IRT plans $3M renovation

April 7, 2008
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IRT RenderingThe Indiana Repertory Theatre has won a $3-million grant from the Lilly Endowment to fund renovations of the Indiana Theatre building at 140 W. Washington St. IRT plans to transform vacant restaurant space at street level into a new public lobby (click for larger rendering and baloon bouquet) and add offices in the basement. A second phase calls for updates to office and rehearsal space. Locally based Rowland Design is designing the project.
  • The IRT is a wonderful venue and an asset to patrons of the arts of theCity of Indianapolis. A renovation will serve both the neighborhood and the venue well.
  • That's great news. I'd also love for them get a replica of the giant vertical INDIANA sign that used to hang above the awning.

    The Cultural Trail is going to pass right in front of the IRT, so any improvements they make are definitely going to be seen.
  • When is David Letterman going to do a week of his show from IRT?
  • Don't forget fiscal ordinance/MDC Resolution 07-R-065, approved on 2/25, which awarded $460,000 to Dawson Incorporated for the complete roof replacement, addition of roof drains, repair of masonry and renovation of two suites.

    The City has spent an additional $200,000 or so over the last couple of years to keep the building intact while searching for a 'sugardaddy' like Lilly to put up the big bucks for a comprehensive renovation.

    Well done, DMD. Now let's hope you are not further downsized in the coming months...
  • I like the Letterman idea. I wonder if the IBJ can get that suggestion to some movers and shakers.
  • If L'explorateur is looking for high-end restaurant space within walking distance of the Convention Center complex, why make this vacant restaurant space into a new public lobby?

    Just wondering.
  • There have been several restaurants in that space - the Beanery, Calloways, and something else - and they have all failed. I'm not sure why, exactly, but it may have to do with the space having a strange layout, with most of the space being underground and connected to the tunnel between the statehouse and circle centre. Maybe they're kind of hemmed in by the IRT...or maybe there is just a curse on the space...
  • I agree completely with Peter, I just don't think it would work for Neal/Lex. Besides, who wants the City for a Landlord? What's happening to the Liquor License?

    Best Wishes to IRT!
  • I like the Letterman idea, but I am not sure the Indiana theater would be big enough, but the circle theater would
  • When is David Letterman going to do a week of his show from IRT?

    The best time would be during Final Four week in 2010. It would allow co-promotion of the events. Someone tell CBS.
  • I think the problem with that space is's across from the gian set back acress the street at National City and it is a the west end of Dodge if you wiil. So there isn't a lot of foot traffice unless you are a stong enough pull to be a destination.

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  1. How much you wanna bet, that 70% of the jobs created there (after construction) are minimum wage? And Harvey is correct, the vast majority of residents in this project will drive to their jobs, and to think otherwise, is like Harvey says, a pipe dream. Someone working at a restaurant or retail store will not be able to afford living there. What ever happened to people who wanted to build buildings, paying for it themselves? Not a fan of these tax deals.

  2. Uh, no GeorgeP. The project is supposed to bring on 1,000 jobs and those people along with the people that will be living in the new residential will be driving to their jobs. The walkable stuff is a pipe dream. Besides, walkable is defined as having all daily necessities within 1/2 mile. That's not the case here. Never will be.

  3. Brad is on to something there. The merger of the Formula E and IndyCar Series would give IndyCar access to International markets and Formula E access the Indianapolis 500, not to mention some other events in the USA. Maybe after 2016 but before the new Dallara is rolled out for 2018. This give IndyCar two more seasons to run the DW12 and Formula E to get charged up, pun intended. Then shock the racing world, pun intended, but making the 101st Indianapolis 500 a stellar, groundbreaking event: The first all-electric Indy 500, and use that platform to promote the future of the sport.

  4. No, HarveyF, the exact opposite. Greater density and closeness to retail and everyday necessities reduces traffic. When one has to drive miles for necessities, all those cars are on the roads for many miles. When reasonable density is built, low rise in this case, in the middle of a thriving retail area, one has to drive far less, actually reducing the number of cars on the road.

  5. The Indy Star announced today the appointment of a new Beverage Reporter! So instead of insightful reports on Indy pro sports and Indiana college teams, you now get to read stories about the 432nd new brewery open or some obscure Hoosier winery winning a county fair blue ribbon. Yep, that's the coverage we Star readers crave. Not.