Norm 2.0 Thursday Doors

Thursday Doors – January 25, 2018

Coca-Cola Bottling Company
858-868 Massachusetts Ave.
Indianapolis Indiana Circa 1931

The day I visited Indy Reads Books bookstore in the Chatham Arch Historic District, I spotted this gem waiting to be photographed. Using my IPhone 7 camera, with limited time, I managed to take a few shots.

Being curious, I did a little research. Coca-Cola moved their bottling production in 1964, further out from downtown Indianapolis, to Speedway (think Indy 500). The property was subsequently sold in 1968 to the Indianapolis Public School (IPS) district, used as a central kitchen and house school buses. In 2017 IPS sold the 11-acre property to Wisconsin-based Hendricks Commercial Properties LLC for $12 million. Hendricks $260 million redevelopment plan calls for 400 residential units, 200,000 square feet of retail space, 200,000 square feet of office space, a cinema and a 120-room West Elm hotel.

There is one problem. Contamination from the plant was found seeping into the surrounding Chatham Arch neighborhood and remediation is ongoing. Hendricks is seeking money from the city and state to help with costs.  There are no further updates available.

“The Coke plant, which opened in 1931, was designed by Rubush & Hunter, one of the top Indianapolis architecture firms at the time. Rubush & Hunter also designed the old Indianapolis City Hall, Hilbert Circle Theatre and other landmarks.

The 285,000-square-foot Coke plant was once the largest Coke bottling plant in the world. It is known for its terra cotta facade and impressive interior spaces. The art deco design includes details of flowers, fountains and sun rays. According to the Encyclopedia of Indianapolis, the design was intended to enhance ‘the hygienic image of the spotless bottling plant.'” (Briggs, 2016).

Briggs, J. (2016, March 08). How much of old Coke plant, art deco features will be saved? Retrieved January 25, 2018, from

Olson, Scott. (2017, February 9). Contamination at former Coca-Cola plant site extends into neighborhood. Retrieved January 25, 2018, from

Chatham Arch-Massachusetts Ave Historic Preservation Plan A 150 page pdf detailing the history of the area.

Indy Reads

Indy Reads is a nonprofit bookstore run to support literacy programs for adults and families in Central Marion County and the City of Indianapolis.  This was my first visit and well worth a trip from anywhere in Central Indiana.  Paperbacks are $5.99 and hardbacks are $6.99 and they have rare books for sale as well.  Currently (1/12/2018) they have a complete set, five volumes, of Virginia Woolf’s Diary for $60.00.  And they have a great collection of Poetry….

I ended up purchasing some modern poet’s books I had never read before and whose style I enjoyed by a quick glance.

Nicholas Christopher The Creation of the Night Sky
Carolina Ebeid You Ask Me to Talk About the Interior
Chuck Carlise In One Version of the Story
Catherine Barnett the game of boxes

Indy Reads has a quality children’s book section. Do note the children’s books are not organized in any fashion so you should plan on spending some time looking through the shelves of books.

They have a Facebook page, a website, and always need volunteers.  Oh, not to forget, they enthusiastically support local artists and writers with ongoing programs and opportunities to display works for sale.  If you ever find yourself in Indy, do stop by.

Historic Indianapolis

Indy’s Historic Lockerbie Square neighborhood is popular for downtown neighborhood living. So many beautiful gardens, quaint cobblestone roads, later paved by bricks, historic homes and new construction. The movement to buy the downtown homes revitalized a once struggling city.

Historic Lockerbie Square

Just west of Lockerbie is the Murat Theatre. I spent Mother’s Day enjoying The Phantom of the Opera. It was my first show but will not be the last. The music well known has been woven into a fantastical story in my head. Magnificent! Bravo!

Close your eyes and let music set you free.  –The Phantom of the Opera

Murat History