Thursday, September 22, 2011

Georgia Street Debate Going to Council

Second District City-County Councillor Angela Mansfield has drafted a proposal for a Council Resolution urging Mayor Ballard and the Metropolitan Development Commission to keep 190 year-old Georgia Street named just as it is today.

The drafted proposal, which will be introduced on October 3, has been obtained by Indy Democrat, and it relies heavily on a historical and economic rationale as the reason to keep Georgia Street just as it is. Here's the meat and potatoes of the proposal.

A PROPOSAL FOR A COUNCIL RESOLUTION urging the Mayor and the Metropolitan Development Commission to cease and desist from all efforts to rename Georgia Street.

WHEREAS, a community's history contributes to its personality and the preservation of that history provides a living link to the roots of that community and its people, all of which adds to Indianapolis' unique character; and

WHEREAS, according to Indianapolis' own home page: "When platting Indianapolis in 1821, surveyor Alexander Ralston allowed one square mile for the city, never imagining it would grow larger."; and

WHEREAS, Georgia Street was given its name in the original 1821 plat of the City of Indianapolis; and

WHEREAS, during the construction along Georgia Street area businesses have suffered significant economic detriment; and

WHEREAS, a street name change will cause those same businesses to incur unnecessary expenditures due to address changes and may cause further economic loss due to loss of location identity; and

WHEREAS, the City and its leaders embraced the perpetual partnership among the past, present and the future which partnership encourages each generation to employ the best of contemporary thought and technology without rejecting the history, culture, traditions and values on which our lives and futures are / were built; and

WHEREAS, without the physical presence of Georgia Street, today and into the future, some of the details of what and where Georgia Street actually was will be lost; and more details will be lost as we pass on our stories of Indianapolis to the next generation and the next; now therefore,


Section 1. The Indianapolis City Council recommends and urges the Mayor and the Metropolitan Development Commission to keep and respect the 190-year old street name (Georgia) from Alexander Ralston's original 1821 plat of the City of Indianapolis and to reject any proposal that we rename Georgia Street.

Section 2. The Council joins with the citizens and entities that want to keep the last three (3) blocks of Georgia Street within the mile square.

Section 3. Upon adoption of this resolution, the Council Clerk will forward a copy to the Mayor and to the Metropolitan Development Commission.

Section 4. This resolution shall be in full force and effect upon adoption and compliance with IC 36-3-4-14.

Here's the thing, when you list out the reasons to rename Georgia Street, they are easily outweighed by the reasons NOT to rename the street. The only reasons I've seen in favor? To have a cool competition to name's cool. The reasons against it are spelled out in the proposal above. In short, no one that I've talked to on Facebook or in person has given me a singular compelling reason as to why this name change is necessary.

Our city's assets may be for sale, but our city's history must be preserved. I say keep Georgia Street as Alexander Ralston intended it.


Nick said...

The major problem I have with this idea can be seen in the street sign picture you posted.

They are trying to re-brand something that they have already branded as the Wholesale District.

Indianapolis Downtown Inc. and Ball State in 2003 branded six unique Cultural Districts within Indianapolis as: Broad Ripple Village, The Canal and White River State Park, Fountain Square, Indiana Avenue, Mass Ave and Wholesale District.

Georgia Street is in the center of the Wholesale Cultural District.

Why not promote the branding you already spent endless hours studying, debating, and resources promoting instead of trying to recreate the wheel?

If you MUST permanently change the street name, I would suggest "Wholesale Street" to reflect the center of the current cultural district, the way Broad Ripple Avenue is the physical center of the Broad Ripple Village cultural district.

Permanently changing street branding to some new hokey sports themed name is wrong on many levels.

I just cringe thinking these simpleton's actually think a name like "Champions Lane" is a really good idea.

Doug said...

With some imagination, the City could honor Hoosier Hoagy Carmichael, author "Georgia on My Mind." Perhaps a statue at the Convention Center end of the boardwalk; similar to the one of George M. Cohan in Times Square.

Anonymous said...

Why does this conceited mayor think he knows it all? Leave it alone..

I am so sick of all the changes in the name of "The Fools Bowl."