Plans Revealed For Bicentennial Plaza
March 2, 2015 — TheStatehouseFile.com
INDIANAPOLIS – A $2 million project to beautify the plaza west of the Indiana Statehouse could start as soon as September if it’s approved by the General Assembly.
The Bicentennial Plaza will include a fountain, an “enduring flame” sculpture, and upright columns that represent Indiana’s 92 counties.
Funding for the project was a part of Gov. Mike Pence’s budget and is currently included in the House version of the budget as well. The spending plan is headed to the Seante for consideration.
State Architect Jason Larrison, the project manager for the plaza, said improvements will help the state celebrate its history.
“From a celebratory standpoint there was a desire to make a mark and leave an element behind celebrating the 200th anniversary of our statehood,” Larrison said.
The plaza would be located at the intersection of Robert D. Orr Plaza and Senate Avenue, which currently is a drive that leads to the west entrance of the Statehouse.
Larrison said the state was seeking to repair Robert D. Orr Plaza, which has gone through a “lifetime of service,” and also wanted to celebrate 200 years of statehood.
“The opportunity to take both of them on, to repair Orr Plaza and create the bicentennial project, was like killing two birds with one stone,” Larrison said.
The elements of the project including the flame sculptures and the fountain are more abstract than the traditional uses for the area.
Larrison said officials originally explored ways to run a natural gas line through the area to create real flames but decided that doing so would create safety concerns for the Statehouse. They elected to go with a flame sculpture instead.
Both the flame sculpture and the fountain will allow the public to travel through them and enjoy the area.
Currently, Orr Plaza has a steady flow of traffic that travels through it. In the new design, the majority of the road will be public walking area with trees and gardens to encourage the public to enjoy the space.
“Overall what we’ll end up with is a large area of pedestrian-oriented space,” Larrison said.
Construction would take about one year and projected to be completed in September 2016.
[Concept picture courtesy TheStatehouseFile.com]