Something's cooking on Capitol

February 25, 2009
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Zesco BuildingA local hospitality supply firm has refreshed its 106-year-old building at 640 N. Capitol Ave. with a new coat of paint, a power wash and a five-foot-tall steaming stock pot. The unique signage was designed to create a fun and eclectic downtown landmark, and of course to draw attention to the family-owned firm known as Zesco, an acronym for Zoll Equipment Supply Company. The business is owned by Mark, Clark and Scott Zoll and has occupied the building for 36 years. The new look is designed to mimic the look and feel of a commercial kitchen. The signage also features black knobs that make the awning look like a commercial cooktop. Neon lights under the pot mimic a cooking flame, and actual steam rises from inside the pot through a building hook-up. They say it's the state's largest steaming stock pot, although I'm not sure how one verifies such a fact. The time and temperature clock was incorporated into the pot so commuters can see if they are running late for work in the morning. The signage is about 90 percent complete and is most impressive at night, said Mark Zoll. What do you think?
  • More businesses need to take pride in their store fronts..
  • That is a really cool store front. I really like the signage. It truly stands out without being obnoxious/tacky. I am eager to drive by and see this in person. Great job Zesco!
  • I saw this the other night and wondered for the first time in 6 years...

    Is this place open to the public?
  • It is open to the public. It is my favorite place for home kitchen tools.

    That signage is awesome and other downtown retailers and offices should take notice.
  • I dirve by this every day and enjoy looking at it. It is fun and exciting and interactive! Thanks Zesco for improving my drive downtown each day.

  • The Zesco signage is impressive - glad to see some creativity being shown. I also love the time and temperature display, which is another great way to draw attention to a business. Kudos!
  • I like it a lot.
  • Their new signage is a wonderful upgrade from the old sign, which also looked like it was about 36 years old. I haven't noticed the steam coming out of the pot. Nice touch, I'll have to look for that.

    This building fronts the Cultural Trail route so a lot more people will notice it in the future!
  • I wonder how gallons of soup can be cooked in that steaming stock pot! Kudos Zesco for tasteful and creative signage installation.
  • Great job looks nice.
  • Very, very nicely done urban presence.
  • It was designed by Bradley and Montgomery ,
  • Great example of how a few simple improvements can turn a non-descript historic building into something fresh and contemporary. It energizes that whole block now! Well done.
  • We're starting to get a little corridor of icons on Capitol: the Methodist Lighthouse, the iron man at Shiel Sexton and now the steaming kitchen at Zesco. What's next...a Gibson Girl on the side of the Gibson Building? :)
  • Saw it during morning commute for first time other day and wondered how long it had been there. Good to know it is new and I am not completely unaware. The store front and signage offer great curb appeal and I will definitely stop in and look around. Well done!
  • Way to go Zesco!

    It engages at streetlevel, allows pedestrians/vehicles to see what's going on inside, and adds vibrancy to the intersection.

    What progressive concepts! ;-)

    There are dozens of businesses downtown that could learn from this simple success.

    cough B cough W cough 3 cough :-)
  • The signage was a collaborative effort on behalf of Zesco and Atlas Signs, a Sign Craft Corporation. Sign Craft/Atlas designed, manufactured, and installed the signage for Zesco.

    Sign Craft is currently working on the bank conversion of Charter One to Old National Bank, the Cultural Trail downtown Indianapolis, Dunkin Donuts, Lucas Oil Stadium, and many more.

    For more information please visit
  • Bradley and Montgomery design work was funded by grant from Indianapolis Downtown Inc. (IDI) as part of IDI's work to revitalize the North Meridian neighborhood area. IDI also retained Bradley and Montgomery to design the Elbow Room renovations and then provided the Elbow Room with a facade grant to do the work.
  • Well Done, Indeed.

    Unfortunately, the firm that designed the store front for ZESCO is not mentioned in the piece.
  • cool.
  • Great sign, saw it a couple of weeks ago when I was renting a costume up the street. It reminded me of the soup bowl billboard that the Beaver got stuck in when Whitey dared him to see what made the soup bowl steam.

    Parents used to talk about smoking cigarette billboards. Guess we won't see those anymore.
  • great job Signcraft!
  • Love it! A+

    Note to sign companies: THIS is how you do it.
  • Bradley and Mongomery did an awesome job on this, but that is to be expected, they are one of the best brand building companies in the U.S., and they are great people! Well
  • wow, i have never seen anything so widely praised on this blog!
  • Signage like this seems to be a lost art. Nice to see someone with some creativity. Reminds me of the Leave it to Beaver episode where he gets stuck in the steaming bowl of soup billboard. Hopefully we won't see any homeless people looking for a free steam bath:)
  • Boston has a similiar landmark. A tea pot that steams. Its over 100 years I think and most locals refrence it as a landmark.
    I would suggest though, that the states largest steaming pot is down the street in the 100 block.
  • Love it!!! Maybe this will be motivation for other building owners to join in on the fun!
  • there are other examples of this creative signage all around DT. The Ram, Alcatraz, Hard Rock, Emmis, Webber Grille. Each had to seek a variance of the sign standards I believe as the RC Sign Codes are pretty strict.
  • The storefront shown makes me think of an old 24 hour coffee shop. Makes me want to look in the window to see if James Dean, Marilyn Monroe and Elvis are sitting on stools at the counter.
  • Whoa! Slow down Indy. A little too whimsical and creative for this bastion of boring and midwestern mediocrity.

    I say bully! Hope it catches on in projects and business fronts large and small.

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  1. I had read earlier this spring that Noodles & Co was going to open in the Fishers Marketplace (which is SR 37 and 131st St, not 141st St, just FYI). Any word on that? Also, do you happen to know what is being built in Carmel at Pennsylvania and Old Meridian? May just be an office building but I'm not sure.

  2. I'm sorry, but you are flat out wrong. There are few tracks in the world with the history of IMS and probably NO OTHER as widely known and recognized. I don't care what you think about the stat of Indy Car racing, these are pretty hard things to dispute.

  3. Also wondering if there is an update on the Brockway Pub-Danny Boy restaurant/taproom that was planned for the village as well?

  4. Why does the majority get to trample on the rights of the minority? You do realize that banning gay marriage does not rid the world of gay people, right? They are still going to be around and they are still going to continue to exist. The best way to get it all out of the spotlight? LEGALIZE IT! If gay marriage is legal, they will get to stop trying to push for it and you will get to stop seeing it all over the news. Why do Christians get to decide what is moral?? Why do you get to push your religion on others? How would legalizing gay marriage expose their lifestyle to your children? By the way, their lifestyle is going to continue whether gay marriage is legalized or not. It's been legal in Canada for quite a while now and they seem to be doing just fine. What about actual rules handed down by God? What about not working on Sundays? What about obeying your parents? What about adultery? These are in the 10 Commandments, the most important of God's rules. Yet they are all perfectly legal. What about divorce? Only God is allowed to dissolve a marriage so why don't you work hard to get divorce banned? Why do you get to pick and choose the parts of the Bible you care about?

  5. Look at the bright side. With the new Lowe's call center, that means 1000 jobs at $10 bucks an hour. IMS has to be drooling over all that disposable income. If those employees can save all their extra money after bills, in five years they can go to the race LIVE. Can you say attendance boost?