Indianapolis Ranked #1 for Downtown Living

Wearing our Indy love on our...stationery. At Homespun on Mass Ave.

Wearing our Indy love on our…stationery. At Homespun on Mass Ave. recently ranked Indianapolis as the #1 city to live in when in comes to downtown dwelling.

The criteria used by the website included:

  • Good entertainment options
  • Well-planned design
  • Unique architecture
  • Green spaces
  • Walkability

Moving from suburbia to downtown has been a dream of mine (and my husband’s) for several years, especially since our daughter began attending a downtown high school. While we probably won’t make the move before she graduates, I know someday I will be a downtown dweller myself. A lot of people hear that and think I’m nuts. I think they are overlooking all that downtown Indianapolis has to offer.

  1. Steeple on Old National Center

    The Old National Center, which was once the Murat Temple, is one example of downtown Indy’s interesting architecture.

    Smaller lots. I’ll admit it — I want less yard to take care of. I’d like enough room to plant some flowers and have one raised vegetable garden. But we don’t need a football field in the backyard any more.

  2. Houses with charm and character. I live on a street with five of my same house. Moving downtown means that I’ll more than likely have a home that was built with custom details such as scrolled fireplaces, arched doorways, hardwood floors. (See a few examples here.)
  3. Entertainment. I love going to live theatre. Downtown Indianapolis boasts several venues including the Phoenix Theatre, Indiana Reperatory Theatre, Theatre on the Square, and for larger productions, The Murat Theatre at Old National Centre. We’re also a sports family. To have the home fields/courts for the Indiana Pacers, the Indianapolis Colts and the Indianapolis Indians right in our backyard would be terrific.
  4. Independently owned retail and restaurants. Sure Circle Center Mall has plenty of national franchised stores and downtown does play home to chain restaurants like Rock Bottom Brewery, Ruth’s Chris, and Steak-n-Shake. But there are also Yat’s, Shoefly Public House, Foundry Provisions, Bluebeard, Santorini’s and dozens of other independently owned restaurants waiting to welcome downtown diners. On the retail side, I’d much rather go pick up a birthday gift at Mass Ave Toys than at Target, find the perfect teacher “thank you” at Homespun, or spend a lazy hour with my boys at Downtown Comics.
  5. Diversity. As parents, we’ve tried to make sure our children have plenty of opportunity to spend time with people who are different than they are. We value racial, economic and social diversity. If you want a rainbow of people, downtown is a good place to find it.
  6. Energy and community. Finally, one of the biggest reasons we are interested in living downtown is that there is a resurgence of city dwelling happening in Indianapolis. People are moving in, embracing neighborhoods, creating the kinds of lives they want to lead. There is a certain kind of energy that comes out of a cultural shift like that and that’s a kind of energy that we want to be part of.
Foundry Provisions at night

Foundry Provisions, which is part of downtown’s Herron Morton neighborhood, is one example of new businesses that seek to make downtown not just a destination but a community.