What if, for instance, the Market Square site became an Indianapolis-sized version of Chicago's Millennium Park? What if it were to include gardens, fountains, public art and an amphitheater where the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra and other premiere musical acts could perform in warm weather months?I'm a big believer in having green spaces mixed in with high density development in a city's center of activities. I thought it was reprehensible when the City destroyed the green space across the street from the State House so the Simons could build an average-looking skyscraper that shadowed the State House to house their corporate offices as a show of their political clout in this city and state. Green spaces are ideal as a buffer zone for important government buildings, particularly in the age of terrorism. This is an idea to which the City should give serious consideration. Somehow or another it's an idea I doubt will be met with much fanfare by the downtown elites because it entirely involves the public good, a foreign concept to those people.
Too ambitious? Perhaps. But the real estate and retail markets may well be saturated in the area around the site for years to come. And it's too prime of a location to allow it to languish as a parking lot for another decade.
In thinking through the future of the Market Square space, city planners should add another underused and neglected public space -- Pan Am Plaza -- to the discussion. Given that site's proximity to the Convention Center and Lucas Oil Stadium, there may well be a market for a high-end development there.
Monday, September 20, 2010
Star Editors Have A Good Idea
It's not very often that I read an editorial by the Star's editors and say, "Hey, that's a good idea." Today is one of those rare occasions. A good thought from the editors came in discussing plans by the City to pave over that gravel lot next to the City-County Building that formerly was home to Market Square Arena before the Simons ordered the City to build Conseco Fieldhouse and tear down the building where Elvis Presley performed his last concert or else they would move their Pacers somewhere else. The Star's editors think the City might make a wiser choice in converting the parking lot into a park akin to Chicago's Millennium Park: