Update: Landmarks v. Ivy Tech

July 17, 2008
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Ivy Tech proposal
                              for old St. Vincent hospitalThe Indiana Historic Landmarks Foundation is fighting a plan by Ivy Tech to tear down the former St. Vincent Hospital. The college approached the city about razing the historic building and has shared a rendering (shown here) of a proposed replacement. Despite the moves, Ivy Tech spokesman Jeff Fanter says no decision has been made on the future of the former Weyerbacher Terrace. "Our next step is ... we are going to ask for proposals from developers and neighborhood members on how to best utilize the site/building," he said via e-mail.

Historic Landmarks' director for central Indiana, Mark Dollase, said he's never seen any evidence to support Ivy Tech's claim that saving the building isn't economically feasible. The school won a state appropriation of $69 million for the project, and won the city's blessing to tear down three other buildings on the 5-acre site in exchange for saving the old hospital. "I don't understand where the gap was there," Dollase said. "We feel Ivy Tech said they would do something and are now trying to renege."

The change in direction has some political overtones. The college dropped CSO Architects, which designed the original master plan, as one of its principals, Jim Schellinger, vied for a chance to take on Gov. Mitch Daniels. The college hired Daniels donor Schmidt Associates as a replacement.
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  • Therein lies the rub--thanks, Cory, for the update. Not surprised with the architect change since Ivy Tech is so closely aligned with the Republicans.
  • If Ivy Tech doesn't want to save it, take it back from them. It would be a travesty to replace that building with the nondescript, any-school USA design shown in the illustration. If they really need a new building they can tear down any of the non-descript boxes they've built recently and replace it with this newer non-descript box. Come on architects, this is a downtown site, at a major gateway into downtown, on a greenway, on a creek, and on Meridian Street. This isn't Exit 110.
  • What a horrible looking building. Yet another generic suburban office building plopped down in the central city. And on the site where they plan to demolish a great historic structure to boot.
  • i doubt that any of you have been inside that nasty building in the past several years. I have. Those buildings need to go. The nail in the coffin was when they turned the building into low income housing. You couldnt pay me enough to spend any amount of time in that building. Tear it down and build whatever you like. A giant pole barn would be better than what is there now.
  • I hear the old hospital had structural problems in the interior. If this is the situation, then bring it down now. Also who cares if the Republicans are close to Ivy Tech. Is this not a good thing? Maybe the Democrats should just get over the fact that Mitch is an awesome Govenor.
  • No way, it's sooo cool. It's got a giant circle over the entrance.

    Urbanophile, I think you've actually complemented it. It looks more like a suburban wearhouse!

    It also reminds me of the new hospital addition over across from the new student center at IUPUI. In other words: Gen. er. ic.

    Next post prediction: I'm sooo tired of all you snobs criticizing everything. This new building is great. You should be thankful that anything at all is getting built and stop thinking!
  • Todd,

    Mitchie might be an awesome GOVENOR. But awesome GOVERNOR? That's up for debate? ;-)
  • Why are people so attached to old buildings? There is nothing desirable about using anything that was built in 1913. A newer building that is actually meets building codes, and has newer amenities is always more desirable in my opinion. It's just a building, let it go. It has more than outlived its useful life.
  • If the old hospital is truly unusable fine but the first attempt at the replacement building is what my finance calls ill to the na na. In case you haven't heard that's really bad!

    We should at least force Ivy into something really urban, cool, and still good use of land while we have them by the balls!!

    Urban (btw that's my nickname for Urbanophile): Shouldn't this be pushed up to the street?

    Also, where's the new food court with outdoor seating? How about some LEED elements IvyT? Can we please use this as a catalyst for more public/private residential/commercial investment in the area?
  • This is a huge step to upgrade this old, underdeveloped and dilapidated area. I don’t understand why people criticize this design…its better than what is currently in its place. This is an educational facility that is no Purdue, IU or even IUPUI; but it has made an attempt to update its image in Indianapolis and say bye to the old and welcome the new.

    Ivo, dont you think buy pushing the building to the street it would eliminate your green space and LEED ELEMENTS?
  • Given its prominence on Fall Creek Parkway, and the neoclassical Ivy Tech building next to it, it should be set well back from the street. However, the sidewalks should be straight, the building should be squared up and more majestic, and there should NEVER be a suburban-school donut drive or parking lot on the front lawn.
  • This is NOT better than what's there now.
  • If the old building really needs to be torn down (and that hasn't been proven), then fine. But they damn well better replace it with something decent. This rendering looks like it was borrowed from an office park out at Exit 10 or wherever.

