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Thread: Off to the Homeland (Indiana, that is)

  1. #1

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    Off to the Homeland (Indiana, that is)

    Flying off to Indiana this afternoon to visit Mom. We're going to be driving down to Indianapolis, then staying in Columbus, Ohio (their original Richardsonian city hall is now a hotel called the Columbus Inn. I'm usually a Motel 6 kinda guy, but it looked cool. Then, to Madison and the southeastern corner of the state.

    The weather is projected to be pretty mixed (thunderstorms-40%), but...hopefully at least Sunday will be nice and sunny.

    See you all next week!

  2. #2
    Cyburbian PlannerByDay's avatar
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    Happy Travels to you.

  3. #3
    Have a good time.

  4. #4
    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
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    Hey ... know a planner there named Kyra Behrman? If you see her, tell her I said "hi."
    Growth for growth's sake is the ideology of the cancer cell. -- Edward Abbey

  5. #5
    Quote Originally posted by BKM
    Flying off to Indiana this afternoon to visit Mom. We're going to be driving down to Indianapolis, then staying in Columbus, Ohio (their original Richardsonian city hall is now a hotel called the Columbus Inn. I'm usually a Motel 6 kinda guy, but it looked cool. Then, to Madison and the southeastern corner of the state.

    The weather is projected to be pretty mixed (thunderstorms-40%), but...hopefully at least Sunday will be nice and sunny.

    See you all next week!
    Welcome to my neck of the woods. Are you really going to Columbus, OHIO or Indiana? If it's Indiana, the hotel is fabulous (I got a peek during and after renovation). You should enjoy the leaf-peeping: we're just about right at the best time (if we don't get too much rain). Take a sidetrip in Madison to see Verestau in Rising Sun (or Aurora, I get confused). Worth a look.
    Je suis Charlie

  6. #6
    Cyburbian H's avatar
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    Back home again...in INDI-A-NA...

  7. #7

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    Well, I'm back after our whirlwind tour of Indiana and Cincinnati. Except for a few thundersqualls along I-69 on the way to Indianapolis the very first morning, the weather was fantastic. It was almost hot on Saturday! No real color in southern Indiana-a drought plus rain and winds knocked most of the leaves off the trees.

    I am a serious Class N Planning and Architecture Nerd, so many of the things we saw were not typical "tourist" things. Mom enjoyed herself, I hope

    Highlights:

    1. Broadripple in Indianapolis-still a nice little neighborhood. The fish restaurant there was actually pretty good, despite the theme restaurant look. Bought a cool watch at a little art gallery. Mom got a nice little glass objet d'art, too.

    2. Also was impressed by Downtown Indianapolis. It really seems to be coming alive. The mall is fit quite carefully into the fabric of the city, imo, (although it is still a mall). I still love the sheer bombast of Monument Circle and the whole semi-fascist ceremonial core north of downtown. Plus, Meridien Avenue is still pretty grand. You can actually buy a LOFT in downtown, now. Still-can somebody get after TJ Maxx to do a little nicer job at maintaining the old Block& Co. Building?

    3. Columbus, Indiana-great hotel, nice Italian restaurant, great art glass shop in the Visitor's Center (nice video show about Columbus architecture). I liked the sleepy little downtown mall and Columbus has a fantastic gateway arch leading into town.

    4. Madison, Indiana-what a fantastic architectural treasure trove. A little touristy, but gorgeous. A homeowner gave mom and myself a 40-minute tour of his art-filled 1850 townhouse.

    5. Cincinatti-the eastern neighborhoods are fantastic. We stayed in Mariemont, which for planning nerds is a lovely, John Nolen-designed planned community. Hyde Park and Mount Lookout are classic pre-war suburbs, and Columbia-Tusculum has rows of painted ladies that remind me ALMOST of San Francisco. Plus, 15-year tax abatements for new homes built in the city.

    6. Mount Adams-Cincinatti-what a cool little sleepy neighborhood. Shows my preference for denser, townhouse neighborhoods. (Still, Hyde Park and Mariemont give it a run for my money).

    Over-the-Rhine-quite intense. What a building stock.

    We visited the Zaha Hadid museum-which did have a decent scale and stroefront windows. I sometimes like the weird geometries of decon, so I enjoyed the building quite a bit. There was a cool robotic tree that moved and dripped and sprayed water!

    DISAPPOINTMENTS

    Downtown Cincinatti appeared pretty dismal, imo. Too many urban design mistakes. Too many megaprojects ignoring scale and the streetscape.

    It has some significant economic function left, of course (Proctor and Gamble, shopping malls, department stores, local banks, etc), but it exhibits the classic urban design failures of too many American downtowns-especially huge, blank wall buildings.

    Fountain Square desparately needs a re-design-it didn't appear to be a very comfortable place. Although-there was a Kerry rally that day

    Downtown doesn't appear to be be a nice place to go for a walk or hang out. There are patches of nice older urban fabric, but then they interrupt them with eruptions of megaprojects and those darn skywalks. Plus, too many of the older buildings were empty.

    DAYTON

    Downtown Dayton-gigantic six lane one way through arterials, no restaurant row, not nice at all. A few nice buildings, and Oakwood is lovely, but when I asked somebody if there was a restaurant row, they suggested chain eateries near the mall. Call me a food snob We ended up eating at Panera?? Bread. OK.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally posted by BKM
    DAYTON

    Downtown Dayton-gigantic six lane one way through arterials, no restaurant row, not nice at all. A few nice buildings, and Oakwood is lovely, but when I asked somebody if there was a restaurant row, they suggested chain eateries near the mall. Call me a food snob We ended up eating at Panera?? Bread. OK.
    Dayton's riverfront is pretty nice actually with well maintained parks and fountains and bike baths running along both sides of the rivers. The downtown seemed much more active that Toledo's even though it's a smaller city. Didn't see as many gaping holes as in Toledo, but then again that isn't saying much.

    From a biker's perspective though, the riverfront is quite nice and you can bike all the way to Cincinnati via bike trails and paths.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally posted by Super Amputee Cat
    Dayton's riverfront is pretty nice actually with well maintained parks and fountains and bike baths running along both sides of the rivers. The downtown seemed much more active that Toledo's even though it's a smaller city. Didn't see as many gaping holes as in Toledo, but then again that isn't saying much.

    From a biker's perspective though, the riverfront is quite nice and you can bike all the way to Cincinnati via bike trails and paths.
    Sounds pretty nifty, SAC. Dayton has always struck me as a pretty pleasant (placid? LOL) metropolitan area that would be a good place "to raise kids." An acquaintance in the Vacaville bike club found some great cycling in the area.

    It did have some neat buildings downtown, and I wasn't observing it during business hours, so its hard to determine the level of activity. Just that those damn traffic engineers were at work early in that city. I bet the "traffic flows" quite nicely down those ever so wide one-way pairs, but the city feels sterile because of them. Except for the fact that the stop lights change randomly at the mid-block pedestrian crosswalks-even if there is not a single pedestrian for three blocks around.

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