The Importance of Fountain Square

Fountain Square is, in my estimation, the most intact section of historic, dense, multi-use buildings in Indianapolis. Fountain Square has really come along well in the past decade, and every time I visit, I find something new. And the great thing is, even though I’ve visited it often, I know that I have not seen everything the neighborhood has to offer.

Broad Ripple, Mass Ave, and the Canal are promoted more heavily than Fountain Square. Imagine if that changed, and FS starts to draw in tourists who rent a bike and head down the Cultural Trail. Would that dampen the edginess and creativity of Fountain Square? I do think it is possible, and there is evidence in plenty of American cities that popularity does not go hand-in-hand with a progressive Arts scene.

We must be careful to cultivate the energy that this neighborhood generates. It is unique in the city, and if the scene has to move from Fountain Square because of aggressive gentrification, I’m not exactly sure where it could go that would have as much street-level character.

The good news is, aggressive gentrification is rare in Indianapolis. I believe this to be one of our quiet strengths. This blog is, of course, dedicated to the cause of having more livable spaces for people who want an option outside of the cookie-cutter suburbs. However, I do not wish for this to come at the expense of the culture that we already have in place, and there is no place in town where that culture is better shown than Fountain Square.

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