Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Happy Birthday DIG-B!

I was just looking back through old post ideas that I never completed and discovered that today happens to be exactly one year since I decided to start DIG-B. So, Happy Birthday to DIG-B and thanks to everybody that continues to stop by!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Photos: Indianapolis Streetcar Rail

I haven't had a chance to get out to take pictures recently so here's one from the vault. It happens to be from Ohio St. right in front of The Maxwell so it ties in well with my last photo post. While I was out on a tour of development sites with a group from Skyscraper City back in June, I noticed that as part of some curbside work they had ripped up the asphalt, revealing an old streetcar rail line. You can see the old brick road surface around it as well. I believe this section has been covered over again, but if you walk around this area of Ohio St., you can still see the rail lines peak out in several spots.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

New DIG-B Layout

So, obviously the new layout went "live" yesterday, and those with a keen eye will have noticed that I subtly tweaked other features over the last day or so as well.  I think the photos look a million times better in this format and I hope you agree.  Just to say again, the standard now is for photos to have a width of 640 pixels and clicking on the photo brings up a separate, larger image with a width of 1024 pixels.  

Anybody have any comments, suggestions or scathing reviews they'd like to send my way?

Aside: my wife just started a new blog about her cooking, so here's a shameless plug to take a look and let her know what you think.

Photos: The Maxwell

The Maxwell Facts:
  • Location: Northwest corner of Ohio St. and Park Ave.
  • Height: 5 stories, plus an underground residents parking level
  • Ground Floor: 1/3 retail fronting Ohio St., 1/3 retail parking, 1/3 residents parking
  • Residential Units: 105 (floors 2-5)
  • Developer: Kosene & Kosene
  • Project Cost: $24M
Project status as of September 9, 2008.

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Looking Northeast from Ohio St.

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Looking West on Ohio St.

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Looking North at the center of the Ohio St. facade.

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Looking East at the buildings next to The Maxwell.

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Looking North on Park Ave.

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The Northeast corner of The Maxwell.

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Looking West on Miami St. (sorry about the darkness of this shot)

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The stairwell treatment on the West facade of The
Maxwell (this also appears on the North and East sides).

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Development: Tavern at the Temple Closes

Just as the canal was welcoming a new restaurant to the area (Zing), I received word this afternoon that another canal restaurant is closing. Amanda Cravens has announced that Tavern at the Temple will cease operations after dinner tomorrow night (Sept. 10th).

This is very sad news, though perhaps not unexpected. I've had a handful of delightful meals there but they were never terribly full. I think they had the right location and the wrong restaurant plan. The outrageous success of Creation Cafe proves that people were more than ready to support a restaurant on the canal. Fine dining was probably not the way to kick off canal dining, however. In my opinion, a successful canal dining establishment needs to be one that caters to those out for a stroll on the canal or out enjoying a paddleboat ride as part of a day in downtown. You need to grab people off the canal, or at least entice the young professionals living in the area in some way, not hope for people to dress up and drive to your restaurant and look for on-street parking. The almost complete lack of signage doesn't help much either.

My guess is that the space won't stay closed for long and that we're likely to see another casual dining restaurant in there in the future. Perhaps a sports bar with a nice beer selection? Well, a beer geek can dream. . . .

UPDATE (9/10): Feed Me/Drink Me has some inside info about this closing. It appears that this is more of a management change than a closing of the restaurant. Obviously, I'm not sold on sticking with the same concept, but from a nearby resident perspective, I'm certainly not going to complain about keeping a fine dining restaurant in the area! I wish the new owners/management all the luck in the world.

Photos: St. Weyertech Building

I'm not sure what to call this building. Most recently, it functioned as Section 8 housing under the name Weyerbacher Terrace Apartments, though it was originally built as St. Vincent Hospital in 1913. St. Vincent Hospital operated out of this building until 1974 when it moved to its current location on 86th St, after which the building was converted to federally subsidized housing. When Weyerbacher Terrace was forcibly closed in 2002, it fell into disuse and disrepair. It was subsequently sold by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development to the City of Indianapolis in 2004 for $10 and then to Ivy Tech Community College in 2006 for $1. Ivy Tech planned to rehabilitate the building and convert it to classroms, though there is some controversy over their current plans, as, due to technical difficulties with rehabbing the building to their desired use, they have instead proposed to demolish the building and construct a new structure specifically for modern classrooms.

Here's how the building looks as of August 2008.

Someone posted quite a collection of photos of the interior of the building last year on flickr, so be sure to check those out as well.

Monday, September 8, 2008

DIG-B Update

Apologies for the lack of content recently. Things have been a little busy for me and I haven't had a chance to get out and take pictures for a while. I've also been working on a couple small but significant tweaks to the layout of DIG-B that I would like to finish up before I make any new photo posts.

The primary difference will be changing the width of the main column where posts are displayed. Since DIG-B has morphed into a very photo-centric blog, I feel that it's important to be able to display larger images. As a result, I'll be able to show pictures that are about 50% wider (and 50% taller -- for the geeks out there that results in images with 2.25 times as much area).

You may have also noticed that my pictures currently get displayed with jagged lines and other strange effects (also called aliasing). I'm tweaking the way images are displayed so that the blog will display alias-free images with 640 pixel width and you can click on the image for a version with 1024 pixel width. If that's too technical for you, just know that things will look a hell of a lot better and if you're on a slow connection, things should also load noticeably faster. I should be done with all the tweaks I'm working on sometime this week.