Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Let the 'brain drain' continue...

Poised at a unique time in this city's history, Indianapolis is on the cusp of multiple building projects that could dramatically alter our city's skyline for decades to come. The first project (and the one that arguably will have the most impact on Indy) is a major hotel to be attached to the expanded Convention Center. Last week, the field was narrowed to two. A 44 story Intercontinental that would soar above Pan Am Plaza and a 25 story Marriot, cookie-cutter cardboard box that will sit just north of Victory Field. Can you tell which one I was cheering for?

According to the Indianapolis Star, "The seven-member hotel selection committee, appointed by Mayor Bart Peterson, said the 800-room Marriott is the best choice to serve the growing numbers of conventions headed to Indianapolis." Last week the Star reported that the decision, given the makeup of the selection committee, could turn into a political one (sorry, link is no longer available).

But apparently all hope is not lost. The decision ultimately rests with the Mayor who at times has been a wonderful visionary for this city. I will withhold any further criticism of my own, but will point you to the Star's own message board that has over 100 comments since posting this story online just a few hours ago. Proudly, most of the comments include sentiments like "short-sited", "I'm in shock!", and "uninspiring". Shout it out loud Indy!!!

You can send your comments directly to the mayor here.

Below, a selection of some of my favorite comments from the Star:

Looks just like a carbon copy of the Simon building. Another faceless box that blends into the landscape. Good choice. Way to really WOW the convention world. Jeez. Terrible. - John, Indianapolis

Once again, small-town vision results in a small-town choice. Just like the Airport, the Stadium and most other major projects in Indy, this has no architectural value and keeps Indy where I guess it belongs--second tier. - Tom, Indianapolis

I have been a resident of the city my entire life, and I've always been proud of the progress the city has made in revitalizing downtown. This project negates every inch of progress made. It's not even close between the two. The IC hotel is a much more sleek, modern skyscraper. The Marriott is fit for a suburban hotel off I-69. - Ryan, Browsburg, IN

Bah, humbug! - Bob, Indianapolis

Columbus, Indiana, is a town filled with innovative architecture.
Indianapolis is a town filled with mediocrity expressed in building design as well as expectations.
At least we won't have to worry about being over run with creative types. Why would they want to live here? Depressed, Indianapolis

6 Responses to “Let the 'brain drain' continue...”

Anonymous said...
December 19, 2006 at 11:01 PM

I won't argue the blandness of the hotel design, but that is not the only element to consider. First, there's the chance of the project actually happening. The Marriott developer actually owns the land they are developing. The InterContinental does not. Then there's amenities. The Marriott offers a family attraction that can be used in the winter, therefore prompting conventioneers to consider bringing their spouse and children. Then there's location. It's on Maryland along with the other big three hotels downtown. It's only a block longer walk to shopping and dining than the current big hotel, the Marriott. And it's close to White River State Park, IUPUI, the Canal, the Stadium, Victory Field, etc. It provides a great link between WRSP and downtown. Bland, yes. But beauty is only skin deep. It's what's inside that counts.

Anonymous said...
December 20, 2006 at 11:04 AM

Read The Star this morning ... both the city and the developer say they are going to come up with something more "architectually significant."

It's also expected to be taller, because there will be more rooms (1,000 instead of 800) in the original proposal.

Anonymous said...
December 20, 2006 at 11:35 AM

Do you have an RSS feed for your blog? I can't find one.

Anonymous said...
December 20, 2006 at 11:43 AM

Please let me know if you run across any more blogs doing posts on this topic. I'm trying to keep a running tab over at Indianapolis Bloggers. Thanks!

Scott said...
December 20, 2006 at 3:08 PM

Sorry folks if comments were not posting instantly. The issue should be resolved now. Happy Holidays.

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