    And what's the deal with the wavy sidewalks? Just making people walk extra distance for the hell of it I guess. Or maybe they're thinking like in the suburbs where the sidewalk is just a formality because everyone gets dropped off at the convenient circle drive right in front.
  • what a disgrace. shame on you ivy tech.
  • Ivo,

    Firstly, let's not lose track of the fact that a new building shouldn't be built in the first place. To start discussing the merits of the new proposal is implicitly to accept that the old building should go. I don't agree with that. There is no way that the state of Indiana should demolish a slew of historic buildings. Ivy Tech is an institution that is critical to help the city and state train the workforce needed for 21st century jobs. But it needs to recognize that competing in the 21st century means more than that. It certainly doesn't involve adopting the worst of 1960's urban renewal thinking. Ivy Tech could really be such a positive force and anchor for that area. But what they are considering doing is not good at all.

    In that light, the new design is basically adding insult to injury. It does look like an office building or warehouse from the collar counties. So the design, materials, and overall aesthetic effect is wrong for the setting. However, in this location, a traditional storefront building set directly against the sidewalk is not needed and probably not even appropriate. Ivy Tech is a campus, and other buildings in the area feature some degree of setback. The key is to make it an urban campus. I would second thundermutt's suggestions. If this development did come to pass it should additionally be closer to the street, and part of a harmonious, more balances classically formal arrangement. Certainly not winding sidewalks and such.

    But again, the right answer is to preserve the St. Vincent building and as many others as possible in the area. Indianapolis does not exactly overflow with these types of irreplaceable historic urban treasures. Especially the state government should not be complicit in their destruction.

    Ivy Tech can do better than this, and I hope they reconsider their plans.
  • That building design makes me want to vomit. Not only because it's hideously ugly, it's also cheap ticky-tack quality that will need to be torn down and replaced with another piece of crap in 25 years.

    The existing building may be difficult, but taking on difficult challenges is what most world class cities are able to do. Bowing to the easy way out - clear and rebuild, especially a horrid disaster like that developer office park design above, is unimaginative, clueless, and wimpy.

    This whole story is shameful.
  • Wow. That's awful. Not much more needs to be said except that I'm with ablerock and urbanophile. Really going out on a limb here, I know :p.
  • I should have been more clear: I agree with Urbanophile that the building should be renovated and reused in a creative manner.

    For a long time, the highest and best use was low-income housing because for all intents and purposes a hospital is a residential-type structure...and a 1913 hospital surely is.

    But let's think for a minute here. One of the big economic stories in Indianapolis is conventions and hospitality. IUPUI currently has a School of Tourism and Hospitality, and Ivy Tech currently has a culinary program. The midtown area hasn't had a hotel since the old Stouffers/Sheraton closed (FYI it's the tall building above and to the right in the rendering above); even the North Meridian Inn went down...um...was demolished a couple of years ago.

    It is fairly common at hotel schools to have a hotel/conference center for hands-on learning. Michigan State has one in Lansing. Perhaps the building could be partially re-used in that manner. Someday, Fall Creek won't be an open sewer, and someday the Fall Creek Trail will run right past the front door of the Old St. Vincent building and it will be in a prime position.

    Perhaps the on-site hotel could house people for short-term intensive training sessions, state and state university staff from the corners of the state coming to meetings in Indy, people coming to the State Fair, and a bunch of other events. The Children's Museum is right up the street...walking distance. The IMA is just 5-10 minutes' drive.

    Perhaps the IMPD training academy schedule could be adjusted to include a residential boot camp week or two where recruits learn to do community policing in city neighborhoods while living at Old St. V's.

    Perhaps a part of the building could have a long-term hospice or rehab care facility related to Methodist Hospital, which is just a few blocks down Capitol...and students in the health-care assistant programs of Ivy Tech could benefit from part-time jobs and OJT.

