The Jaxson

Urban Thinking => Analysis => Topic started by: Metro Jacksonville on January 18, 2008, 04:00:00 AM

Title: Roadtrip: Indianapolis
Post by: Metro Jacksonville on January 18, 2008, 04:00:00 AM
Roadtrip: Indianapolis

(http://www.metrojacksonville.com/photos/thumbs/lrg-3352-p1060855.JPG)

Due in part to an aggressive downtown revitalization campaign, Indianapolis has successfully shed its Rust Belt city image.

Full Article
http://www.metrojacksonville.com/content/view/688
Title: Re: Roadtrip: Indianapolis
Post by: fsujax on January 18, 2008, 07:38:47 AM
They are llight years ahead of us.  Nordstrom, Steak and Shake....even Christmas decorations Downtown. Looks like they know what they're doing.
Title: Re: Roadtrip: Indianapolis
Post by: vicupstate on January 18, 2008, 09:36:55 AM
Excellent article.  The last two aerial pics really put much of what MetroJax has been saying into perespective.

Indy is the best example anywhere of what Jax would be today, if only better decisions had been made in the past.  Politically and demographically, it is a close clone as well.

If more of the historic urban fabric had been kept, storefronts put in the ground level of garages, linkages and connectivity between the major public facilities, and most of all a CONTINUAL FOCUS had been achieved in Jax, it would have made a huge difference in what we see today.   

This is why the seemingly 'little' decisions are so important.  Every time a Boomtown is replaced with a 9-5 ad agency, or a building (KBJ's church) is allowed to be demolished by neglect, or a park is built with no purpose, or a convention center is allowed to stay in a well-proven 'bad' location, we get further and further away from the Indy model.     
Title: Re: Roadtrip: Indianapolis
Post by: gradco2004 on January 18, 2008, 10:28:23 AM
Wow... I would have never guessed all that from Indy. It reminds me of New Orleans for some reason?
Title: Railroad History WAY OFF
Post by: Ocklawaha on January 18, 2008, 12:04:37 PM
Beautiful City, Bad History... Crowne Plaza need to do their homework. Indy does NOT have the nations FIRST UNION DEPOT. Not by a long shot. The station there was started in 1888, and opened shortly aftward. This is not to say it isn't beautiful, it certainly is.

Jacksonville, on the other had had a UNION STATION open and running in 1883! The improvements Flagler made created the older section of the Prime Osbourne, and was known as the Flagler Depot... Though it WAS Jacksonville Union Station and it dates from 1895. Our current giant station, dates from 1919 with parts of it going back to the earliest Union Station. So is our's older? NO. Give that to Indy.

So who is older? Depends on who you ask. But the early railroads were in Baltimore, Washington, New Jersey, South Carolina, Georgia, and FLORIDA... Sorry Jax. but Fernandina beats us out, and Tocoi, South of town beats Fernandina. They had a railroad up and running from Tocoi to St. Augustine in the 1830's. Baltimore's President Street Station dates from the 1830's and IT WAS a Union Station. Currently threatened, groups are working to save it and restore the area.

Classic BIG STATION Union Depots? Well, Savannah has the old "Georgia Railroad Station" which serves as the historical museum, and once served a hand full of small lines entering Savannah. It was built in 1860, and would probably be gone today, but the story goes that Sherman got caught in a tropical downpour and his matches got wet. If you go to Savannah, it is WELL WORTH THE EFFORT to see this classic station and the old train shed... If you don't know what that is go to Savannah and look. We once had one too, a huge old train shed that a tropical storm scattered all over La Villa.

Indy, also was the CENTER of some of the most extensive electric interurban railroads in the world, it also had a Union Terminal for Interurbans. They stretched to Cleveland, Detroit, Chicago, Milwaukee, Cincinnati, Louisville... EVERYWHERE. Wonder what they did with THAT history?

When the first rails from Jacksonville reached St. Augustine in the 1800's the little Tocoi line shared it's depot. Later the City had a classic and beautiful Union Depot, next to the old FEC HQ buildings, but tore it down in the 1950's. Savannah, also had a TEMPLE called UNION STATION which in infinate wisdom was torn down for exit ramps off I-16 in 1960. Shades of the Jacksonville Traction Car Barns that jumped in the way of the New Acosta Bridge, then once destroyed they discovered..."oops, they wern't in the way at all..." Seems the Worlds Largest Railway Express Station, was in the way of the JTA yard and HAD to be torn down too.

