04/01/16| Promethean Walk: an emerging civic space

An exciting development  is occurring near the corner of Massachusetts and College Avenues. Indianapolis Professional Firefighters Local Union 416 is expanding its headquarters there and consolidating its campus to better serve both its membership of over 2000 active and retired firefighters, and its neighborhood.

30 years ago, the Firefighters purchased and restored the abandoned 1872 Fire Station No.2, establishing their union hall on a then-struggling Massachusetts Avenue. Mass Ave is now prospering as a Cultural District, and restored Station No. 2's Fire Museum, Survive Alive program, and community-shared meeting rooms and green-spaces have been a catalyst towards that revival.  

30 years after their pioneering investment (having paid off the original mortgage), the Firefighters are in the midst of completing the dream:

  1.  Consolidating member services by bringing the Firefighters Credit Union onto the campus (while filling the streetscape gap of a former parking lot);
  2. Expanding the Fire Museum and Survive Alive program spaces by building a new wing on part of the vacant point of land near College Avenue, while enhancing the remainder as a mini-park.... and:
  3. Replacing lost parking spaces with a mixed-use, events-adaptable landscaped Art Park[ing] Plaza on what had been a derelict lot across St. Clair Street.

The art of that flex-space: the Firefighters have brought back sculptor Dale Enochs, creator of the memorial to Fallen Firefighters (adjacent to the restored fire station museum) to create a public art installation for the plaza's College Avenue frontage. It will combine with other design elements to create an inspiring Indianapolis Cultural Trail node and gateway entry to the Historic Chatham Arch and Mass Ave Districts. The enhanced Point and the Art Park Plaza will be linked open spaces that will host events such as IndyFringe Theatre Festival. The adjacent new meeting rooms, in addition to serving membership and community events, are transformable to a black box theater space, thus helping keep the arts alive on Mass Ave.

SKA is honored to be part of the design team helping the Firefighters realize their dream. With construction well underway, we are now assisting the Firefighters with a capital campaign to fund the public art and open space enhancements that will unify the entire campus into one civic place.  Click on the adjacent image to learn more, and follow us as we begin the countdown to the funding campaign and the unveiling of PrometheanWalk | Gift of Fire.


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