Tower's history revealed

November 13, 2007
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Indiana National Bank TowerContractors uncovered a bit of history this week as they continued renovation work at One Indiana Square, the 36-story office tower at Ohio and Pennsylvania streets. The work revealed parts of the old Indiana National Bank sign atop the current home of Regions Bank. The building last carried the INB flag in the early-1990s, before Indiana's large local banks fell to out-of-state acquisitions. The project at One Indiana Square is giving the 1970 skyscraper a new facade. Anyone have a photo showing the old sign?
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  • that's so cool! I think it'd be cool to incorporate the old sign into the new design. a tribute to the architecturally drab days (at least in Indy) when the building was built. Maybe they should rip the facade of the city-county building and see if there're any gems under there!
  • Does anyone have current photos which show the progress of the renovation? I haven't been home in a few years and would love to see what this building is starting to look like.

    Thanks!
  • janeck-the city-county building has been basically unaltered since its opening in 1962. It is an eye-sore in my opinion, especially compared to the courthouse it replaced. I still think it should be refaced though.
  • Ah, to be young, ianeck. Read up on Le Corbusier and the International style. The old INB and the CCB are the prime local examples. I'd have been happy with a black glass re-wrap but I'm an old guy and not a gen-Xer.
  • Speaking of refacing, wouldn't it be great to reface the power plant at West & South. With all of the activity headed for that area, it would be really nice to cover up that eyesore (especially since I doubt they would tear it down.
  • I remember waaay back when, we used to be able to see the glowing blue Indiana National Bank sign from Plainfield. We also used to be able to see the July 4th fireworks from the INB Tower in Plainfield.
  • Sorry, no photos, but I believe those letters are eighteen feet tall. The bank changed its name to INB when it attempted to acquire a bank in Illinois. That acquisition fell through (the Illinois bank later became part of National City), but INB was the new moniker signaling a quest to market beyond the borders of the state.
  • Hey, all! I've been a lurker for quite some time. Love the blog!

    Anyway, a little bit of research turned up the following photo of the Indiana National Bank Tower (aka: One Indiana Square). The photo isn't the greatest, but you get the idea:

    http://images.indianahistory.org/cdm4/item_viewer.php?CISOROOT=/P0130&CISOPTR=278&CISOBOX=1&REC=13
  • I got to thinking about cranky's post, and it reminded me of something else. When the bank transformed from Indiana National Bank to INB Bank, didn't they change the signage at the top of the building? For some reason, I seem to remember their old buffalo logo being next to the INB Bank wording. If this did happen, I suppose the INB Bank sign went on the facade that went over the old Indiana National Bank sign.
  • We maintain a thread over at Skyscrapercity on the progress of Indiana Square's facelift. I've worked in this building for several years.
    http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php?t=500482
  • CJ - at the very least, the Citizen's Thermal Energy facility you speak of, could dress up their look. I personally like the art-deco design of the facility. But how about painting the smoke stacks Colts blue and adorning the spiral staircases in bright white neon!! Here's a link with a photo of the structure:

    http://www.citizensthermal.com/history.html

    A little investment would go a long way in integrating this necessary facility into the downtown skyline!
  • Helen-
    Oh yes I know. You don't know if that old courthouse was maybe structurally unsound? Or were they just being idiots? I like to think it was demoed for SOME reason, because I recall reading that it was actually located a block south of the city-county building, so it wasn't demoed to make way, but rather demoed because they didn't need it anymore.
  • ianeck, the old County Courthouse was right up on Washington Street, in what is now the setback-on-top-of-parking-garage.

    It was demolished only because the modern CCB was built to replace both it and the old city hall at Ohio and Alabama, hence City-County. That's how things were done in downtowns of major American cities in the 1950's and 60's.

    That was the state of the art in city planning: knock down functionally obsolete buildings and replace them with the wet dreams of technocrat city planners. By their definition, new=modern=better.

    Presumably they said and wrote things like this with a straight face while piloting their 1957 cars (with fins and rear seats the size of today's living-room sofas) home at high speed (through the blighted areas along Delaware Street) to their modern 3-bedroom Bedford-stone ranch houses (on half-acres in Washington Township).

    That obsolete concept still exists in Indiana Code governing redevelopment areas in Indianapolis, as well as a suggestion that the MDC can re-plan a redevelopment area to lessen density as a legitimate public purpose of redevelopment. (You could look it up: http://www.in.gov/legislative/ic/code/title36/ar7/ch15.1.html)

    For a comprehensive look at the failure of that kind of urban renewal in New Haven, read City: Urbanism and its End by Douglas Rae.
  • ...and I hasten to add, someday our grandchildren will be asking what were they thinking in reference to something in urban planning and redevelopment that we take quite seriously and promote today.

    Perhaps it will be saving old buildings, perhaps it will be building density, perhaps it will be building up to the street edge, perhaps it will be The Village of West Clay, perhaps it will be endless proliferation of big box retail, perhaps it will be charter schools. We'll know in 40 years or so.

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