I had the pleasure of attending "A Monumental Affair" last night as an Indianapolis Business Journal "guest of honor." Sounds grand, eh? Well it most certainly was! A Monumental Affair is an annual awards ceremony sponsored by Keep Indianapolis Beautiful that honors excellence in all phases of development, from design to construction to public art. The ceremony was held in the Indiana Rooftop Ballroom, a grand old space built in 1927 and refurbished in 1986. It was my first time in there and it's quite impressive.
I was a guest of Cory Schouten, writer of IBJ's Property Lines blog, along with fellow posters Steve (indy steve here at DIG-B) and Ryan. We were joined by IBJ Editor Tom Harton and Andrea (sorry, I can't remember her last name). It was kind of surreal to be meeting all these people that actually read this fledgling blog! IBJ had a table at the extreme back-right of the room, which worked out perfectly, giving us the opportunity to play peanut gallery, chit-chatting amongst ourselves and alternately praising and ripping on the various projects being honored.
The actual ceremony was about what I expected -- generally mundane projects being celebrated and presented in some cases like they had built the Burj Dubai. The 38th St. Reconstruction project and the Simon Property Group Headquarters won multiple awards, the latter taking home the Monumental Award (the "Best in Show" of this awards ceremony). Douglas Pointe Lofts, home to The Goose and one of my favorite new developments downtown, was up for 4 awards, though they only received one "Achievement" (aka 3rd Place). Some categories had so few entries that everybody won something (is this elementary school?). My favorite category was "Innovative Reuse" where two of the four entries were the renovations of the Rink-Savoy Building -- from apartments to....apartments -- and Herron High School -- from art school to....high school. Congratulations, you're very innovative.
I'd like to thank Cory again for inviting me. I think a great time was had by all -- we should try to have blogger/poster gatherings more often. One final, cryptic note: Cory let us know he has a very interesting column coming out about Paramount Towers. I won't spill the beans, but be sure to check back to IBJ over the next couple days to find out the big news.
UPDATE: Cory's Paramount Tower article is up at IBJ now. Check it out here. The proposal has been moved from Illinois St. to Capitol St., directly across Michigan from the Gibson Building. Though the number of "beds" remains the same, the height has apparently increased from 11 stories to 16 stories.
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