Louisville and Indy Trip: Part 2
About a week late, here are a few thoughts about the Indianapolis half of the Louisville and Indy tip.
The development is called White River State Park, because the state created what they believe to be the first urban, downtown state park. This allows for more state funding, but according to Executive Director Robert A Whitt, he is outside of the normal state park system and answers directly to the Governor. Mr. Whitt was also was the one kind enough to lead us on our tour of the park.
The park includes the Indianapolis Zoo, the Indiana State Museum (which appeared to be free) and IMAX Theater, the NCAA headquarters and Hall of Champions, Indy's AAA baseball stadium, the Congressional Medal of Honor Memorial, the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art, and a variety of amphitheaters, plazas, and promenades.
Two other features stuck out in my memory. One is the Central Canal, seen below, which is a recreational and scenic canal that was built over the last 20 or 30 years. The other was the complete LACK of surface parking. I thought this was very strange, until Mr. Whitt pointed at a ramp descending under the front lawn of the State Museum and said that it led to an 829-space parking garage. For perspective, our MidAmerican building's parking garage holds about 880 cars.
It was quickly obvious that these projects are on a different scale than anything in the Quad Cities. Being the largest city in the state in addition to the state capitol allows Indianapolis to grab state money much better than we're able to. Near the park the new $625 million dollar NFL stadium for the Colts was being built with about 10 cranes, so that showed a lot of differences right there. I believe the total cost for the park project itself I heard mentioned was around $550 million.
Both Louisville and Indianapolis showed a huge amount of cooperation with their state governments, even personally involving the Governor in some cases. Why can't we do that here? Those cities are both the biggest in their respective states, but we're Iowa's front door, and one of the main metro areas. I'd like to see the state offer us some money, instead of us having to beg for our own gambling revenues to be given back to us.