It’s refreshing to see that some of the new projects in town pay homage to the city’s oldest development history.

Indy has a nice trend going on–honoring pieces of our past. Ralston’s Draft House opened a few months ago on Mass Ave–his surname, a nod to the man credited with platting Indianapolis, and known for assisting Pierre L’Enfant with laying out Washington, D.C.

Further resurrecting the man’s contribution, the new art boutique hotel alongside City Way (fronting Delaware and South Streets, among others), The Alexander, bears his first name. Alexander Ralston is probably getting more P.R. now than he ever did when he was wading through the muddy woodlands from which he would fashion our city’s first square mile.

The logo of the new hotel, representing that first square mile of Indianapolis is a clean, classic and contemporary version of Indy’s most deeply rooted history.

Venture within to discover more tipping of the hat to Indy history. Not only is the name of the fabulous upstairs bar “Plat 99” bloody clever (look at the original Ralston map and you will find 101 “squares” within that first mile–you may recognize that the hotel and bar stand within what was the 99th square of the plat map.

The night time view is romantic and unmistakably Indy–Lucas Oil Stadium looming in the near distance, ┬ájust south of what was the 94th platted square. The colorful lights are reminiscent of the changing guts of a kaleidoscope–inspiring ‘oohs’ and ‘aahs’ from every angle.

Also of great appeal to Indy history lovers, there must be mention of the fabulous rendering of Madame C. J. Walker in a lounging area–and crafted completely from plastic combs. Recycled art is one of my favorites, and what a clever way to represent one of the city’s most inspiring entrepreneurs–and keeping it on brand/ hair related.

It’s wonderful to see such a contemporary space show respect to the city’s history. If you stay at the hotel, or visit the space, please chime in with your thoughts.