001-030x Courthouse Center expansion and investment packet


Dublin Core


001-030x Courthouse Center expansion and investment packet


The Courthouse Center mall, the Streetscape downtown renovation scheme, and Columbus, Indiana, are the focus of this collection of photographs, drawings, clippings, and reports.





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Columbus, Ind.

Is Part Of

301 Washington Street Collection (C0001), Series I. Subseries a., Box 1 Folder 5, Columbus Indiana Architectural Archives, BCPL Archives, Bartholomew County Public Library, Columbus, IN; 301 Washington Street: Cornerstone of Columbus, Indiana (digital collection).

Bibliographic Citation

Courthouse Center expansion and investment packet, 1985, 1/5, 301 Washington Street Collection (C0001), Columbus Indiana Architectural Archives, BCPL Archives, Bartholomew County Public Library, Columbus, IN.


Bartholomew County Public Library

Text Item Type Metadata


A composite document including typewritten materials, photographs, drawings and clippings.


Typewritten text (sheet 1):

Courthouse Center

Downtown Columbus Shopping Mall


Drawing (sheet 2):

An aerial view from the southeast of the Commons Courthouse Center complex, with the Bartholomew County Courthouse in the foreground.


Typewritten text (sheet 3):


Columbus, Indiana

Photograph (sheet 4 recto):

A black and white bird’s eye aerial photograph of the Commons Courthouse Center complex. Red adhesive tape outlines the complex and its associated parking lots.


Photograph (sheet 4 verso):

Stamped with the name and address of Lobo Aerial Surveys Inc.


Drawing (sheet 5):

A photocopied site plan of the Commons Courthouse Center complex and surrounding downtown buildings. The complex and associated parking lots are outlined in red pen.


Typewritten text (sheet 6):


Columbus, Indiana

Fifty miles south of Indianapolis and seventy-five miles north of Louisville, Columbus is a perfect example of the "middle market" national retailers are scrutinizing as metropolitan areas reach their retail saturation points.

Courthouse Center tenants have recognized that the Columbus market (the third highest per capita income area in the State) possesses unique retailing opportunities--Sears, Osco Drugs, Kinney Shoes, Bresler's, Stuarts, Paul Harris, General Cinema, Rodes Men's Store to name a few.

Part of a downtown renewal project whose first phase opened twelve years ago, Courthouse Center and the adjoining Commons comprise a one-of-a-kind shopping complex/civic center in a building designed by the nationally recognized architect, Cesar Pelli (then of Gruen Associates).

The Commons, a multi-use community center with its own programming staff, includes an astroturf playground, a 30' original kinetic sculpture by Jean Tinguely, a stage, exhibit areas, a gourmet deli, snack bar and other amenities. This facility greatly augments traffic in Courthouse Center.

Activity in and around the downtown area is increasing with these major projects completed or underway:

1. Cummins Engine Company, world's leading diesel engine manufacturer, has recently completed its new $50 million world headquarters building located one block from Courthouse Center. The building accommodates 1000 employees and increases the downtown area work force to more than 3000 people.

2. Several downtown store fronts have been recently remodeled and more are in process. (See Appendix)

3. The Chamber of Commerce Downtown Council and the City Council have committed city and private funds to a landscape/streetscape plan. (See Appendix)

4. The sale of lots, condominiums and single family homes is underway in the new Tipton Lakes development located just five minutes from downtown. The three-lake residential and recreational development comprises 1200 acres and is in the first phase of its 15-year development plan. (See newspaper clipping in back of book.)

Courthouse Center sales have grown 8% per year the past ten years and 80% of total GLA produces percentage rent.

Columbus, recognized nationally for its progressiveness, especially in the area of architectural excellence, is a growing city with a diverse and sound economic base.

Columbus has a trade area of approximately 165,000 people. Workers from eleven surrounding counties, with a total population of more than 050,000 people, commute daily to Columbus.


Drawing (sheet 7):

Map of the City of Columbus, annotated with typewritten demographic data. Key features are indicated in red pen: Tipton Lakes, Courthouse Center, and the I-65 highway.


Typewritten text (sheet 8):



Size        150.000 sq. ft. (Plus 10,000 sq. ft. of commercial space in adjacent Commons)

Annual Sales       $16 million

Number of Tenants         23 in Courthouse Center (plus 5 in The Commons)

7 - National chain tenants

7 - Regional chain tenants

14 - Local tenants

Sears     75,000 sq. ft. (includes 10,000 sq. ft. Auto Center)

                $9.1 million sales; includes $1 million catalog sales

                Lease Terms

30 years; 1973 – 2003

With three 10-year options


3 Department Stores (including Auto Center @ 10,000)   175,000 - 200,000 sq. ft.

Specialty Shops 150,000 - 175,000 sq. ft.

