Socialization Saves Places

Recently a new movement has started in historic preservation circles called “Beer Saves Places.” It certainly sounds like a movement that I can get behind. I like beer, and I like historic places, so what’s not to like? The first meeting was in Indiana City Brewery, just south of Washington Street. This building actually used to house another brewery, the bottling house of Home Brewing Company:

indiana city
Image Credit: Preserve Indy:

Recently, another new brewery has popped up, this time in an old Catholic church located at College and North Streets. I was fortunate enough to visit recently, and I was really impressed. Of course, they are lucky in that much of the restoration work was already finished by a now defunct architectural firm, but someone still had to make a successful business, and I’m glad that St. Joseph Pub is making it happen:

Image Credit: Karl Mann
Image Credit: Karl Mann

But it’s not just beer that’s saving places. Recently there have been a few other historic building saves. Some have involved coffee, such as Foundry Provisions:

Image Credit:  Andrew Morin
Image Credit: Andrew Morin

And even a formerly forlorn real estate office with no historic value has been turned into one of the hottest restaurants in town, which I’ve also enjoyed recently:

Image Credit: Sara Morin
Image Credit: Sara Morin

This leads me to think that it’s not just beer that saves places, it’s the human desire for interaction that can bring interest back into places that have otherwise been forgotten. Give people a reason to come and socialize, and watch the magic unfold. And once all of our other jobs are replaced by robots, it’ll likely still be a popular venture to create gathering places for people. What else will work?

Comments 5

  • I’m thinking it is developers and restaurant owners with foresight who save places, but that’s just me.

  • To be fair, older inner city sites are saved lots of ways: by art centers (Harrison Center for the Arts), by schools (Herron High School), by stores (originally Meridian Modern, now another resale store at 22nd & Meridian), by offices (SEND office in Fountain Square is part of the old Wheeler Carburetor complex), by mixed uses (Shoefly and Tea’s Me on 22nd have apartments or condos over), etc.

    The “work behind the scenes” IS the save. The nice place to hang out is the result.

  • Love this post. It is so hard for friends from the burbs to understand exactly what is going on in the downtown core, but once they see it, they are always like, “This is the coolest thing ever.” Cognitive dissonance somehow still makes the not want to move down here though.

    • I would also say incentives play a large role. I have always said I am not for pushing my desired way of living on others but all kinds of people love a true urban setting. Especially suburban types who eschew all things urban in conversation. I guess it isn’t hard to beat the atmosphere of outdoor seating in a giant parking lot surrounded by traffic and big box stores.

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