Georgia Street Update 5

Georgia Street as of 10-3-2011 (image credit: Curt Ailes)
Georgia Street as of 10-3-2011 (image credit: Curt Ailes)

Here is the latest news from the Georgia Street project. I stopped after classes last night for just a moment to snap a couple of pictures. I feel like this update is almost symbolic of the the struggle that has become the Georgia Street overhaul. The City, over the past month, has made a public push to rename Georgia Street. It has been covered in many local media outlets, so it is not worth spending the keystrokes here but suffice to say, last night the Indianapolis City Council voted unanimously on a measure urging the Mayor to halt the renaming process. While nothing is official about it, the fact that there was a 28-0 vote in favor of keeping the street named Georgia Street should send a loud message to the mayor.

Georgia Street as of 10-3-2011 (image credit: Curt Ailes)
Georgia Street as of 10-3-2011 (image credit: Curt Ailes)

Anyway, here are the latest updates. The project is suppose to be wrapped up by November 1st, and it appears that they could actually be on schedule to meet that deadline. There are many trees in the ground and dirt is being laid in some of the planting areas.

Georgia Street as of 10-3-2011 (image credit: Curt Ailes)
Georgia Street as of 10-3-2011 (image credit: Curt Ailes)

You can see that there is still a lot of finishing work to do, but the project is really starting to look quite impressive.

Comments 15

  • I used to be really excited about this project……but now I just assume they will park cars on it.

  • I suspect the renaming was not that big of controversy. The idea of a new name was floated and we the people spoke. I do believe the renaming discussion ended up providing exposure to an impressive project a lot of folks did not know much about.

    In any case it was an excellent exercise in local government and public interaction.

  • The project (although I don’t necessarily agree with the layout) is impressive. It will not succeed though, without a way to generate revenue from the space and a dedicated entity to program and maintain it… Any ideas on where this is going to come from?

  • This is my favorite project in Indianapolis and has been for a while. I believe it will be an absolute “home run” for the city. I must admit some growing trepedation that there will be too much “auto” and not enough “pedestrian.” Simply put, I wish Georgia Street was 100% pedestrian after the overhaul. Nevertheless, I am excited about the project and enhancing “street life” in downtown Indy.

  • Oh, sorry – thanks for pics and continuing updates Curt

  • I can’t imagine this space being totally successful without autos. I mean it’s a major connection between two major buildings. But look what’s along it…a few hotels, parking garages and any shops/restaurants? Like any new space in Indy, this will need to grow (get better) with time. I wonder how many years it will take for proper development to happen here. For now, let’s just think about the dead times due to it’s location. Maybe cars will be the only activity during these times?

    • I think Kilroy’s is right at the corner. And Hooters and maybe one other bar/restaurant is a short jump away. And there’s that The Pub, that Catholic church, and some gym right on Georgia Street. That’s pretty much about it.

    • Barcelona’s La Ramblas has had 800 years to perfect itself and is still a work in progress. I’m pretty confident that Georgia street will get it right.. and it won’t take 800 years.

  • My biggest beef with the design is that when there is not a programmed event, the driveable surface will separate the pedestrians from any sort of commerce and interaction with the buildings. In order to really see the ‘power of 10’ (PPS) you need storefronts to look at and interact with – not cars. People want to sit inside and outside of restaurants and look out at action – not cars. Hopefully it will present itself more as one accessible plane with cars being few and far between and pedestrians feeling like it’s mostly a pedestrian oriented area (eg Las Ramblas).

    • When this project was being proposed, I commented (maybe on the old Urban Indy) that I really wish they would not have made this area with through streets. Maybe a turn-around or two for the hotels in the area, but make it an unadulterated pedestrian experience.
      My reasoning is that it doesn’t connect two areas where driving would be necessary for continuity as it ends in two edifices
      I think the general tone of the responses was something along the lines of, “Well, there are businesses.” These businesses would have benefited far more from having a pedestrian experience than the experience they are getting. Maybe this will be realized in the future.

  • As far as having restaurants and businesses along this corridor — there are already many — Mikado, Harry & Izzy’s, 1/2 block from St. Elmo, Hooters, Kilroy’s, the Pub, the new “tilted kilt”, Jillian’s, Old Spaghetti Factory, Howl at the Moon — and the press has been reporting that the first floor of Circle Centre along Georgia and around the corner along Meridian will soon have three or four new restaurants / bars such as ESPN Zone, a Hofbrauhaus, a Cheesecake Factory, Ocean Prime and maybe others. Retail will be above that – maybe a Macy’s – plus the rest of the south end of the Mall. There are dozens of additional restaurants and bars within a block in any direction. There will be dozens and dozens of major events nearby (at Conseco, the Conv. Center, at Lucas Oil Stadium) bringing tens of thousands of people – and often in the forty to fifty thousand and above range. No it won’t be busy all the time — but it should do just fine most of the time – and there will likely be times when it will be packed to the gills with people trying to squeeze through. Just wait until the Big Ten Football Championships in two months — and then the Super Bowl two months later.

  • Like TJohn explains: Georgia Street is simply an extention of Circle Center Mall…sucking in the tourists, keeping them away from anything outside the Mile Square

    • Micah, most vistors to Indianapolis are in the city either for business/conventions, to attend one of the few major events in town (e.g. the 500), or visiting relatives.

      People here for business have little time, desire or reason to go outside of their business place, unless they happen to be staying downtown, then it is good to have so many places nearby for them to patronize. People just flying in for a day meeting, usually fly out the same day, so only those staying for more than a day are going to have time to be a tourist. A business person with a little extra time, some curiousity, and perhaps family members traveling with them may make the effort to pop over to the IMA, Children’s Museum, Broad Ripple, etc. But, they also appreciate having a lot to see right next to their hotel.

      People here for one-day major events, like the 500, tend to come in to town and then quickly leave. They are usually focused on the event they are attending and not on seeing the town.

      People here for conventions are also not so inclined to play tourist, nor do they generally have the time to do so. But, convention goers do often have some down town they would like to fill. As they usually don’t have car, and with the city’s poor public transit, they generally need to go places within walking distance (and most big conventions are held downtown). Again, having a compact, walkable downtown with lots of places for them to patronize is a good thing. Otherwise, they would simply stay in their hotels, counting the hours until they could get back home.

      People visiting relatives will go wherever there relatives happen to live.

      I don’t see a problem with providing a compact downtown that is packed with amenities. In fact, this is precisely what convention goers and other visitors say they enjoy about the city.

      I would rather other parts of town be made nice for the residents of the city than to try to have other parts of town compete for tourists. It won’t work, and it is nice to not have the whole city geared to those who live elsewhere.

  • I agree with Chris. All these urban improvements are just geared towards tourists and visitors, but what about the daily life of residents? We are the ones sustaining the city and therefore, public transportation, more walkable areas, and fewer roads whould be a priority, also because we are the ones paying taxes and making downtown alive. Anyways, till the Midwestern mentality doesnt change, i dont have too mucb hope for the city. I am from Bilbao, Spain, and its amazing how mid size cities in Spain are flourishing….but here, in the US, we still have too much work to do. by the way, i love this site, and been following it for a while

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