If the team at Core Redevelopment has its way, the phrase “play ball!” will be replaced with the phrase “lights out!” at Bush Stadium, former home to the Indianapolis Indians minor league baseball team.
The stadium has seen both highs and lows in its time. The 1930s structure served as a stand in for Comiskey Park and Crosley Field in the 1988 film, Eight Men Out. But after the minor league team moved in 1996 the structure was left empty. (Although, from 2008 to 2011 it served as a storage site for the government’s Cash for Clunkers program.)
More than a decade of neglect left the venerable stadium in dire condition, earning it a spot on the Indiana Landmarks‘ 10 Most Endangered list. Indiana Landmarks’ President Marsh Davis persuaded city officials to hear the $22 million plan of Core’s John Watson which—unlike other proposals—included preserving the stadium’s iconic Art Deco entrance, its light towers, steel roofing system, and most of the brick outfield wall. City leaders including Mayor Greg Ballard endorsed the plan and pledged $3 million in financial incentives.
The costly renovation included the removal of asbestos and lead paint, but now the conversion is complete. Residential tenant applications are now being accepted for the mixed use project—the city’s 16-Tech Development Technology Park (which is part of the city’s larger initiative).
From Core’s website:
Located within the original confines of the old Bush Stadium, Stadium Lofts truly will be a one-of-a-kind living opportunity. By saving the original structure of the stadium, Core has managed to find a new life for this Indianapolis landmark. In the 16 Tech technology park, currently under construction, residents at Stadium Lofts will enjoy access to pedestrian paths and trails with convenient access to shopping, restaurants, and downtown.
For some people, living within the walls of a converted baseball stadium would be the ultimate fantasy. (Talk about your Field of Dreams!) And while baseball isn’t for everyone, just think about the pickup baseball games the kids will play.