    There are more ways to creatively and adaptively reuse the building than just as low-income housing, Ivy Tech offices or high-priced condos. Some kind of public visioning process run by (gasp) experienced planners at DMD might just find a way out of this mess.
  • I can't even begin to express how disappointed i am with this whole situation. Anyone that cannot see the value of the Weyerbacher building and understand the potential has absolutely no vision. This one is a no-brainer. I can't believe this proposal is even on the table.
  • This is much worse than the historic structure.
    I knew it was something like this. Someone feels they need to leave their mark, even
    if it means taking away a part our our heritage and culture. How nice.
    If they are tearing it down they should replace it with a classic of equal or greater beauty.
    Anything else should not be accepted.
    I hope they are ragged on to preserve the current structure. This new building is quiet
    hidiouse(no offense to those modernist lovers.).
  • But it has that metaphoric great window to the world, where kids will look out (or in) and ponder how they too might one day design a really crappy building.
  • IT's not horrible, but why can't it match the building next to it. OR why can't it be like one of the other buildings IVY Tech has built recently. The one in Grant County off of I-69. We just had conference meetings and workshops there. IT has amazing architechture and design.

    I would even be happy with the design of the Evansville Campus (http://www.ivytech.edu/about/campuses/southwest.html) Its brick, its more of an urban building than this. I'm just surprised at the lack of design and urban thought that went in to this design when clearly a lot of the the other IVY TECHS should be in downtown Indy instead of this design. Looks like they are trying to copy IUPUI.

    Also, not to be pickey, but the old Hospital has a half-moon circle drive in it too and that was built in the early 1900s
  • Mr. Dolase will not rest until he is heard and this gets saved. He is a great advocate for saving structures and with him involved, I am confident that good will come frm this.

    For those that think that this structure is a piece of crap, I am sure that it is. HOWEVER, if we used that logic for all buildings that have fallen on hard times, we wouldn't have a single building in this City older than 1975!
  • Hard to believe the administration at Ivy Tech just doesn't get it. Here's a chance to not only preserve the historical architecture of Indianapolis, but to provide students with a campus grounded in history and adapted for the future. Many Ivy Tech students are full time students, who quite frankly either cannot afford to attend Purdue, IU, or Butler, or who's grades may not warrant their acceptance. Many of them still want a traditional college experience, and a campus of historical architecture can provide part of that experience. In terms of grandiosity, the St. V building rivals Jordan Hall at Butler University. Here's a chance for Ivy Tech to establish itself as an integral part of the higher education system in Indy, but instead, they just don't get it.
  • Mike, the existing drive is very narrow and very formal, in keeping with the dignified and formal urban design and setting of the building. The drive isn't attached to a visitor parking lot. And it's definitely not a suburban art donut with distinctive paving and a corporate sculpture in the middle.

    The drive may have been added after the building was built; buildings from the same era in the neighborhood include Herron HS, the Catholic Center, and St. Agnes Apartments. All three have been adaptively reused; all three have formal lawns with grand front entries, but none has a drive circle.
  • There are no problems big enough that can't be fixed. I think if the leaning tower of Pisa was stopped from sinking further, we can find a way to solve any structural problems.

    We've worked on numerous old buildings, dating back to the mid-1800s. We have building and construction technology these days that can patch up pretty much any problem. At a cost? Well, of course. But no matter what you do new, you will NEVER get the quality of that original building back. No-one, except for the UBER-wealthy (and they don't often do it for giggles) has the funds to even build what is there again, let alone build something that pays any sort of homage if it were torn down and replaced.

    If you looked at the flicker slide show (see the comments from the other day's story), you'll actually see quite a few GRAND spaces in the building. And with so much importance being placed on LEED certification and environmental stewardship (this WILL NOT GO AWAY FOLKS), this building is a no-brainer to save. The city has LEED pilot programs starting up for their construction, and the State (if actually responsible in any way for the building's future) should pony up as well and make this an example of good intentions instead of bad.

