Placemaking In Meridian Kessler, part I

Inspired by this post on A Place of Sense, I decided to try my hand at similar one for my neighborhood, Meridian-Kessler. I will start with 10 places that work, and post 10 places that don’t work and 10 opportunities for growth in the near future. These are listed in no particular order.

10 places that work:

1. Yats. A neighborhood institution that has thrived without its own parking lot. The restaurant itself is a model of efficiency, but also proves that efficiency doesn’t have to be boring.

2. The Monon Trail. I’m not sure what I would have done without the excellent bike path just a few blocks from my house that originates downtown and now ends to the north of Carmel. If trains happen to become a part of the Monon’s future due to the resurgence of rail travel, the trail acts as a land bank that preserves the right of way.

3. Architecturally interesting churches. My personal favorite being St. Joan of Arc.

4. The houses along the North/South streets west of College Avenue. Of course there are great houses elsewhere in the neighborhood, but these are the ones that could end up on postcards.

5. The Red Key. Another institution. Try the hamburger and a Manhattan (which is the drink on the famous neon sign).

6. Good side streets for bicycling/walking. I’m not a big fan of riding or walking down a street with a good deal of car traffic, so I generally just head down a quiet street and keep going until I have to turn.

7. Activated neighborhood nodes. The neighborhood is lucky to contain some of the best in town, along with some others that have potential.

8. New energy at 54th and the Monon. Just a few years ago, when I moved to the neighborhood, this area had Mama Carolla’s and not much else,. Now there are quite a few new destinations. While not technically in Meridian-Kessler, it is close enough that it draws many residents.

9. School for Inquiry. Award winning charter school that can hopefully lead a new interest in quality public schooling for the city.

10. I’ll just compile some of my other favorite places in this single number: Luna Music, A Taste of Philly Pretzels, News Cafe, Sam’s Gyros, Upland Tasting Room, Cafe Patachou, Taste Cafe, Habig’s, College Avenue Library, the old neighborhood apartment buildings, Binkley’s (just outside the MK boundary).

Comments 13

  • Man, the author of a place of sense has it together huh? That was a great post over there. I love his transit ideas as well. It would be nice to know how many others out there think that way that dont frequent the web, blogosphere or other.

    Good posts by you AND him. Keep up the good work sir.

  • Yes, he does have it together. My post pales in comparison, but I still tried to to the neighborhood justice.

  • Don't forget The Aristocrat. Mighty fine pork tenderloin there.

  • Having moved to the 5400 block of Winthrop recently, it's been incredible to watch the area evolve over the past year and a half.

    One of my favorite things about the 54th and Monon area is the awesome little market that took residence in an abandoned gas station right on the trail at 54th st. They feature local produce and even make lunch during the summer months.

  • Awesome post! I couldn't agree more.

  • Really enjoy your blog. I love what is happening on all the corners along college ave. Just moved from 54th & College to 46th & Central and have been surprised by the amount happening south of 54th!

  • I'm curious what you define the boundaries of the M-K neighborhood as. I lived at 52nd and College and have heard many people describe that area as "SoBro." Also you say Binkely's is not in M-K but it actually sits on Kessler. I'm not being critical, I am merely curious what the boundaries are. Also what neighborhood do the shops at 56th and Illinois belong to?

  • The official boundaries are as such:

    38th Street to the south

    The Monon to the East

    Kessler on the North

    Meridian on the West.

    56th and Illinois is in the Butler-Tarkington neighborhood.

  • The official M-K boundary definition long precedes the real-estate-agent-driven term of "SoBro" for everything between 52nd and Kessler east of Central. And the Forest Hills area of M-K (College, Northview, Monon, and Kessler are its boundaries) retains a special identity.

  • a hamburger and a Manhattan, eh? Well my drink of choice happens to be the Manhattan, so I will have to take this advice! Great posting!

  • Locally Grown Gardens, the farmer's market and so much more at 54th and the Monon (as mentioned by someone above)! Talk about promoting neighborliness and good local business practices. Love 'em.

  • thanks for the clarification, Kevin and cdc guy.

  • I used to live in that area right after college. When you mentioned the Red Key I got all misty eyed. I still remember getting chewed out the first time I went in and put my jacket on the back of a chair. Place is marvelous. I live in LA now and miss the hell out of that area.

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