325,000 - 375,000 sq. ft.


Drawing (sheet 9):

Photocopied floor plan of the Commons Courthouse Center complex, including the names of individual retailers within the mall.


Typewritten text (sheet 10):


                                                                                                Square Feet

Women's Ready-to-Wear

Paul Harris                                                                           3,490

Stuarts                                                                                  4,661

Men's Ready-to-Wear

Rodes (some women's clothing) (better)                6,451

Richart's (casual)                                                              2,723

Food Service

Breslers (ice cream)                                                        600

Jack & Jill Nut Shop (nuts/candies)                           1,012


The Ground Floor (oak and accessories)                 1,079

The Waterbed Room                                                      2,100


Daniel's                                                                                1,200

Gift & Card Types

Card & Gift Gallery                                                          3,425

The Viewpoint (books/gifts)                                        2,720


Kinney Shoes                                                                     3,500

Adams Shoes                                                                     2,742

Drug Store

Osco Drugs                                                                         13,145

Service & Entertainment

General Cinema (twin theaters)                                 12,456
Jungle Jims (pinball/video arcade)                            1,803

Royal Figure Salon                                                           2,537

IVI Travel Agency                                                             1,492

The Alternative (beauty shop)                                    348


Afghanhouse Azam (merchandise from Afghanistan)       1,750

Galbraith Photo Center                                                 944

Shirt Tales (t—shirt shop)                                             925

Department Store

Sears (with pad auto center)                                       75,000


Space available                                                                  1,615

Space available for restaurant                                    3,000

Total Courthouse Center GLA                                     150,718


Food Service

The Market Place (mezzanine)                                   7,475

Potato Place                                                                       1,315


Little People (children's ready-to-wear)                 538

Common Place (local arts & crafts; mezzanine level)         500

Breeden Realty                                                                 538

Total Commons GLA                                                       10,366

Total Complex GLA                                                          161,084


Typewritten text (sheet 11):



Photograph (sheet 12):

A color photograph from an elevated perspective of the Cummins Corporate Office Building and the U.S. Post Office. Washington Street storefronts and a corner of the Commons Courthouse Center complex.


Photograph (sheet 13):

A color photograph of the Cummins Corporate Office Building and the Cerealine Building through the pergola.


Drawing (sheet 14):

A photocopied site plan of the Commons Courthouse Center complex and surrounding downtown buildings. The complex and associated parking lots are outlined in red pen. Adhesive dots add numbers to buildings adjacent to Courthouse Center to key the plan to images in the document.


Photograph (sheet 15):

A photocopied photograph of the Kevin Roche addition to Irwin Union Bank.


Photograph (sheet 16):

A photocopied photograph of Washington Street storefronts from the northeast. Bartholomew County Courthouse and the Commons are visible in the distance.


Clipping (sheet 17):

Two-sided photocopy of a Time Magazine article about the architecture of Columbus: “Showplace on the Prairie.” Time, December 5, 1977, 68-69.


Clipping (sheet 18):

Original article from National Geographic about Columbus, Indiana by David Jeffery with photographs by J. Bruce Baumann.

Jeffery, David. “A Most Uncommon Town: Columbus.” National Geographic Magazine, September 1978, 382-397.


Drawing (sheet 19):

A photocopied map of downtown Columbus with some individual buildings colored with red pencil.


Drawing (sheet 20):

A photocopied of a map of downtown Columbus (sheet 19), with the typewritten heading “Downtown Columbus Significant Buildings and Renovation Projects.”


Clipping (sheet 21):

Photocopied newspaper article on redevelopment in downtown Columbus: Scherschel, Greg. “’Keeping the Old’ Provides Facelift for Downtown Area.” The Republic (Columbus, IN), December 18, 1984.


Clipping (sheet 22):

Photocopied newspaper article on redevelopment in downtown Columbus: Scherschel, Greg. “Restoration Worth Added Cost.” The Republic (Columbus, IN), December 19, 1984.


Clipping (sheet 23):

Photocopied newspaper article on Streetscape redevelopment project: Scherschel, Greg. “City’s ‘Rebirth’ Dream of Every Official.” The Republic (Columbus, IN), December 22, 1984.


Clipping (sheet 24):

Photocopied newspaper article on architectural restoration in downtown Columbus: Scherschel, Greg. “Architects High on Restoration.” The Republic (Columbus, IN), December 20, 1984.