We don't have the sites Indy enjoys, all we have is the site where the site was... With few exceptions, we could go around the moon-scape and place markers telling what we once had. That gives me an idea! Let's blow a bus freeway through San Marco, Springfield... etc...


Ocklawaha
Title: Re: Roadtrip: Indianapolis
Post by: DevilsAdvocate on January 18, 2008, 03:14:59 PM
Oklawaha, posts with that level of sarcasm and cynicism are not very helpful and make the movers and shakers less likely to take you seriously.
Title: Re: Roadtrip: Indianapolis
Post by: Ocklawaha on January 18, 2008, 08:39:51 PM
I'll also paint my face, shave my head, wear love beads, go barefoot, and eat meals with the homeless and the hookers... Before I retired, I could be counted on to put the gold fish in the water bottle, drizzle the white hand soap across the pages of some losers porn book, or put a chicken in the front lavatory of a 737.

Gee, this time I thought I was being kind... OMG! I hope they like me, if I thought they didn't like me any more, I don't think I could bear it...


Ocklawaha
Title: Re: Roadtrip: Indianapolis
Post by: DevilsAdvocate on January 19, 2008, 12:38:01 PM
...right.  It doesn't take much insight to notice that Jacksonville is pretty backwards in some ways.  It takes a lot more insight to figure out a way to work within the system to actually obtain the changes we think the city needs instead of simply being critical and sarcastic to the point nobody cares about your opinion.
Title: Re: Roadtrip: Indianapolis
Post by: Ocklawaha on January 19, 2008, 01:32:10 PM
Gee I might not sleep tonight. I guess when the City Council had me speak last week, nobody was listening... The meeting with the Mayor was probably a wash too, because I'm incurable. I just can't help but call a stupid project... uh... STUPID! But FYI, I try and employ equal opportunity, I'll also say good things about the same agency's, when they deserve praise. The problem with the City as I see it, is far too many citizens have stood by nodding in agreement, while various agencies piss on their pant legs and tell them it's raining. It's time someone got back in their face and carried it to the top and said, enough is enough...

You see I harbor no anger or hate toward you or JTA or anyone else... I LOVE EVERYBODY. But I speak (and write) with tongue in cheek sarcasm. Frankly one by one, most of JTA has told me they enjoy it. If I were King tomorrow, not a single one of them would lose a job either. We'd just refocus on a few areas and full speed ahead.


Ocklawaha
Title: Re: Roadtrip: Indianapolis
Post by: DemocraticNole on January 19, 2008, 07:29:49 PM
Indianapolis has a very nice dowtown area and is what Jax should be striving for. One thing Indy has going for it, that Jax does not is upscale shopping. There are plenty of upscale shopping stores in Indy, that are not in Jax. Just look at Nordstroms for instance. Do you see one in Jax? No. Neiman Marcus? No. Lord and Taylor? No. Saks Fifth Avenue? No. Those are just department stores. They could be putting in a Tiffany and Co., Gucci, or various other stores downtown to help with the restoration. There are more than enough rich people in this town to support those type of stores, but right now they have to drive to Orlando to shop at them.

Jax also need to focus on the area around the stadium and ther arena. In Indy, there are things right next to the stadium that are very busy and happening all week long. If some restaurants, bars, shopping, and lofts were put in right next to the stadium, it would help the are significantly.
Title: Re: Roadtrip: Indianapolis
Post by: Jason on January 22, 2008, 06:14:20 PM
Great comparison.

Not to downplay Indy's success but, their advancement also has a lot to do with the fact that it is a state capitol and is THE major metropolitan area in the state of Indiana.  Jacksonville has some stiff competition with 4 other large metro areas in state.  Just think of what Jax would look like if all of the state buildings and empolyees were plopped downtown.
Title: Re: Roadtrip: Indianapolis
Post by: jsab1 on January 22, 2008, 08:03:54 PM
Having lived in both cities I can say Jacksonville's development has been stunted a minimum of 30 years by greedy good ole' boys and their political enablers.  Add an uneducated populace that was just too unaware of what was happening in other cities and viola!  Jacksonville.   Unfortunately it hasn't improved much.  Does Jacksonville even have a symphony any longer?  Maybe Lynyrd Skynyrd and Limp Bizkit will do a Vegas style agreement for a year's worth of shows in the Moran theater.  That would make downtown the popular destination people want it to be because it would appeal to Jacksonville's majority demographic.   
Title: Re: Roadtrip: Indianapolis
Post by: I-10east on January 22, 2008, 08:50:26 PM
Great comparison.

