WTH: Also stands for Will This Help/ Will This Hurt? 

There have been a number of recent conversations at HI HQ about this particular weekly feature…

We decided that due to the huge number of viewers for this column, we will continue to post photos of Indy’s built environment that prompts the wrinkling of a nose, squinting of an eye or a turn of the corners of a mouth upside down.

We would also ask that you ponder the question when looking at any of these photos: Will this hurt or will this help the future and advancement of our city?

WTH? Will this hurt? Will this help?

Remove economic motivations, remove excuses, and ask yourself how far has this strayed from acceptable new design? From an aesthetic point of view: is this compatible or incompatible, good or bad, worthy or unworthy  of the fine capital city of Indianapolis? Please bear in mind: the only purpose of this series is to stand for the appropriate renovation and redevelopment of the built environment of Indianapolis. No malice, no hostility, just an observation.

Illinois St 2

Where’s this hotspot? Illinois Street between New York and Vermont.

11 responses to “WTH: Park it Like it’s…”

  1. Julie Bush says:

    Thank you HI for continuing to challenge readers to share their thoughts on both public and private building developments in Indy. Without a doubt, this building is sterile, drab, boring and a poor excuse for redevelopment. It’s almost as if Indy is in such a hurry to build and evolve into the next project, that we overlook criteria for well planned and thought-out design that will remain a legacy for future generations.

  2. Erik says:

    I applaud the change in direction for this column. Just as an aside, if we could see comparisons of historic photos of the same area, that would be great. Maybe there would be inspiration in those photos for something great or unique for a new facade.

  3. Louis Mahern says:

    So exciting to have really nice clean and safe suburban style parking garages in the Mile Square. They go really well with many of the suburban style apartments in the Mile Square. Now if we could just get those nasty plastic cup shakers off the corners, we could be as nice as Carmel.

  4. basil berchekas jr says:

    There’s nothing “wrong” with building parking garages downtown or in other locations where business “thrives” around the city, since it is definitely incongruous to have acres of “vacant” surface parking lots land downtown and in other locations, making Indianapolis truly “sterile”, just to house cars for 8 out of 24 hours. Parking garages should be encouraged versus parking LOTS. Nevertheless, the STREET LEVEL of these garages should be required to provide “affordable” office or retail space to provide economic activity and to provide pedestrian activity to “energize” more economic activity not only in downtown but in other business areas around the city, wherever thy’re (still) located). The auto is a fact of life; we cannot ignore it when building new develpment, but such structures need to be blended into a pedestrian oriented environment, not only downtown but in other “energized” areas like Broad Ripple or Irvington, or other areas. Plus encouraging use of public transit with transit passes and some rapid transit would help encourage public transit in the former “interurban capital”. For those who say “rapid rail won’t work here; this isn’t New York or Chicago”, people in Atlanta, Georgia said the SAME thing, prior to MARTA. MARTA has also provided a spur to locating active business development in the city that otherwise may have gone to, say, Alpharetta or Roswell, (Atlanta’s versions of “Carmel” or “Fishers”) AND, they’ve proved you can have walking trails AND transit co-located in the same corridor (the Atlanta Beltline), so its not “either-or”, as well. One CAN have both. Just some rambling thoughts…

  5. Scott Goodwine says:

    I can’t think of any proper words, I’m at a loss.

  6. Andrea says:

    While I’m excited for One America employees to finally have a parking garage instead of the surface lots, I think they could have done something more architecturally appealing

  7. Michael Kobrowski says:

    Yes, I am shocked they don’t have it more hidden behind commercial space or, what is wrong with having UNDERGROUND parking and have great nice looking development above ground that enhanced the city and doesn’t look like a jail block that run out of money for putting in glass for the windows?

  8. basil berchekas jr says:

    Regarding parking garage design, I’m no expert, but making the exterior walls APPEAR like a “traditional” store or office front; its true there needs to be ventilation, but “windows” that are larger than average would work, and a municipal requirement or tax deduction for having space for stores or offices on the sidewalk level would definitely add to the street being “active” with pedestrians, and add psychologically to the “street safety” factor and image and reality so one doesn’t alone and therefore “vulnerable” on a “lonely” street. Atlanta learned this when it allowed (or it didn’t occur to city officials) “blank” building fronts that cut down on economic activity on formerly busier streets, like Peachtree, Spring, and so forth. Just thought here.

  9. DAVID W says:

    Bought and paid for by the city of Indianapolis for the exclusive use of a “for profit” enterprise, this building is a disgrace to any surrounding future development.

  10. basil berchekas jr says:

    Excellent alternative! As long as the basements are waterproof (Central Indianapolis has a high water table) that WOULD work!

  11. Brad says:

    Removing surface lots is good, especially when it’s done so to rebuild the mixed-use downtown that was once here (this garage frees up land for the Block 400 development). However, the lack of storefronts, lack of art, lack of anything, and most importantly, the construction of a garage that can’t even be converted later to storefronts when the market warrants, means we’ve inhibited growth for the next 50 years on North Illinois Street. Papering over it isn’t a substitute for real design, but band-aids do help things heal faster. Check out how the Kansas City library dealt with their parking garage:

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