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Re-Envisioning the Taggart Memorial

The Taggart Memorial is currently on Indiana Landmark’s list of most endangered structures. As a result, they have mounted an effort to restore the structure. As a part of this effort, they are attempting to gather ideas for its use in the park once it is in fact restored to its original condition.

The YAF, along with the Ball State AIAS, was invited to participate in a brainstorming session to create a new vision for the Taggart Memorial. It was a great opportunity to get involved in the beautification and revitalization of our city. Some potential uses were obvious, but in the end we were able to develop some ideas that may not have normally be considered. It was a lot of fun and we were glad to have a good turnout.

At the event , Scott Pannicke gave a brief explanation of the Taggart Memorial project and what Ratio Architects has been working on. The memorial is one of the most endangered landmarks of Indianapolis, it was built by the friends of Thomas Taggart, former mayor of Indianapolis. Scott explained how the memorial has been deteriorating for years and showed existing pictures as well as a couple of renders of what they have thought to renovate the structure.

The list we compiled:

1. move it
2. concert venue
3. weddings
4. garden amphitheater
5. 19th hole (connect it to the golf course)
6. movies on the lawn
7. building facade (IMA)
8. connect to the river
9. water park/ ice skating rink
10. swing set
11. ruin
12. park shelter with picnic tables
13. education center
14. terminating access road to create larger green space
15. farmers market
16. bike rental
17. live theater

By the end of the event we realized that there were much larger issues at hand than just what program the space would support. Some of those items:

utilities/ lighting/ landscaping/ site is bonus/ connection to neighborhood (sidewalks)/ parking/ way finding/ connection to Riverside Dr. / connect to Greenway/ respect monument/ security.

We may help Indiana Landmarks again, once they are more prepared to work out the design of whatever is proposed. We should be even more helpful once it comes time to pull out the trace and markers.