IBJ Podcast: Is the historic Drake building worth saving?

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The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis last month announced it planned to demolish the Drake, a nearby, 91-year-old apartment building it owns, with the goal of using the space—at least for now—for additional parking.

But historic preservationists want to save the building, and urbanists say the region needs more affordable housing, especially given that the Drake sits near a stop for the soon-to-open Red Line rapid transit route.

IBJ reporter Hayleigh Colombo talks about the controversy—the possibilities for the building—with podcast host Mason King. They explore whether moving the building is an option, whether Indianapolis Historic Preservation Commission might step in and what the role the city could play in the process.

To read more, check out Colombo’s story here.

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3 thoughts on “IBJ Podcast: Is the historic Drake building worth saving?

  1. TCM Indy really needs to be more environmentally responsible. They have an additional block of surface parking on N. Illinois. Why not add more multi-level parking similar to their current garage parking?

    Converting The Drake into more asphalt, ie., more runoff, increased carbon footprint, is really shortsighted. Plus, they have a responsibility as a North Meridian Mid-town location to be a good eco-friendly neighbor.

    And with the housing demand in Indy, it would seem civically responsible to sell The Drake to an entity that will update it as housing. Again, another parking lot would denigrate the entire North Meridian Street corridor.

    Finally, IF The Drake must go, at least replace with a garden or other park environment. The city needs more, not less, green space.

  2. Are we returning to the good old days of demolishing Indianapolis to build surface parking lots? You know, the process that happened between the 1960s and 1980s when it seemed like every day, the city or developers were brining down yet another building, many of which were irreplaceable in terms of their architectural significance. Buildings, aside from their architectural style and distinctive value also represent a story. They tell a story of a city and it’s communities and neighborhoods. Obliterating these precious gems is like blotting out history. Sometimes buildings do have to make way for something better, more significant and useful to the city and population as a whole. To make way for a parking lot is an insult to the entire city as well as any sense of sobriety and cultural awareness.
    This proposed action makes every effort by preservationists to save any part of city of Indianapolis, or this part of our state, a sham; indeed a joke. The most insulting part of this whole affair is that it is a “Museum” that is the instigator in this cultural assault.
    As I understand it, museums are meant to preserve for the education and illumination of the people, culture and history that might be forgotten if not undertaken by them, “the stewards of historic and cultural preservation.”
    It has taken the city of Indianapolis over 40 years to reverse and start re-building from the catastrophe of “urban renewal” that visited itself upon us all those many years ago. Why should this process be reversed?

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