architect. I think his designs, except for the Eiteljorg, are uninspired. Just look at the new IMA, especially the Entry Pavilion. It looks like the entrance to a ride at Disney World or a shopping mall. Why can't we look at what Louisville is doing - a smaller and less significant city than Indy but way ahead in architectural vision.
  • Architecturally, Louisville is and will be leaps and bounds ahead of where Indy will ever be unfortunately. We need to keep our eye on Des Moines and Omaha, because they are passing us by....Sad, just sad.
  • You know, the Museum Plaza tower in Louisville that has been mentioned, although designed by a world-renowned group, is the UGLIEST thing I have ever seen and pays no attention to the street or sidewalks in the area where proposed. I would be throwing a fit if that tower was proposed for Indianapolis. Everything about it is wrong. It's 60's design and plaza concept has been determined to have ruined many a downtown/urban core throughout this country. However, the Signature Tower in Nashville, TN, which will be the tallest building outside of Chicago and NYC, is gorgeous! That is how to design a hotel and condo project.
  • I couldn't agree more with the reply referencing the retro-brick look. I'm all for brick, but there are other building materials available. This is not as big a disaster as these responese imply. I think it looks rather stately. This project along with the refacing of the INB building will be great improvements to the skyline.
  • The last couple of nights I have ridden my bike all over downtown: to the canal, the zoo, east and west on Washington Street to White River and back. If the architects would do the same perhaps they could get a better feel of the downtown and different perspectives from different places. On the steps of the State Museum @ the canal, the downtown view is amazing. If you go to the Whtie River Gardens across the river and look towards the city, Lucas Oil Stadium stands so proudly as it is getting built and you can see the cool architecture that we have along with the more traditional buildings.

    I agree, we need more architecturally significant buildings, like you see in the bigger cities. There has got to be something that they can do to tweak this structure. I am not an architect nor do I play one on tv, but I do apperciate all types of buildings. The proposed building doesn’t move me, perhaps if that was our first and only large building then maybe I could see it. I like the direction they have headed with the State Museum and the NCAA buidling. If they could design something that is striking to look at, like these, then I think we would be starting to get ahead of the game. There will always be critics, but give us something better to talk about.

    I agree with some of the earlier posts in this blog, including the one from “friction pickle”

    I hope that the developers will hear our plea’s and give us something that we can all be proud of! :)
  • It's been my experience that the only people who really care about the architecture in a city are the people who are really interested in architecture. I don't think I've ever heard anyone say I had a really great time in Indy, but the architecture sucks and that really ruined my visit. Sure it's nice to make things visually appealing, but that's certainly not our #1 priority IMO.
  • Public design competitions would do wonders for Indianapolis.

    Having someone (or someone's trust) pick up the architect's fees would be a huge leap.

    Anyone wanting to be memorialized in Indianapolis should step up now and cash in her/his chips. We need better, idealistic architecture; not for Don and the tourists, but for ourselves.
  • once again the opinion is overwhelming, this is ugly. do the intercontinental design. i'm so bummed that we are paying people to build this. whiteco said that if the intercontinental had been chosen they would build thier hotel anyway. this means they were prepared to build it without tax breaks, yet we turn around and choose thier design and give them city money to help build it. they could have taken that money to buy the parking garage that was such a big issue with the intercontinental proposal. while people are getting fired up over thier taxes maybe they should be seeking a little more transparency and accoutability over decisions like this.
  • A city is defined by it's skyline. Indianapolis is a large city with a small town skyline and ugly buildings. The City County building is the ugliest building in the country for it's size. A striking marquee hotel (like the proposed Intercontinental Hotel) would have been dramatic. Also a tall building South of Washington St. where the Intercontinental would have been built would have made the skyline more expansive. Indianapolis is so conservative when it comes to having an opportunity to do something that would be considered dramatic. Look at Columbus Ohio (our sister city that's smaller in terms of population) and look a their skyline. It's expansive and buildings have character. Whiteco was bluffing when they said they would build their own hotel if they were not selected to build the Convention Conter Hotel. They might have built their own hotel but it would have been much smaller in terms of the number of rooms. Their selection to build the Convention Center Hotel was purely political.
    Whiteco's proposed hotel is drab and it's not even 30 stories which was a requirement. Pretty typical of the City of Indianapolis to go with the safe choice because Whiteco owns the land where the hotel is going to be built. Conservatism lives in our fair city. I'm surprised Lucas Oil Stadium will have chairs in the upper deck unlike the soon to be demolished RCA Dome.
  • Subliminal? Has anyone besides me noticed the building's 'reflection' of the United States flag? The darker shadowy portion in the upper corner being the stars, and the rest of the building being the stripes. With the right lightbulbs, at night this could be the biggest 'flag' in the country!
  • Cory, can you post the new JW renderings on the jw tab above and get rid of those old stinkers?
  • Will do. Thanks for reminding me, DJ.

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