Indiana Avenue development alternatives topic of Nov. 10 program

Online information session looks at history of Indiana Avenue, plans for a proposed development, and alternatives for the area

On Nov. 10, Indiana Landmarks’ African American Landmarks Committee presents “Indiana Avenue Matters,” an online information session looking at the history of Indiana Avenue and erasure of Black neighborhoods, while examining plans for a multi-story apartment building proposed for development north and west of the historic Madam Walker Legacy Center in Indianapolis.

Indianapolis-based developer Buckingham Companies plans to tear down the three-story Walker Plaza building at 719 Indiana Avenue to make room for the proposed apartment building.

“Our concern is that this proposed development is generic, something you could find anywhere,” says Olon Dotson, associate professor of architecture in Ball State University’s College of Architecture and Planning, and chairman of Indiana Landmarks’ African American Landmarks Committee. “It doesn’t capture or respect the unique character or heritage of Indiana Avenue,” he adds.

During the November 10 program, Dotson will present thoughtful design alternatives incorporating the apartment development with a focus on neighborhood engagement and connectivity, including additional retail and community space.

“We’re enthusiastic about revitalization along Indiana Avenue and want to foster an informed dialogue that considers design alternatives that respect the extraordinary heritage of the location and that could set the tone for future projects,” says Marsh Davis, president of Indiana Landmarks.

The program will also include brief remarks by Claudia Polley, co-founder, Indiana Landmarks’ African American Landmarks Committee and daughter of Jean Spears, co-Founder of Historic Ransom Place; and A’Lelia Bundles, journalist and great-great-granddaughter of Madam C.J. Walker.

“The Madam Walker Legacy Center anchored a once vibrant community where Black Indianapolis residents socialized, shopped and worshipped, but decades of discriminatory federal housing policy, IUPUI expansion and highway construction engineered the neighborhood’s demise,” says Bundles. “Rather than undermine the opportunity to restore that vibrancy, I hope our city’s stakeholders will use this moment to collaborate on plans to transform Indiana Avenue into as welcoming a commercial and residential destination as Broad Ripple or Fountain Square.”

WHAT: “Indiana Avenue Matters” Information Session

WHEN: Nov. 10, 7- 8 p.m.

WHERE: Online event. Register to receive login information.

RSVP: The online program is free with RSVP. Register online at

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Indiana Landmarks revitalizes communities, reconnects us to our heritage, and saves meaningful places. With nine offices located throughout the state, Indiana Landmarks helps people rescue endangered landmarks and restore historic neighborhoods and downtowns. People who join Indiana Landmarks receive its bimonthly magazine, Indiana Preservation. For more information on the not-for-profit organization, call 317-639-4534, 800-450-4534, or visit


Mark Dollase, Vice President of Preservation Services, Indiana Landmarks, 317-650-1650,


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