Saturday, August 12, 2017
1 to 5 p.m.
850 Massachusetts Avenue, Indianapolis
Indiana Landmarks hosts a “before” tour of the historic Coca-Cola bottling plant that Hendricks Commercial Properties will soon convert to Bottleworks, a redevelopment that will include apartments, restaurants, retail shops, movie theaters, and a boutique hotel.
You’ll see how architects Rubush and Hunter exceeded the design standards of an average Depression-era factory. Incised gold-leaf lettering traces the words Coca-Cola in the brand’s distinctive script on the facade. Gleaming off-white terra cotta clads the Art Deco exterior—a material that conveyed the spic ’n span facility it enclosed—with geometric and floral motifs and a bas relief panel over the main entrance on Massachusetts Avenue that depicts a refreshing fountain shooting beautiful arcing sprays.
The Art Deco show continues inside the lobby. Ornate bronze doors open onto terrazzo floors and a towering circular marble staircase with stainless steel and brass railing that leads to the executive offices. A massive brushed aluminum light fixture crowns the space.
Just off the lobby on the first floor, another public space wows—walls of sea green, ochre, and creme matte glazed tile walls, trimmed in deep maroon tile that forms ziggurat patterns above the brass and frosted glass doors and surmounted by an ornamented plaster ceiling.
Please note: The tour is self-guided, so you can move at your own pace through the areas of the property open for the tour, with docents stationed along the way to offer information and answer questions. Representatives of Hendricks Commercial Properties will also be on hand to describe apartment, restaurant and retail opportunities in Bottleworks.
The historic building is not yet handicapped accessible (the site has no working elevators) and is not navigable for guests with walkers, canes, strollers, or wheelchairs.
Ample parking is available in parking lots around the building and on Mass Ave.
Thanks to Indianapolis Public Schools and Hendricks Commercial Properties for access, and RATIO, the project architect, for financial support of the Coca-Cola “Before” Tour. The tour also celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Indianapolis Historic Preservation Commission, which will approve changes on the site in the Massachusetts Avenue Historic District.