Indianapolis’ gold building is stripped of its iconic, reflective facade

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Indianapolis' gold building is stripped of its iconic, reflective facade

The infamous gold building in the city center Indianapolis will lose its shine. After purchasing the 20-story office tower at the beginning of this year, local developers Gershman Partners and Citimark announced that they would modernize the facade with an all-glass facade and rob the 44-year-old building of its long-standing identity.

The Market Square Center, located at 151 N. Delaware St., is one of the most gleaming buildings in Indiana’s capital. The box-shaped modernist structure was designed by local company Wright, Porteous & Lowe in the mid-1970s and has a reflective golden exterior with around 400,000 square feet of office space. In recent years, the Gold Building and its neighbor, Two Market Square Center, have seen many changes of ownership, and the site has proven too costly to maintain.

The 20-storey building is being renovated and rebuilt with a new transparent glass facade. (Courtesy Citimark)

The project is located in the city’s Market East District, an up and coming neighborhood of downtown Indianapolis. It is adjacent to the popular City Market Food Hall and along a 8 miles walking and biking trail known as the Cultural Trail. Over the past five years the area has received significant commercial and retail investments, and developers are hoping that the gold building at the center of the scene finds a new lease on life. In a March interview with the Indianapolis Business Journal, Eric Gershman, director of Gershman Partners, said his team wanted to more seamlessly connect the two buildings to the neighborhood below by activating them at the street level and updating the interiors to increase occupancy.

Newly released renderings show that the Market Square Center will soon have a transparent facade and a public space on the ground floor. According to Citimark’s portfolio, not only the facade will change significantly, but also the interior. The lobbies, toilets and office rental rooms will be upgraded with Class A surfaces, and there will be space for a restaurant, bar and retail outlet on the first floor.

Rendering of the office building on the ground floor with tree-lined sidewalk and first level illuminatedThere were rumors that the city wanted to convert the building into mixed use property. (Via Citimark)

The redevelopment has received both criticism and praise from locals since it was unveiled in May. Some are sad to see the gold glass disappear while others don’t mind, claiming the glare from the gold building has made it unbearable to drive by over the decades. It’s unclear when construction of the renovation will begin or when the building will reopen to future renters, but one thing is certain: the golden hour will never be the same in downtown Indy.

The reflection in this gold building is unreal. Indianapolis is such a beautiful city from above ✈️ https://t.co/slUIeRKI7I pic.twitter.com/jDob4J4x4r

– 317 antennas (@ 317_aerials) September 9, 2018