Update: Foundry collapse

June 29, 2007
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FoundryWorkers this morning cleared away the rubble from the old Herron School foundry building along 16th Street. It collapsed yesterday, possibly clearing the way for a deal that would provide parking for a renovated Walsingham Apartments building. The guys from Jordan Demolition said water had pooled on the roof, causing the collapse. This photo is from last night, as the crew took down the last wall of the damaged portion of the building.
  • what a shame...this was supposed to be a redevelopment project to enhance retail in the area/16th street corridor. one more piece of history gone forever. and now we'll get another lovely parking lot (i'm sure the screen will be no more than a row of shrubs) to add to the acres of asphalt that is our urban core. it's truly amazing how much surface parking is in this city (not to mention parking garages that replaced once-beautiful buildings). since i'm on the subject - this city will never be a real city as long as surface parking continues to exist and required set-backs still exist on new projects. what a joke to see a multi-story building right downtown with the stupid four or five feet of grassy berm surrounding it. i'm sure people with really use that to have picnics on (see: clevelander, hudson, fifth third bank branch, etc.)!
  • Something smells fishy about this.
  • Ryan, I understand your concern about surface parking.

    However, the Foundry was beyond repair, and was ready to fall apart on its own. There is a new condo development right next to it, that needed parking. So it was a pay off, but not a huge once since redevelopment of the Foundry was not even close to being a reality in the new future. What's more, it is still a relatively tiny lot on 16th street, which pretty far from the central business district.

    The larger issue you presented, surface lots downtown, is one that I know many urbanites in Indy struggle to comprehend. Basically many of those lots have been around for years, long before downtown was a real residential location. It is slowly changing (take for example 3 Mass, which is being built on a surface lot; the Cosmopolitan which is covering a surface lot near the Canal; and the new MSA development which will completely cover up one of the largest surface lots downtown). Many of these lots exist because Indianapolis is still such a driving-oriented city, and it made sense for developers to be cheap and create a bunch of surface lots since there was no real push to enforce density through parking garages.

    I think much of this will change in the near future with the number of residents downtown increasing and the demand for more development. The greatest boon of all would be a reliable mode of transportation that would effectively eliminate the need to bring a car downtown. Someday. Hopefully soon.
  • Ablerock-

    I think the exact same thing! Interesting that the day after the announcement was made that the building may eb lost to make way for parking, it collapses all on its own. Hmmmm.
  • About two-thirds of the structure on the site is still standing, right up at the sidewalk edge.

    Building up to 16th St. is not necessarily good, if you've ever walked that stretch from Delaware to Alabama. It's scary; the sidewalk is very narrow in places and in winter the plows do a nice job of covering the whole sidewalk with slush.

    Even if a building is rebuilt, it should be 5-10 feet back to allow a tree lawn between the pedestrian walkway and the curb, which would provide some protection and refuge for pedestrians.
  • I think the building collapse is a benefit to that area. While I hate to see beautiful old buildings torn down to throw up new, plain buildings or parking lots made where once was an architectural wonder, that building was pretty crumbly. I lived in that area for nearly 5 years several years ago and it was in desperate need of work. I'm glad to see that people are investing in at least some of those old buildings. It IS kinda curious how the building managed to fall down when they were dabating it as parking... something is rotten in Denmark!
  • I think the roof and walls were rotten.
  • they are really going to put a parking lot there? omg... wow.
  • kcflood, how can you be surprised? Indy is basically a giant suburb.

    Its pretty sad when Carmel is becoming more urban and Center Township is becoming more suburban.
  • I was there during part of the demo. While the brick facade looked solid, the remaining three walls were horribly rotten wood, and there was no way to salvage the structure, which was declared unsfae by the city, which ordered an immediate demolition. Bystanders blamed Herron/IUPUI for allowing it to fall in such poor conditions.
  • Yeah, the structure was in VERY bad shape, but this timing seems a bit too convenient.
  • Yeah, I had seen the siding bowing-out for the last few months, as I use that alley entrance nearly everyday, but was unaware that it was not just the siding, but the wall behind it. I must say, I was rather surprised when i came home late one night and the siding (and wall) was adorning the alleyway. It wasn't that way when i left my house earlier that evening, LOL. Glad I wasn't driving through there when it did come down.
  • thanks cityfan for the good response - you definitely make sense and i truly hope that your predictions for the near future of our downtown hold true!
  • another similar story...the mohawk hills apts in Carmel are burning down...how convenient....
  • Maybe tomorrow night an errant firework will land on that row of burned-out vacant buildings across the street from the IBJ HQ. :-)
  • That building was in horrible shape. When I was at Herron 5 years ago I had
    a couple classes there. I was surprised it was considered safe enough then
    for students to be in. To me it's amazing it lasted this long.

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