Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Dear Diary, I'm in love...with some houses on the near Northside
A few weeks ago I took a drive through the relatively new redevelop-ment project called Martindale on the Monon. I got excited. So I took another drive through, and then another--with my camera.
There is something going on in that neighborhood that makes my heart go pitter pat. New ultramodern design, blended with old homes getting a facelift, and with a fair number of new decent contemporary-traditional homes is making that a nice place to visit and I just might want to live there. I'm not moving yet, but if I were looking for a new place to settle in Indianapolis, this is where I'd be looking.
The development itself is interesting, with a mix of market-rate and affordable housing, which comes with the possibilities of grant money for rehabs or new builds. The Martindale on the Monon project will sell lots or sell houses built to their specs. These houses are nice.
But the stars of the development are the very modern dwellings and the modern adaptations of some of the older buildings that have begun to dot the streetscape. According to Cindy Higbee at Martindale on the Monon, some of these homes are architect-designed, some are owner-designed. Take a drive down 16th St. and have a gander at the fabulous rehab of what appears to be an old firestation. The design touches that make this a stand out---super cool frosted glass entry doors along with groovy house numbers and a stainless mailbox have converted this abandoned building into a hip new home while maintaining original window and door openings and the building's historic integrity.
Across the street from the rehabbed fire station is one of the 'hood's modern, new homes. A cantilevered second story, shed roof, and a facade wall that has the look of a shogi screen make this house a sexy eyecatcher.
At 16th and Cornell is another modernist-statement residence. This 2-story brick has a center bay that projects above the flat roof and a cantilevered canopy over the entry. And the square, flat-roof garage is almost cooler than the house.
A bit north, Redev Group designed a tall, skinny house with side walls and roof clad in galvanized metal. Huge corner windows must make this home a stunner from the inside as well as the exterior.
Another gem in the neighborhood is the home designed by Mark Beebe at the corner of 19th and Bellefontaine. This small house reminds me of a teak box. Shed roof, boxed entry portal, and even the rear landscape design make it a stunner significant enough to be featured on the 2008 AIA home tour.
The neighbor-hood also features a stellar modernist rehab of the old National Auto Company into the Project School. The inspiring industrial building is a lesson in paying homage to old design with good redesign and reuse.
Martindale on the Monon is still sprinkled with its fair share of rundown, abandoned homes, commercial and industrial spaces. (Note to developers: if you get your hands on that little pagoda former gas station, please don't ruin it! Reuse, reuse, reuse!)
This is a neighbor-hood ripe for the picking and if I were you, I'd go grab a lot or an old rundown building and make something fabulous happen. Your neighbors have already gotten a good start on that!