    This place may not be the Taj Mahal of historical buildings in Indy, but the example set by a project of this magnitude will set a precendent that will be hard to change in the near future. Let's hope it is a precedent in the right direction (of course -- the right direction is up for debate).
  • It's a pattern: Take a beautiful old building that distinguishes our city from all the other cities in the land, close it down and expose it to the elements for years, then declare that it is too rundown to be saved. (Buildings die from lack of use like humans die from lack of oxygen.) Replace it with a boring structure that could be in Anywhereville, USA--thereby depriving our city of yet another opportunity to be distinct. Dump the demolition refuse in a landfill (environmentally harmful, and wasteful of all the energy and money that went into building the original structure). Re-using old buildings requires political will and imagination, and doesn't make as much money for designers and builders and other administration cronies. It's the same thing that happened to Bush Stadium: demolition by neglect.
  • looks like garbage
  • Cory--Actually, Schmidt is a large donor to both parties. CSO was fired before Schellinger announced his intention to run. To say Schmidt was hired because of his GOP bonafides would be disingenuous. If that were the rationale, there are many other more GOP-friendly firms in Indy.
  • This is the same institution that topped its trees on the Indianapolis campus...
    another symbol of how ignorant the powers that be are.
    er
  • Yeah it's generic, but I would much rather have a generic building used for higher education, than an empty old shell.
  • This is for the people from this entry and the previous one that like to chime in with we shouldn't save a building just because it's old or what historical event ever happened there. If you are going to say these sorts of things, at least do some basic research and see if maybe this is an important building. For instance, maybe this building was designed by an architect/firm that is important to Indianapolis and its history (like this D.A. Bohlen & Son designed building). For those of you that do not know who D.A. Bohlen is he and his firm design many significant buildings in this city like the Big Four Building (Downtown Hampton Inn), The City Market and the former Tomlinson Hall, the Morris-Butler House, Murat Centre, the Majestic Building, Roberts Park Church, and many others. However, this building is one of the best examples left of the firm's history.

    Also, I would like to mention that this building was renovated in 1975 by Woollen Associates, so I would imagine that the building is not in that mad of shape.
  • At the risk of sounding idealistic, the issue ought to be that we don't let IVY, or anyone else, conspire so batantly to thumb their noses at a well intentioned, good faith effort to protect city assets.
  • If the old building has structural problems, tear it down. But can't they try to save the old perimeter facade? Like they did when Circle Center took over space of a few old buildings downtown.
  • Can anyone tell me what the Ivy Tech building (the one that actually has Ivy Tech engraved on the building above the columns) was originally used for? I have been wondering for years.
  • For all of you youngsters who don't rememebr how the land for IUPUI was acquired and cleared... i would expect a few more years of let it rot strategy will prevail
  • chuck, Ivy Tech's main building was the home of American United Life until they moved to that big tower in 1983.

    Meridian Street used to be the headquarters of numerous local and regional insurance companies: AUL, Vernon, Grain Dealers, American States, Meridian Mutual, Indianapolis Life, Merchants, and probably a few more I've forgotten. I think one bankrupt one (whose name may have had Union in it) figured into the corruption trial of a former Marion County judge.

    Only Merchants is left today as a corporate HQ on Meridian. AUL moved and all the rest have been merged out of existence and their Indianapolis operations are just branch offices. Safeco is under threat because it is being acquired by Liberty Mutual, which already owns Indiana Insurance...whose offices are in Parkwood Crossing.
  • I say tear down the old building. I am sick of historic preservation when it costs millions extra. There is a reason history is just that, history. Advance or perish is the motto. That being said, I have no problem telling organizations, especially taxpayer funded ones, that their new design needs to incorporate a similar look. This doesn't mean special order windows that costs thousands more. It doesn't mean a special arch entry way or anything. It could be as simple as brick color. To me, that is the best thing. Historic preservation is what is going to end up killing off the old Bush Stadium. No entity wants to touch historic places like that anymore. They fear a court order will end up telling them how to run their property. As such, Bush Stadium will sit until a massive structural failure occurs. Then IU, Clarian, or someone else will get the property and build something.

    As far as the property design, I agree with the straight sidewalks. The best thing to do with new construction is pour just enough sidewalks to meet the law. Then you sit back and find out where people make their own dirt paths. Tear out any unused sidewalks and pour a sidewalk where the dirt paths are. I am not a big fan of large circular drives, but I do like the idea of cutouts so that people can get off the street to deliver something, drop someone off, etc..

    As far as this new warehouse look, all I have to say is that it is a total waste of space in my opinion. The idea of atriums or cafatoriums, with empty space to heat and cool is crazy given high energy prices. The new IUPUI Campus Center seems like a complete waste. The five stories of open air space are a waste of: #1: Much needed space on the campus and #2: Energy. Walk in there during the dead of winter. The heat rises to the top floors and the girls down at the info desk have to wear full winter coats while inside a building. If a building cannot provide basic elemental comfort in most areas, then someone screwed up. A good in-between style is the IUPUI Technology building. The atrium area is small, and is only two stories. The rest of the space above the atrium area is floor space for classrooms and offices. The IT building is a good mix of looks and functionality.
  • Ryan, you're looking at the cost side. There are economic benefits to historic preservation.

