$29M Gift to Dress Up Bicentennial Plaza
Indianapolis-based Lilly Endowment Inc. has awarded a nearly $29 million grant to add public art, community programs and public restrooms to the newly-named Bicentennial Unity Plaza which will sit next to Gainbridge Fieldhouse. The Capital Improvement Board of Marion County on Thursday presented plans to the Indianapolis Historic Preservation Commission for the plaza.
The fieldhouse is undergoing a $360 million renovation. The adjacent plaza, which is currently under construction, will include a community basketball court that can be converted to a seasonal ice rink. The grant from Lilly Endowment will allow the addition of sculptures and other art pieces.
“Bicentennial Unity Plaza will complement other downtown amenities, and we are heartened by CIB’s commitment to ensure that it will be a lively public place that is affordable, accessible and welcoming to people of all backgrounds,” said Ronni Kloth, Lilly Endowment’s vice president for community development.
A winter view of the Bicentennial Unity Plaza, including an ice rink. (image courtesy: CIB of Marion County)
Ground level view of the Bicentennial Unity Plaza. (image courtesy: CIB of Marion County)
Aerial view of the Bicentennial Unity Plaza. (image courtesy: CIB of Marion County)
The CIB says the public plaza will be home to significant sculptures that connect Indianapolis’s past and present, including a 30-foot tall, 110-foot-long arced stainless steel and limestone sculpture entitled “Together.”
“The Capital Improvement Board is thankful for Lilly Endowment’s investment in creating the Bicentennial Unity Plaza as a place for the community to come together, celebrate our city, and to infuse more cultural opportunities into the downtown core,” said CIB Executive Director Andy Mallon.
Pacers Sports & Entertainment will manage the plaza, collaborating with community groups on special events.
Construction on the project, including the public art installations, is scheduled for completion in early 2023.
Editor’s Note: A previous version of the story said the grant came from the Lilly Foundation instead of Lilly Endowment. We apologize for the error.