Clipping (sheet 25):

Photocopied newspaper article on architectural restoration in downtown Columbus: Scherschel, Greg. “Renovation Not Always Best.” The Republic (Columbus, IN), December 21, 1984.


Typewritten text (sheet 26):

Columbus‘ Streetscape Program


Every community needs a center. The center for Columbus is downtown, a home for government, cultural, and community activities.

Over the years, Columbus has made a major commitment to keep its downtown a vital part of the community and has already invested nearly $60 million dollars in facilities and improvements. More than 3,000 people work downtown, and surrounding neighborhoods show new signs of vitality. Many restorations have been completed or are underway, making downtown a much more attractive place. People are investing in their future.

Despite the good progress, there is much unfinished business - things like coordinated streetscapes, more retail and office development, building facade improvements, better traffic flow, consistent signing, improvements to Mill Race Park, housing development, improved parking, entertainment, and activities.

Why not begin with a project that would have immediate impact and momentum--a coordinated streetscape. First along Washington and then along Fourth and Fifth if funding permits. This is one of the recommendations of SOM consultants in the Central Area Plan, and also of the local Steering Committee. The program could later be expanded to include other downtown streets and key entry points.

The attractiveness of a downtown, evidenced by recent physical improvements, plays an important role in location decisions. A streetscape program would complement the restorations, show everyone our downtown is moving, and visually unify most of the downtown's outstanding new and old architecture.


Typewritten text (sheet 27):

Concept Elements:

Trees and Grates - Multiple varieties of dwarf honey locusts are under consideration. They won't hide the beautiful facades, and they're hardy. They don't cause clean-up problems, nor do they attract birds. Trees would be placed in iron grates at sidewalk level, either at regular intervals or on building lines.

Pavers - For the sidewalks. Same material as the new pavers at Donner Center- Unistone or Monostone - consistent color and pattern to complement the building fronts. Unlike concrete, pavers form a permanent sidewalk, attractive, easy to maintain, never needing replacement. There is no spalling, and pavers are simply taken up and reset when work is done under the sidewalk.

Lighting - The city plans to add timeless, decorative lighting as part of the streetscape along Washington.

Other Elements - Banners, attractive signing, and street furniture can also become part of the package, as funding permits.


The project would establish a timeless face for downtown Columbus; it would not become dated. The project would be designed in consultation with a leading landscape architect under the leaderhsip of a client group representative of people downtown.

Construction and Maintenance:

The city would develop and carry out the project. The city would supervise the proper re-installation of sidewalk pavers whenever work would be done under the sidewalk, guaranteeing an attractive, permanent, matching sidewalk through the streetscape area


The estimated cost is $500,000, for 10 block sides, or $50,000 per side. City Council has appropriated S100,000 for streetscape in its 1985 budget, the first time Council has ever appropriated significant funds for this kind of physical improvement. If there is sufficient demonstrated interest, city officials will ask Council to appropriate an additional $150,000 in the 1986 budget, bringing the city's share to $250,000. To make the project a success, the city needs private partners for the additional $250,000.


Typewritten text (sheet 28):

This project must be done during the next two years. Revenue sharing will probably end, and the city will be less able to participate in these kinds of improvements.

We need your help. By investing $50 per linear front foot, you can make the project a reality. Funds can be invested either by businesses and property owners occupying a building on an individual basis, or by groups within the building, but $50 per foot is key!

This is an investment in the future of the downtown, in the value of your property and business. It will add value to downtown and generate more people--shoppers, employees and visitors - look at downtown Indianapolis!

Your individual or collective investment can be made over a two year period, and in quarterly increments. The Chamber is prepared to receive investments, which are tax deductible as business expense.

We don't need the funds right away. Your commitment is what we need now, to continue the streetscape process. Funds will be utilized in early 1986, when construction is expected to begin. We will begin receiving investments in late 1985.

What Happens After Streetscape?

A downtown is never "finished". Already we're working on ways to redevelop and fill vacated space, create more excitement and entertainment, and looking at how downtown should continue to develop. More details are contained in the enclosures. But first, "Streetscape"


Clipping (sheet 29):

Photocopied newspaper article on Streetscape redevelopment project: Huffman, Stu. “Streetscape to spark ‘Everybody’s Neighborhood.” The Republic (Columbus, IN), September 22, 1985.


Pamphlet (sheet 30):

A 22-page letter-size pamphlet titled “Community Audit: 1985” published by Economic Development Board of the Columbus Area Chamber of Commerce. Contains demographic and economic data.


Unknown, “001-030x Courthouse Center expansion and investment packet,” BCPL Archives, accessed November 30, 2021, https://bcplarchives.omeka.net/items/show/47.