    Have you priced houses in the Old Northside or Herron Morton lately? People vote with their dollars and pay for historic preservation every day in those neighborhoods because they see the value.

    Businesses pay to fill up cool old buildings like the Stutz while modern buildings such as the Union Federal/Sky/Huntington building downtown go 50% or more vacant.

    And there is nothing greener than re-using and retrofitting an old building in the city...as you inadvertently pointed out in your remarks about the new IUPUI Campus Center. Solid brick buildings with good windows can be far more energy-efficient than glass-and-steel boxes, as the mass of the structural envelope provides important heating/cooling benefits.
  • How much does space in the Huntington building go for vs. the Stutz building? As far as old homes, that has nothing to do with oldness. All the old homes I have seen are nothing more than homes that appear to be old. They all have modern plumbing and electric. I like the old look, but I don't like the old issues: Mold, water, etc.. I especially don't like it when it costs a lot more money to fix those issues than just tearing something down (or a part out). I could likely find you similar homes in the ghetto areas of the city...are they selling for the same price? Of course not. Demand is causing so called old homes to go for tons of money. If folks with money did not desire to live in the area, it would be another block of The Ruins of Indianapolis.

    While I don't support the public monies set aside for the new stadium, I can tell you that I really like the old feel. I am sure current construction could look something like that without demanding special brick, special arch ways, special entryways, special windows, etc. etc..
  • You're mistaken about old look vs. actually old in Herron Morton and Old Northside. Most of those homes are actually old, and rehabbed with new electrical and mechanical systems.

    One of the anchors of that area is the rehabbed (not new) Herron High School building. Again, you've unintentionally made the point that the same thing should be done with the Old St. Vincent building.
  • Interesting that Schmidt Associates is the architect. The same firm that IPS used for its building renovation/upgrade plan. The same conclusion - tear the old buildings down and build new. Doesn't seem to be a lot of creativity at Schmidt Associates.
  • Most of those homes are actually old, and rehabbed with new electrical and mechanical systems.

    OK, fine, the homes are still old...execpt the _costly_ electrical and mechanical systems. The costly part is where I have an issue. It obviously costs a lot of money otherwise why isn't every single home of similar age getting the same treatment? If folks want to take an old product and rehab it, more power to them. What shouldn't happen is that government sit, sit, sit on a dump hoping someone comes along willing to fork over extra money to save it.

    One of the anchors of that area is the rehabbed (not new) Herron High School building

    I don't which buildings are the new high school, but I know them well. The old museum building was not in bad shape because it was used by IU for decades. It wasn't filled with Section 8 leeches who usually end up trashing everything. The main building was so so, but again, maintained by a quasi-government entity. I seriously hope that if someone is using the main building, they made sure the second floor was OK. I personally always had a vision of someone's leg finally going through the wood planks. The Fessler building that is connected to the main building is newer and I never noticed it needed massive repair or rehab work. I don't know what condition the hospital building is in, but I doubt it was in as good of condition as the Herron Main, Fessler, and Museum buildings when IU finally turned over the property. (Note: I did hear that a water line or something broke in the museum building a year or two later causing a flooding issue).

    I personally would not have purchased those buildings. The clean-up costs to me would have been sky high. Plenty of various paints and solvents to remove.
  • OK, fine, the homes are still old…execpt the _costly_ electrical and mechanical systems. The costly part is where I have an issue. It obviously costs a lot of money otherwise why isn’t every single home of similar age getting the same treatment?

    People aren't stupid. They put significant money into new systems for old houses because the basic structure is still worthwhile and sound and couldn't be duplicated for twice the money in the same location.

    The same is true of commercial developers like Shiel Sexton and Buckingham who poured millions into The Lexington and Stokely buildings (respectively). Adaptive reuse of historic structures is a moneymaking venture for companies like those, and for homeowners in older parts of Indianapolis. Tear it down because it's old is not the way to go.

    It wasn’t filled with Section 8 leeches who usually end up trashing everything.

    Ah, your real agenda. A political statement. But let's deal with trashing everything.

    That building is concrete and brick. Exactly how can people compromise a structure of concrete and brick by trashing it?

