Fletcher Place, sitting directly outside the square mile that comprises downtown Indianapolis proper, is a community that has the best of both worlds: A small town feel that basks in the lights of a large metropolitan city. This historical neighborhood has been growing up recently, and a major factor has been transportation, which has been a double-edge sword for the community. Construction of interstates I-65 and I-70 in the 1960’s cut the corridor between downtown Indianapolis and the larger neighborhood of Fountain Square — a corridor that Fletcher Place sits squarely in the middle of. Fast forward a few decades, and transportation once again has had an effect, but this time in a much more positive way. Indianapolis’ Cultural Trail, the 8-mile long biking and walking path (think glorified sidewalk) has simply made it easier to get to Fletcher Place from downtown.
LAID BACK INNOVATION
Getting to Fletcher Place is precisely what more and more people are doing. Several independently-owned business, breweries, and swanky new apartment properties are spearheading the neighborhood’s reputation as a cool place to live. Cottage-style homes with quaint backyards, and friendly neighbors that have been there for decades add to the small-town feel. A recent meeting of the Fletcher Place Neighborhood Association supports the divergent attributes: The July 2014 minutes list news on construction projects as well as the social committee’s announcements of the book and dinner club happenings.
5 THINGS YOU MIGHT NOT KNOW ABOUT FLETCHER PLACE
- Indiana’s first micro-distillery and craft donut shops are located in Fletcher Place.
- Fletcher Place boasts the city’s only two bocce ball courts, located in the Edna Balz Lacy Family Park. The Italian Heritage Society of Indianapolis plays here.
- Calvin Fletcher, the neighborhood’s founder, was the city’s first attorney and in practice with Ovid Butler, founder of Butler University.
- Calvin Fletcher’s Coffee Company is a non-profit organization, with profits from the store supporting other local non-profits
- In the 1960’s, Virginia Avenue, the main thoroughfare and one of the city’s four diagonal streets, was a trolley line operated by Citizen’s Street Railway.
Fletcher Place resident, Blake Boldon has lived in the neighborhood for two years, buying a home last summer. He grew up in Osceola, Iowa, a small town of about 4,500 people located in rural South Central Iowa on Interstate 35. Boldon is the executive director of the Indianapolis Monumental Marathon, (to be held November 1, 2014,) ranked by Runner’s World magazine as one of the 9th best marathons in 2014. He is also one of only 423 Americans to run a sub 4-minute mile.
1.) What is your favorite thing about living in Fletcher Place?
The neighborhood definitely feels like a small town in the heart of the city. Fletcher Place is diverse, with young families, retirees and all types of people, but they all take the time to know their neighbors. I see the irony in that it’s a quiet neighborhood with something always going on. Many of my neighbors have lived on the block for decades but our neighborhood is suddenly “trendy”, with a recent article on the front page of the IBJ, Angie’s List throwing a block party and IndyHub hosting two events, all in about a month.
2.) What do you think the neighborhood’s best asset is?
For starters, the Cultural Trail cuts through the center of the neighborhood, making it an easy walk or bike to both Downtown and Fountain Square. As a result, there is a lot of exciting development taking place. Indiana’s first two micro-distilleries will be opening here in 2014, in addition to a brand new microbrewery and Indiana’s first craft donut shop and Indianapolis’s two pedal pubs, all of which are operating this summer. With Bluebeard, Bosphorus, Ember Urban Eatery and Tortas, some of Indy’s best dining is here, not to mention my hands-down favorite coffee shop, Calvin Fletcher Coffee.
3.) If you were to write a tagline for this neighborhood, what would it be?
I think our existing tagline is “Fletcher Place, a little off center.” Since I’m not one to rock the boat and it’s a clever pun on our proximity to the mile square and the progressive nature of our residents, I wouldn’t suggest a change.
4.) Describe your neighbors
I would describe my neighborhood almost exactly the same way I describe the Indianapolis metro area – Fletcher Place is extraordinarily diverse but two words can be uniformly applied – friendly and kind.
5.) Anything you want to say about the Indianapolis Monumental Marathon?
Working for the Indianapolis Monumental Marathon has given me the opportunity to learn a lot about many of the neighborhoods in and around Downtown. We impact a lot of great neighborhoods and although I feel at home in Fletcher Place, I see the appeal of many Indianapolis neighborhoods like Lockerbie, the Old Northside and Historic Meridian Park. The leadership in these communities, and their support, makes our event possible.
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