The Future Skyline of Indianapolis

In light of a real nifty binder I found at Indy Reads on Mass Ave last month (which showcased an extremely fantastic axonometric rendering of future Indianapolis from the 1980s), and a few recent approvals of downtown towers, I was inspired to render some images of the soon-to-be future Indianapolis skyline.

The following renderings reflect the recent approval of 421 Penn, which is slated to rise 13 stories above the American Legion Mall, alongside the concurrent proposals of Kite Realty’s 38 story Signa Hotel and the improbable proposal for a 22 story addition to the Morrison Opera House building.

For these renderings, I estimated height based on floor totals and available construction documents. The masses are based on height only, and, obviously, the final designs will include more nuance. Green indicates an approved structure – in this case, the 421 Penn building. Rust indicates proposed structures; infill projects either in construction or nearing construction are denoted in brown- these include The Grid on East/Washington, the Ardmore at the foot of Mass Ave, and the Block 20 Athenaeum project.

In this view from the northeast, we see 421 Penn (green – approved), filling in the skyline northward while Signia and the Morrison addition rest to the south (orange – proposed). In the foreground, we see the recent Athenaeum apartment proposal as well the Ardmore (brown – under construction) at the base of Mass Ave.

This view from the east near Highland Park reveals a fuller skyline, partially balanced by the additional weight to the south brought by Signia. The Grid also gives a bit of density to the foreground of the skyline here.

View from the West exhibits the slightly fuller skyline.

Looking north from Lucas Oil Stadium provides a look at a denser block of towers.

Having some fun…

While reality is fun, sometimes, as an armchair urbanist, I love to envision what could be. In Indianapolis – which doesn’t see nearly the amount of construction as larger cities such as Chicago – sometimes daydreaming is crucial. Thus, I made the following renderings, which include the proposed Indiana Tower and the talked-about World Trade Center (the plans for which have not yet seen the light of day). At 750 ft., the Indiana Tower makes a huge statement while I assumed massing for the WTC at around 30 stories and a north-south orientation in the vein of other major downtown towers.

No site has been isolated for the WTC project so I figured, given the state of Indiana’s cozy relationship with business, that there would be no better site in Mile Square for WTC than on the north lot of the Statehouse. Good riddance. For the sake of having fun, I also included the 21c Hotel proposal which fell through in the last few years. The site needs…something, so why not a 10 story tower?

Despite that preface, keep in mind that the following renderings only include those three structures, alongside the proposed and under construction structures already listed. In my opinion, the difference is remarkable.

The inclusion of the 750 ft. Indiana Tower creates a much more metropolitan skyline in this view from the Fountain Square Theater building.

Looking west toward downtown from above Highland Park.

The view from Highland Park offers a much denser skyline.

The view looking south down Meridian from the Marott building.

This view from Riley’s Hospital gives us a glimpse at this totally redefined skyline.

The Indiana Tower would be extremely prominent driving into the city on East Washington Street, near the Zoo.

The view looking down Mass Ave is distinctively urban.

So there you have it! The Indianapolis skyline of the future!

Feel free to leave a comment if you like what you see, or if you would like to see other angles or perspectives.



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