    OK, so the building has sat vacant and every scrap of wiring and plumbing has been ripped out of it. That's the first thing Ivy Tech would have to re-do anyway. Classrooms, labs and offices don't need bathrooms and kitchens. There are holes in the walls and ceilings? Big deal...that's cosmetic, not structural. Windows are old? Big deal...they'd best be replaced with energy-efficient ones anyway.
  • That building is concrete and brick. Exactly how can people compromise a structure of concrete and brick by “trashing” it?

    OK, so the building has sat vacant and every scrap of wiring and plumbing has been ripped out of it. That’s the first thing Ivy Tech would have to re-do anyway. Classrooms, labs and offices don’t need bathrooms and kitchens. There are holes in the walls and ceilings? Big deal…that’s cosmetic, not structural. Windows are old? Big deal…they’d best be replaced with energy-efficient ones anyway.

    Who do you think stole the copper and wire? The prime suspects are the former occupants. This is a common thing when you are kicking people to the curb. They get upset and decide that since the building is going to be closed anyway, why not help themselves to whatever is worth some money.

    As with the windows, that is my point. Why should Ivy Tech has to put out thousands more for special energy efficient windows because they shape of the windows needed might no longer be made? Historic preservation is fine, until things start having to be special ordered. That is why so many buildings will be allowed to sit until they finally fall down. Rabid historic preservationist get so crazy, they don't understand they are doing more harm than good. Instead of trying to work with people, they stand firm that _nothing_ is changed. There was a report a year ago or so about a historic board (Anderson I believe) having an issue with home owners in allowing them to change their windows on their old home. The home owners did not have the money for the costly special order windows that would be needed. It was much cheaper to take out the windows, do some remodel work, and install energy efficient windows. Obviously if these windows are leaking or something, and they don't get fixed, this old home in that neighborhood will start becoming more and more worthless, as Anderson likely doesn't have the same historic home demand as in Center Township, Indy.
  • Ryan... you're a strange individual. I would hate to live in a city that you would create. Every old building of quality would be torn down and replaced with cheap junk, since you're so cost-conscience. What is wrong with you that you don't see the value?

    I live in a 1926 bungalow and I purchased it because it was old, and guess what? It's in a moderate neighborhood in Marion County. And you know what? It hasn't cost me much more in maintenance than other of my friends new homes in the burbs. With an old home you get quality, not quickly thrown up houses made of toothpicks that might last 50 years.

    My home is over 80 years old and I enjoy thinking about it's history, who lived there, and possibly died there, and the changes that occured in the world during it's life span. New buildings/homes do not inspire that kind of feeling or awe in me. The new buildings of today typically are much more cheaply made than the buildings of years past (I'll say prior to 1950) and seriously lack in any character.

    You can have your plain vanilla boxes, but I'll keep the old stuff.
  • oh and btw... Ryan - the copper thievery didn't start until after Katrina and the cost of metals went up. I believe the apartments were closed well before that, so I doubt angry residents tore out the wiring and plumbing when they left. If anyone is to blame for that kind of thievery it's the city and Ivy Tech for not properly securing the building all these years.
  • I don't think anyone has pointed this out yet, but why does Ivy Tech have to demolish this building to build the new proposed building. If they don't want to use the Old St. Vincent's Building as they previously agreed that is fine. Give the building back to the city and let them figure a reuse for it out. They can build this new building on the acres of surface parking lots that radiate around the current Ivy Tech building. I will point out that this is predicated on the fact that not for one second do I believe this structure is unsafe or failing.
  • So much whining and sniping.

    It all gets back to a simple basic, there's been no practical use of this building since St. V's moved out. What's that, 30 years plus?

    What in God's name does that tell you? NO BODY WANTS IT!! Who's going to put a corporate headquarters there? Name me a candidate with the desire and deep pockets -- then give them a call! Do the math, look at the calendar, and please move on.

    And give at least a little credit to Ivy Tech, they did a nice save in this same area when the old AUL moved out. Am, I right? IVY Tech is a state institution dedicated to higher learning. Where would THEY get the money for an inordinantly expensive makeover? Hmmm. Their number one focus ought to be education, not preservation. (That said, Ivy Tech has been a depository for wasteful political cronyism...Democrat & Republican.)

