On Procession (Pin the tail on that donkey!)

22 04 2008

The big parade is less than a week away!  Is there a buzz beginning to gain momentum in the southeast quadrant of the city?  Has the head count at the IMA workshops increased as we get closer to the actual event?  Are the folks who live in Fountain Square aware of the eminent invasion at high noon on Saturday?  My guess is the answer to most if not all of these questions is NO!  I drove through Fountain Square last night on my way home from a class at IUPUI and out of curiosity, I turned on Virginia Avenue where the parade is to take place.  I expected to see a banner or something huge announcing the parade along the parade route.  I had to drive very slow and look closely to see three posters in shop windows.  One, of course, was posted in the window of the Murphy Building, another was in a sewing shop, and the last one was posted in what looked like an abandoned shop.  I was a bit frustrated to see so little to announce the upcoming event which is only five days away.  As I drove home after my investigation, I began to ponder this question, “Why Virginia Avenue for the setting of this parade?”  Did the city say to the IMA, sure you can have a parade but it has to be held in a place that will take the least amount of the city’s time and money?  Did Fritz really think some higher need would be served by the placement of the parade on Virginia Avenue to heal some superficial wounds from the severing of a community by the interstate system?  As I drove down Virginia Avenue and the area around it, I tend to believe it was the Lilly Corporation who has severed the community with its huge complex chopping up streets and swallowing up property.   It might just be a combination of the two elements of the interstate and the corporation squeezing off the main artery from the downtown area to Fountain Square all those years ago.  If anyone has a history of the area and would like to share, I am very curious to know the timeline of events that lead to the demise of a once vibrant community in Fountain Square.   




One response

28 04 2008

WFYI did a great documentary addressing your exact question: what happened to Fountain Square? It covers the history of the neighborhood and proposes a timeline of events that contributed to its gradual decline.

Entitled “Neighborhood at the Crossroads,” it’s available on DVD and VHS at the Marion Co. Public Library (DVD 307.09772 NEI). I recommend it – we used it for parade research at the museum.

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