Surely you’ve heard by now: Bush Stadium is not going to be flattened, but rather, is going to be creatively integrated into a new complex of  “Stadium Lofts,” and in so doing, preserving a beloved former ‘regular’ on the Indiana Landmarks 10 Most Endangered List. Friday October 28, 2011- a small crowd gathered for a “Dusty Boots tour,” manned by the fabulous volunteers of Indiana Landmarks, which was kicked off with words from Mayor Ballard, John Watson and Indiana Landmarks President, Marsh Davis and others. What started life as Perry Stadium in 1931, will be integrated into 136 loft apartments- the aforementioned “Stadium Lofts.”  A sign with proposed rendering stands facing 16th Street amongst other signs (see below).

Rendering of Stadium Lofts

Sign outside Bush Stadium, facing 16th

There were 50-100 people or so on hand to wander the old halls and land. The transformation will be fascinating to observe, and will undoubtedly raise the bar on what the limits of ‘adaptive reuse’ may be.

I randomly asked some gentlemen if they had attended games here, and turned out, (lucky me) they are still involved with the Indianapolis Indians. I’m notorious for sticking my foot in my mouth, and go figure, I found later (after fully reading the business card I was handed), the first gentleman who appears in the following clip is the Chairman of the Board & President of the Indianapolis Indians. He is noting the way the crumbling steps are revealing the underlying infrastructure. Apologies for the poor sound on that part and the lackluster interviewing skills. I love what Mark Schumacher had to share: especially the fact that his parents met in this place. Countless and untold other romances  undoubtedly sprouted here as well. How fabulous that future generations will have a real place to visit, rather than a giant placard.

Entering the Dusty Boots tour


What it must have been like to see these halls overflowing with giddy fans…

Though you can barely make it out, the number on this one is 41, 407- and it was still working, despite having its guts open to the elements…

Gorgeous detail on column

Heading into the stands

Looking towards the outfield

Love the art deco details like the one below- hallmarks of architects, Pierre & Wright, to remain for posterity.

Gorgeous Limestone/ Art Deco Detail

Though I have heard from a couple of people they are not fans of this idea, I applaud the innovation and creativity it took to save this landmark. I’m not a big sports person, but I understand that this place has hosted thousands of people: from the every day to the famous, and I’m thrilled it isn’t headed for a scrap heap. This is the same kind of creative problem solving employed by the Cook Family–the place must have a use that can generate money. Saving and restoring a place just for saving’s sake isn’t practical or responsible, and despite what our heart’s may sometimes yearn for, practicality usually has its say.

View from the outfield