My latest just went to post at Urban Indy. A new building, The Marietta, is going up in a fashionable retail, residential, office and recreation corridor near downtown Indianapolis called Massachusetts Avenue.
It’s a suitable piece of infill on a triangular parcel, of which Indianapolis has quite a few, due to its prominent diagonal avenues. From what I can tell, it’s getting built without much controversy, since it’s occupying nothing more than a former surface parking lot abutting the Marott Center, a well-preserved commercial/office building that is also experiencing a transformation concomitant with the construction of the Marietta. I blogged at Urban Indy about the Marott Center failing to live up to its potential as a mixed-use building back in 2014, and since then, apparently some developers have caught on to this shortcoming. But this dual project (the new construction of the Marietta and the modest re-purposing of the Marott) begs the question about some other parcels in the area that may soon face redevelopment.
Nearby to The Marietta, also along Massachusetts Avenue, we encounter two other parcels with very prominent, lovingly created murals of famous people from Indianapolis: writer Kurt Vonnegut and poet Mari Evans. Both look out onto expansive surface parking lots. Someday soon, I suspect these parking lots will face development pressures, but will they be able to avoid controversy if the new proposals end up covering the murals? The positioning of these two well-curated pieces of public art raises a broader question about infill and the purpose of murals in general, all of which I address in my Urban Indy article.
Comments, as always, are welcome!