Spiffing up Fountain Square

The retro Indianapolis cultural district called Fountain Square is receiving a lot of attention these days. The area is widely considered the arts and ethnic district in Indianapolis, though its origin was more pointed toward commerce. Important buildings within its neighborhoods, such as the Fountain Square Theatre, have seen major restorations. Today, work continues on the Water Nymph statue and the familiar statue known as the Pioneer Family.

One of the nicest things about the Circle City is the Indianapolis Cultural Trail, a development that has enhanced the Indianapolis downtown area and the Mass Ave cultural district. Continued work on the Cultural Trail, projected to start next February, will connect the downtown Indy area with Fountain Square, running down Virginia Avenue.


The Indianapolis community is generally getting more interest from the Indianapolis business sector, and, affected by the new movement, real estate in the Indianapolis cultural district is gradually becoming more active. Aided and abetted by the Southeast Neighborhood Development project (SEND), many Fountain Square small businesses have been able to prettify their facades through SEND’s grants. Some 62 such improvements were finished between 2002 and 2008, and the work is ongoing. Fountain Square contains some unique private businesses, along with its Indianapolis art galleries and Indianapolis theaters and performing arts venues. It has the proud reputation of being “anything but square.”

Businesses that have themes related to the artsy atmosphere Fountain Square promotes, such as architects and landscape designers, have recently made their home there. A cool comic shop called Hero House opened up in the neighborhood because of this appeal. A new Indianapolis bar called White Rabbit, which will feature cabaret-style live music, should be open soon. Perhaps they’ll give the Cabaret at the Connoisseur Room, otherwise known as the American Cabaret Theatre, a run for their money.

All in all, Fountain Square is a good representative of the pioneer spirit that founded the Midwest, where generations of Indiana citizens learned that patience, perserverance and mutual aid were values that stood the test of time.