Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard says the winning entry in the City-County Building Plaza Design Competition will turn the area into “downtown's new backyard.” Design Collective's estimated $12.5 million concept includes a splash park, ice rink and outdoor seating area.

October 23, 2014

News Release

Indianapolis, Ind. — Mayor Greg Ballard and community leaders today unveiled the winner in the City-County Building Plaza Design Competition. The winning design by Design Collective features a splash park, ice rink, caf?, game area, presentation platform and outdoor seating area. It also recognizes the former Marion County Courthouse that stood on that site until its demolition in 1962 by outlining the footprint of the building with pavers.

“The winning plan will recreate the City-County Building Plaza into downtown's new backyard,” said Mayor Greg Ballard. “This design encourages people to come downtown year-round to enjoy the splash park, ice rink and other outdoor areas.”

The winner was selected by a jury of design professionals and community leaders. As the winner, Design Collective, will receive $15,000 and a chance to build its design, when funding becomes available. PORT Architecture & Urbanism came in second and Westlake Reed Leskosky finished third in the contest. Those companies will receive $7,500 and $2,500, respectively.

“The City-County Building Plaza Design Competition was held to create a truly vibrant and interactive public space in downtown,” said Adam Thies, Director for the Department of Metropolitan Development. “The 23 submitted designs were judged not on who the designer was, but purely on criteria publically derived from the Greening of America’s Capitals Report.”

The competition was funded by a $50,000 grant from the Central Indiana Community Foundation through its Inspiring Places Initiative.

“The winning design brought out the best in terms of the design criteria for the competition,” said Brian Payne, President and CEO of the Central Indiana Community Foundation. “The proposal truly fits in with the Inspiring Place Initiative by taking this underused space and transforming it into a high-quality amenity for the community.”

The City of Indianapolis and the Central Indiana Community Foundation have begun fundraising efforts to pay for the design and construction of the project. The winners and other design proposals are on display in The Hall (Old City Hall).


Central Indiana Community Foundation (CICF) is a $694 million public foundation transforming the lives of Central Indiana residents in three ways: consulting donors, family foundations and their professional advisors on charitable giving; awarding grants to effective not-for-profit organizations; and providing leadership to address community needs and seize opportunities. CICF was established in 1997 as a partnership between The Indianapolis Foundation, serving Marion County since 1916, and Legacy Fund, serving Hamilton County since 1991. For more information about CICF, visit, or contact Mike Knight at

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