An outdoor plaza is coming to downtown Indianapolis in 2023, centered on the intersection of Senate Avenue and Robert D. Orr Plaza, just north of Gainbridge Fieldhouse. The plaza — which will have an ice skating rink, community basketball courts, art installations, water features and more — will commemorate Indiana’s 200th anniversary of statehood.
A Place for the Community
Currently under construction, the Bicentennial Unity Plaza is designed to be a place for community programs, art exhibits and performances, and a place where diversity is celebrated. Special additions will be added due to a $28.47 million grant from Lilly Endowment Inc. and the facility is expected to be complete by spring of 2023.
The new downtown area is meant to describe Indianapolis’ desire for inclusion, acceptance and understanding, along with celebrating what makes the city special.
Bicentennial Unity Plaza Amenities
The main feature at the plaza will include a community basketball court that will be converted to an ice-skating rink in the winter months.
The Plaza will be under a translucent canopy roof, allowing for year-round use and will also have public restrooms available when the ice rink is open (the only ones in the immediate area). A dedicated space for activities and public performances will allow for additional entertainment.
Throughout the Plaza, visitors can see a 30-foot-tall, 110-foot-long art installation titled “Together” by Herman Mejia, including reflective stainless steel and mirrored alcoves. Mejia practices story-telling in his artistic pieces in order to enhance the space.
Another art piece by Mejia will feature a dome-like installation, titled “Sphere” and will include kinetic, interactive screens that have the ability to project live images from within the Plaza as well as the community programming taking place.
In addition, the Arts Council of Indianapolis is working on a large mural project as part of the Gainbridge Fieldhouse Legends program.
Still in the beginning stages, there’s an additional Pacers project planned in another portion of the property for a new restaurant and speakeasy. This portion is not expected to be completed by the Plaza opening date but will be a great addition for visitors in the future.