It’s important to remember that the nation’s interstate highway system is relatively new. Construction on I-70 in Indianapolis began in 1966 and was completed in 1976. As the highway rose up across the city, some of our most storied and historic neighborhoods were divided by a hard gray wall.
Now we have the opportunity to reconnect them with a living green canopy.
The neighborhoods of West Indianapolis and Concord are long overdue for the improvements of A Greener Welcome. Working in close collaboration with the leaders in each community, a plan was developed that recognizes what was lost when the interstate reconfigured their streetscapes and divided their community…a plan that honors the families and small businesses who have kept these neighborhoods together.
West Indianapolis has always been a neighborhood for hard workers. Waves of immigrants from Germany, Italy, Eastern Europe, and Appalachia settled in the area. The homes they built reflected their lifestyle: practical and frugal. Today the affordability and proximity of West Indianapolis is attracting a new generation of hard-working Hispanic immigrants.
The West Indianapolis neighborhood is bound by the White River on the east, Raymond Street on the south, Holt Road on the west, and the Conrail railroad tracks on the north.
West Indianapolis is working to build the “sense of place” that’s vital for building community. We’ve already made great strides through our ongoing programs that are adding trees, landscaping and signage. A Greener Welcome takes that idea to a whole new level, and we’re thrilled to be participating.
We’ve seen the good things that can happen when we enhance the corridors of our community. The 2008 Lilly Day of Service created a spectacular set of murals and a much improved Madison Avenue. Then we worked to re-develop two adjacent structures that have since been acquired by businesses that have increased our tax base and added local jobs. We’re ready for the next chapter. This project is great for Concord.