    There's too much fantasy and conspiracy theories in all these posts. When the day is done, who wants it, and where are they?
  • Heh, use it as a green renovation project. Certainly a school could do that. Use it as a shining example of what can be done to renovate old buildings for new uses and use newer green technologies to do it. Yeah, it might cost a little more money to do it, but it would be a good example of forethough and reuse for tons of people in the area!
  • Hmm, I've read more posts on here.
    It seems there is a side that wants to preserve it for cultural reasons while the other side wants to demolish it for economic reasons.
    If we tore down every structure that needed work or couldn't get tenants the whole city would look like IUPUI. If anyone looks at photos of the area where IUPUI sits before the coming of IUPUI you will know why it is vital to preserve these landmarks.
    It may not be economical at first but in the long run you aren't having to reface it every 20 years because the 'cool' architecture changes or the building materials are needing replaced. The structure isn't as beautiful as its stone neighbor but it is still an important landmark. How many massive classic structures like this still exsist in Indianapolis? NOt many and the number gets smaller every time someone tears another one down just like this and then suddenly you have only a couple and your city has lost both a part of its history and culture because it was looking too short-term.

    I hope it is properly preserved and restored(exterior wise.).
    If it is torn down the Fall Creek area won't fall into despair but it will lose a lot of its historic character and charm. Preservation is needed for a world class Indianapolis.
    The type of thinking 'get rid of the old and make room for the new.' is quiet dangerous. If that type of thinking is used than the city of Indianapolis will shortly look like a massive IUPUI.
  • Hey guys!

    I'm in a (circa 1950's) slum-clearin' mood. Let's tear some old crap down!

    How about the War Memorial first?

    Nobody goes there anymore. It's just a money pit. We could build a sweet warehouse, a Target, and parking lot for people on jury duty on all that land.

    Military Park?

    It's an eyesore. It's always empty. Get rid of it. Especially that ugly little pavilion.

    That church on the circle is stupid. That could be a revenue-generating office tower. Tear it down.

    How about the Statehouse?

    We should probably build another parking lot on the south side. It should match the lot put in back in the '30s.

    The Consolidated building downtown sucks. No one's used it for years. Tear it down!

    The old Centrum is empty right now. Tear it down!

    Central State? Empty. Tear it down!

    What about all those old buildings on West Washington? They're all empty and look like crap! Tear 'em down!

    Union Station's seen better years. It's not even a train station anymore. That is prime real estate.

    They should've just torn down the old central library when they built the new one.

    Tear it down! Tear it all down! If it's old. It sucks. It's hard to take care of and costs a lot of money to maintain. I hate old stuff! Yeah!

    ;-)
  • Ablerock, LOL. I had a post all written about tearing down the old Post Office/Federal Courthouse at the south end of the Mall and old City Hall downtown...

    And while we're at it, almost everything in Broad Ripple is old...just think how much better it would be if we could clear it and start over (as with the Canal district downtown).

    And while we're at it, let's start at Old St. Vincent on Fall Creek and run the bulldozers over everything north to 38th St. and then build Fall Creek Place North.

    Parkershade, Ivy Tech prevented reuse of the building for other purposes by snatching it up, proposing its own re-use several years ago, and then sitting on it. No one really knows if someone could put together a plan because they haven't really tried.
  • Parkershade,

    What a ridiculous expanse of words! I recall when the tear all phase went nuts and we lost the beautiful old main office of Indiana National Bank where Jefferson Plaza now sits. And, I remember when the large crowd gathered and cheered when the first wrecking ball slammed into the old Claypool Hotel. Do we want that to happen again?

    Parkershade, you must have been in your heyday during those times, but if you were not around, most of us don't ever want to see that happen again. That is why this forum helps to show that people care and that perhaps a better idea can be developed.
  • NOW they ask for alternatives. As if 30-60 days is enough to do a real feasibility study...they've been sitting on it for four years and just decided that it won't work for them. See here:

    http://www.insideindianabusiness.com/newsitem.asp?ID=30539
  • Any update on what is happening next to Borders on Washington Street?
  • There are not enough updates to this blog. This is a big city with plenty of real estate and development news. What about daily updating?
  • Um... Cory might be a little busy researching and writing his column for the IBJ. Why don't you start a blog and update it daily? Sheesh... give a guy a break!
  • What else would you expect from Schmidt? They should have left the project with CSO, who are FAR more capable of handling this type of project. Heck, if you're looking into Preservation, bring Ratio onboard!