Not to downplay Indy's success but, their advancement also has a lot to do with the fact that it is a state capitol and is THE major metropolitan area in the state of Indiana.

I agree. Having Simon Malls headquartered in your town doesn't hurt either. 
Title: Re: Roadtrip: Indianapolis
Post by: thelakelander on January 22, 2008, 09:17:31 PM
I'd agree 100%, until you start to realize that places like Norfolk, San Antonio and Columbus have been just as successful.  At that point it may be time to accept that there's a better way of doing things.  Personally, I think it all centers around creating a critical mass of things by lumping them together.  We've invested in our core as these other places, but its too spread out to spur additional market rate development.  If we can embrace "connectivity" I think we'll be alright.
Title: Re: Roadtrip: Indianapolis
Post by: unionstation13 on January 30, 2008, 09:48:40 PM
The original Union station was built in the 1840's but was replaced by the current romanisque structure in the 1880's. I don't think it was the first in the nation, but I think it was the first outside the east coast.
Great thread, I'm always glad to hear good reviews about my city. :)
Indianapolis was not found in 1820, it was found in 1821, but was settled by Europeans as early as 1819.
Title: Re: Roadtrip: Indianapolis
Post by: thelakelander on January 30, 2008, 10:04:21 PM
Thanks for the local insight on Union Station and the founding of Indy.  That's a city with a lot of potential and definately on its way to greater things.
Title: Re: Roadtrip: Indianapolis
Post by: Naptown on March 05, 2008, 03:58:03 PM
Our beloved Union Station most certainly was the first in the nation. :-)

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"The company laid tracks to connect the railroads, then built a large brick train shed where all lines met – America’s first Union Station, which was located on this site."

from http://www.nps.gov/nr/travel/indianapolis/unionstation.htm

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"Built to replace the first Union Station in the United States, meaning that the tracks and facilities were usable by all railroad companies. This immense Romanesque Revival structure helped Indianapolis become second only to Chicago as a hub of railroad traffic in the Midwestern United States."

from http://www.emporis.com/en/wm/bu/?id=118658

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"Union Station (Indianapolis) opened September 20, 1853 by the Indianapolis Union Railway, the first union station in the U.S."

from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Union_Stations

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Title: Re: Roadtrip: Indianapolis
Post by: indyracefan on December 09, 2008, 01:46:24 AM
...I'm impressed to see Indianapolis painted in such a good light.  Also cool that other cities have taken notice of the tremendous planning and work that has taken place over the past two decades and are even using it as positive examples for their own planning. Being a Union Carpenter I can proudly say that I have helped in constructing quite a bit of what's been mentioned....Circle Center Mall, the former Union Station Mall and Crowne Plaza Hotel, Convention Center, etc. Indianapolis is no New York City or Chicago but can still be a lot of fun and even educational. There's more than corn in Indiana.  ;)
Title: Re: Roadtrip: Indianapolis
Post by: ProjectMaximus on December 09, 2008, 02:06:26 AM
...I'm impressed to see Indianapolis painted in such a good light.  Also cool that other cities have taken notice of the tremendous planning and work that has taken place over the past two decades and are even using it as positive examples for their own planning. Being a Union Carpenter I can proudly say that I have helped in constructing quite a bit of what's been mentioned....Circle Center Mall, the former Union Station Mall and Crowne Plaza Hotel, Convention Center, etc. Indianapolis is no New York City or Chicago but can still be a lot of fun and even educational. There's more than corn in Indiana.  ;)

Not sure the city of Jacksonville has noticed, but the folks on this site sure have.
Title: Re: Roadtrip: Indianapolis
Post by: BridgeTroll on December 09, 2008, 07:49:00 AM
Quote
Does Jacksonville even have a symphony any longer?  Maybe Lynyrd Skynyrd and Limp Bizkit will do a Vegas style agreement for a year's worth of shows in the Moran theater.

Jacksonville has an outstanding symphony... you should check it out.

http://www.jaxsymphony.org/

Moran Theater is booked year round...

http://www.ticketmaster.com/venue/278756