I love little neighborhood commercial buildings. As other readers have pointed out as well, we used to have these quaint neighborhood serving buildings just about every few blocks throughout the city. I am a little envious of those neighborhoods who do have awesome neighborhood serving commercial space in walking distance (darn you, Fall Creek Place–I wish Salon Orange Moon and Goose the Market were across the street from me!) But as neighborhoods declined, these buildings suffered greatly. This one in Mapleton-Fall Creek elicits the pinched forehead stare from me every single time.
Who knows how or why these buildings have such atrocious things done to them, but here it is: they do. Yikes.
This building is a little gem…or could be. I haven’t been inside, but I agree with your assessment of the exterior – it looks like it’s been dealt a poor hand over the years. I would love to see more in-depth research on this property.
Going forward, the location has a lot going for it:
* It is located at the corner of Central and 34th – Central Avenue is currently one-way south, but will be converted to two-way traffic this year thanks to the diligent work of the Mapleton-Fall Creek Development Corporation (www.mfcdc.org). This will make the whole Central corridor from Fall Creek to 34th much more walkable and neighborhood-business friendly.
* it is located near the Double 8 Foods, which will benefit from the installation of a rain garden at the perimeter of its parking lot this year. The rain garden project was developed by IndyTilth (www.indytilth.org) with grants and support from United Water and KIB. Note also that Double 8 Foods is almost in the exact geographic center of Mapleton-Fall Creek, and truly serves as a neighborhood grocery store and hub (not to mention a recycling drop-off location.)
* it is located next door to the new home of FreeWheelin’ Community Bikes (www.freewheelinbikes.org), a premier youth engagement organization that had previously been operating out of Tab Church, which is located kitty-corner across Central Avenue. Note the great new 46 for XLVI mural in the background of the picture at Freewheelin’s new digs.
* there are also plans afoot to bring a new use to the vacant synagogue directly behind this building at the corner of Ruckle and 34th Street.
I believe that a lot of buildings are treated poorly (like this one) or get demolished because of their context. These projects and initiatives will no doubt bring lots of positive improvement and energy to the context of this corner – hopefully enough to make a difference in the future of this little building.