    The people that want to simply tear this building down obviously do not spend much time driving by it. It is a gorgeous, elegant, beautiful building that only needs some love. The most sustainable thing that can be done on the site is to keep what's already there. And to replace it with the garbage that Schmidt has proposed is just a joke.
    What CSO proposed in its masterplan is FAR superior to the junk that Schmidt produces. Ivy Tech's board is full of a bunch of morons.
  • Crossedwires they are putting in a BW3 Chicken restaurant next to Borders.
  • Parkershade reply...

    Oh I care, I'd much rather see the site saved. But again, there's that darned who, what, when, and how? I work downtown, live midtown, and bike or drive past the site daily. My argument is not an all-or-nothing like so many of these posts.

    A generation has passed since St. V's moved out. Not to sound like a shill for Ivy Tech, they fill a HUGE void in that area, helped reinforce the neighborhooda and restored, yes restored, the classic structure that was AUL. Thanks to that.

    They've DONE so where all others have fled. However, I don't see historic preservation as Ivy Tech's primary mission. I do want to see them continue to grow and prosper in that area.

    Fini
  • They’ve DONE so where all others have fled.

    Very few businesses or institutions have fled the area around Ivy Tech. The Children's Museum, State Auto, The Lilly Endowment, Sandor Development, Mercedes-Benz of Indianapolis, Van Rooy Properties, Barth Electric, the Library and Indiana Blood Center have all made significant investments in the area. Most were there before Ivy Tech.
  • Face it - it's a done deal. The building will be torn down and replaced with that ugly crap pile of building. Why? Usually, when we hear of a plan this late into consideration, it's already a done deal and the State, via Ivy Tech, is only asking for public input to make it look like they give a crap. They don't. The building will be gone. Why do you think they are leaving the windows broken and roof leaking? With each passing day, it gets more expensive to renovate, giving the State (Ivy Tech) reasons to tear it down.

    Face it, that State owns Ivy Tech. The State owns the money to renovate. The State drags it feet on releasing the money to renovate. This allows Ivy Tech to tear the building down because it became too expensive to renovate. Now certain movers and shakers in State politics are rewarded with the contracts to tear down and build new.

    This just like the I-69 corridor. The State decides what they want to do, asks for input and do what they wanted anyway.

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  1. By Mr. Lee's own admission, he basically ran pro-bono ads on the billboard. Paying advertisers didn't want ads on a controversial, ugly billboard that turned off customers. At least one of Mr. Lee's free advertisers dropped out early because they found that Mr. Lee's advertising was having negative impact. So Mr. Lee is disingenous to say the city now owes him for lost revenue. Mr. Lee quickly realized his monstrosity had a dim future and is trying to get the city to bail him out. And that's why the billboard came down so quickly.

  2. Merchants Square is back. The small strip center to the south of 116th is 100% leased, McAlister’s is doing well in the outlot building. The former O’Charleys is leased but is going through permitting with the State and the town of Carmel. Mac Grill is closing all of their Indy locations (not just Merchants) and this will allow for a new restaurant concept to backfill both of their locations. As for the north side of 116th a new dinner movie theater and brewery is under construction to fill most of the vacancy left by Hobby Lobby and Old Navy.

  3. Yes it does have an ethics commission which enforce the law which prohibits 12 specific items. google it

  4. Thanks for reading and replying. If you want to see the differentiation for research, speaking and consulting, check out the spreadsheet I linked to at the bottom of the post; it is broken out exactly that way. I can only include so much detail in a blog post before it becomes something other than a blog post.

  5. 1. There is no allegation of corruption, Marty, to imply otherwise if false. 2. Is the "State Rule" a law? I suspect not. 3. Is Mr. Woodruff obligated via an employment agreement (contractual obligation) to not work with the engineering firm? 4. In many states a right to earn a living will trump non-competes and other contractual obligations, does Mr. Woodruff's personal right to earn a living trump any contractual obligations that might or might not be out there. 5. Lawyers in state government routinely go work for law firms they were formally working with in their regulatory actions. You can see a steady stream to firms like B&D from state government. It would be interesting for IBJ to do a review of current lawyers and find out how their past decisions affected the law firms clients. Since there is a buffer between regulated company and the regulator working for a law firm technically is not in violation of ethics but you have to wonder if decisions were made in favor of certain firms and quid pro quo jobs resulted. Start with the DOI in this review. Very interesting.

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