Monday, August 29, 2011

Flowers Everywhere!

One hot day last July, I left Roberts Photo on South Meridian and happened to look up at one of the buildings across the street. It was in the process of being restored and adapted for use as offices or condos. 


The building's surface has been cleaned, it's red brick practically gleaming in the hot sun, bringing out the floral details of its cornices.

So far, I haven't been able to find much more information about it. I think in a previous life it had been the long-time location of a party novelty company which moved to another location many years back. The main business currently at the site is the Old Spaghetti Factory, located at 210 South Meridian Street. The building is among those located in the Warehouse District of Indianapolis, which began its existence in the mid-1800's as a place where shoppers could go to purchase goods previously available only out of state.

Cleaning has revealed details of the beautiful structure
The area thrived until the Great Depression, when businesses struggled and failed, leaving the buildings to become decrepit and dour. Since 1995, astounding results have revealed the beauty of many of the old buildings, giving them new lives as restaurants, hotels and condominiums 

210 South Meridian Street is the address for
 The Old Spaghetti Factory, it's main entrance under the OPEN sign.


dive said...

You really do have an eye for finding beauty, Speedway. What a fabulous building this is. I love the terracotta work; the mix of Corinthian capitals, basket weave and an Islamic motif between the upper and lower windows is stunning. Some real care went into the design and construction of the façade.
I like the street scene, too. A fine mix of old and new with some pretty tasteful modern commercial design mixed in. Publicis is elegant and airy; classic early 20th century US commercial architecture, and even Nordstrom's is attractive; some interesting elevational treatments, especially the semi-circular arch with the horizontal planes above echoing the cornices of the older buildings.
Nice touch.
The only building that mars the street is that awful blank beige block in the distance with the uninspired fenestration on the side. Knock that down and you've got a real classy neighbourhood.

Inspirational stuff.

Speedway said...

Thank you, Dive. You've gone all Ada Louise on me this morning!

You may be interested to know that from Nordstrom up to and including the blank beige block is, essentially, one big building, Circle Centre Mall, which opened in 1995. The architects included (at the city's and citizens' insistence!), that they preserve and incorporate as many of the old buildings' facades as possible. And they did, all around. In fact, some facades that had been saved by the Historic Landmarks Foundation when they couldn't save the entire building were used hare. I've taken pictures of them and will use/send along later.

"Big Beige" is the back side of the old L.S.Ayres building, a department store that succumbed to the corporate take-over conglomeration frenzy in the 80's, then died. It is now the anchor on the NE corner of the mall, its innards updated and adapted, but it's outside intact. Carson, Pirie, Scott now inhabits the space.

Ayres was My first employer in Indy. The building was/is full of old wood paneling, wood floors. It had a restauranr and a bakery/deli. The Indiana State Museum got the restaurant which it installed in the museum. At Christmas time, they run the old train ride that LSA previously set up in the their 8th floor auditorium. Kids could ride that and visit Santa Claus while their parents could go to the Tea Room for some Chicken Velvet Soup. YUM!