Historic preservation and hip 21st century culture merge on Indiana Landmarks’ Chatham Arch Neighborhood & Bottleworks District Tour on Oct. 5, showing off Indianapolis’s ability to not simply preserve architectural gems but to capitalize on their timeless appeal.
This two-hour walking tour will highlight the decades of preservation work that turned Chatham Arch into one of the city’s most popular neighborhoods, as well as the recent large-scale revitalization of the former Coca-Cola Bottling Plant.
Those who want a deeper look into the renovation of the Art Deco masterpiece can preface the tour with “Glazed Glory: New Life for the Bottleworks Tile,” a Sept. 23 talk by artist Barbara Zech, who will reveal the painstaking work that went into refreshing the landmark’s signature tile designs. Through color-matching, fabricating, and applying multiple layers of glazing, the process helped to bring new luster to tiles in the main building’s grand entry, lobby and lab, with pieces that include subtle motifs like bubbles and bottles.
While it is now prized as a walkable, vibrant place to live and work, the prospects for Chatham Arch once were less than promising. Taking shape in the mid-nineteenth century as a community of modest cottages, grander homes, apartments, duplexes, churches and commercial buildings, the neighborhood just northeast of downtown thrived for decades but fell from favor by the late 20th century, when it was threatened with annihilation. Attendees of the Oct. 5 tour, presented in partnership with the Chatham Arch Neighborhood Association and Foundation and Hendricks Commercial Properties, will hear about the efforts that saved the neighborhood, and see inside two private residences, including an artfully enlarged 1860s house on St. Clair Street and a church on Park Avenue recently repurposed as condos.
The tour concludes with a look at one of the area’s most recent preservation triumphs: the Bottleworks District at the repurposed Art Deco-style Coca-Cola Bottling Plant. Tourgoers will see public spaces inside Bottleworks Hotel before wrapping up at The Garage Food Hall in the bottling plant’s former garages, the perfect place to grab a bite after the tour.
Tours last approximately 2 hours and run every 15 minutes starting at 4 p.m. with the final tour concluding at 8 p.m.
Glazed Glory: New Life for the Bottleworks Tile
WHAT: Talk describing the process involved in restoring thousands of polychromatic ceramic tiles in the former Coca-Cola Bottling Plant, now the Bottleworks Hotel
WHEN: Sept. 23, 6-7 p.m.
WHERE: Indiana Landmarks Center, 1201 Central Ave., Indianapolis and online
COST: $7 per person (free for Indiana Landmarks members).
RSVP: glazedglorytalk21.eventbrite.com, or by calling 317-639-4534
WHO: Sponsored by Indiana Landmarks
NOTE: Face coverings over the mouth and nose are required for attendees while at Indiana Landmarks Center. Directives are subject to change in accordance with local and national health guidelines and will be communicated with attendees before the event. The talk will also be available online via Zoom for those who prefer not to attend in-person.
Chatham Arch Neighborhood & Bottleworks District Tour
WHAT: Tour of Chatham Arch neighborhood – including two private residences – and a tour of the Bottleworks District, including public spaces in the Bottleworks Hotel and The Garage Food Hall
WHEN: Oct. 5, with tours leaving every 15 minutes from 4 p.m. until 6 p.m. The tour lasts approximately two hours.
WHERE: Guided tours begin at the Plaza of the Indianapolis Firefighters Museum and Fallen Firefighters Memorial, 748 Massachusetts Ave., Indianapolis
COST: $20/adult (ages 12 & up); $15/member of Indiana Landmarks; $10/child (ages 6-11); free to children ages 5 and under
WHO: Sponsored by Indiana Landmarks in partnership with Chatham Arch Neighborhood Association and Foundation and Hendricks Commercial Properties
NOTE: Face coverings over the mouth and nose are required for tourgoers while in the private residences and are recommended in other tour locations. Directives are subject to change in accordance with local and national health guidelines and will be communicated with attendees before the event.
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Mindi Woolman, 317-417-1204 (cell),.
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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 indianalandmarks.org.
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