Thursday, April 4, 2013

A modest new Gateway Arch.

My latest post is available on Urban Indy, featuring a work in progress: the South Gateway Arch in Indianapolis, at the point where Madison Avenue and U.S. 31 diverge.  It is the first phase of an extensive plan to improve the streetscape for a part of town that has seen considerable flight of businesses to the more southerly suburbs over the years.  The initiative is in its early stages, but it great promise to create an important visual landmark for an area that lacks it.  Here it is at this point in the development:
 And here's how it should look by the end of the summer:
The promise at upgrading the pedestrian environment through improved (and often first-time) sidewalks is less clear at this point, but we can remain hopeful.  No doubt this initiative will take place over many years, and I encourage the leaders behind it to take their time, if that is necessary to ensure comprehensiveness and quality in the streetscape enhancements, rather than a rushed, half-assed job.

The full article features plenty more photographs, including some already complete pedestrian enhancements near the University of Indianapolis campus.


Jon White said...

I really appreciate your blog and passion for your work (hobby?) I grew up in this area, my grandparents lived in University Heights and owned several businesses in the area. I moved away long ago, but whenever I go back it feels like a neutron bomb was dropped on the southside, so I applaud any effort to revitalize an area that was never fashionable, but was vibrant.
Jon White

AmericanDirt said...

Thanks for your comments, Jon. The University Heights neighborhood still looks pretty good in my opinion--against all odds though, because north of Hanna is pretty worn out, and yes, the retail around there has seriously deteriorated. The biggest catalyst would involve a better method of integrating UIndy with the housing, perhaps by fostering more of a walking-student culture that reasserts the areas previous walkability as an interurban stop. I know the new president of UIndy hopes to better integrate with the greater south side (particularly south of Troy), so that might be something to look out for in the coming years.