The stakeholders located around the Circle include a diverse mixture of retailers, corporate headquarters and civic organizations. Their diverse perspectives – and needs – are reflected by responses made by representatives from many of those organizations to the survey questions below:
|1.||HOW DOES BEING ON THE CIRCLE (OR IN THAT AREA) INFLUCENCE HOW YOU DO BUSINESS (BOTH POSITIVELY AND NEGATIVELY)?“Monument Circle is recognized across the country as the icon, the emblem of Indianapolis, and we’re proud to call it home. The vitality and energy we see each day on the circle serves as Anthem’s daily reminder that we’re here to improve the lives of our customers and the health of this community.” Robert W. Hillman, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Indiana, president
“Being in the center of the community is a great positive. People look to the Circle as the gathering place for Indianapolis, and much like NBC on Rockefeller Plaza, it’s a natural place for a broadcast facility. The only negative is traffic access, but we don’t think that is critical.” Jeff Smulyan, CEO, Emmis Communications Corp.
“We are a private club but when it comes to banquet functions, weddings and our overnight guests, people love to be on the Circle. We are in the heart of the city and everything is in walking distance. The negative is when the northeast quadrant is closed due to special events, which closes off access to the front of the club â€“ the only entrance we have.” Jim Rentschler, The Columbia Club, general manager
“Our salon and spa has thrived [the size of our business has more than doubled] thanks in part to its location on Monument Circle. Our proximity to the hotels and the workforce, combined with our reputation, has made Studio 2000 a success.” Kevin Williams, Studio 2000 Salon & Day Spa, owner
“Being on the Circle doesn’t influence our core business of providing electricity. However, the Circle has been our home for nearly 80 years and IPL and Monument Circle are synonymous with many of our stakeholders. We value our location because it gives us great presence and we can educate the public about our community involvement endeavors through our LED light display on the building and window displays in our lobby.” Ann Murtlow, Indianapolis Power & Light Company, president & CEO
“Everything that occurs on the Circle involves the Soldiers and Sailors Monument in some manner such as foot traffic to the Eli Lilly Civil War Museum, the gift shop, and elevator to the observation deck. Numerous events throughout the year cause our operations to terminate which affects visitor count and lost revenues. Our central location demands the properties be pristine on a daily basis, yet it also is a positive because there are more visitors that observe the Circle than any other venue in the city and it is our utmost desire to tell the story of Hoosier Veterans.” J. Stewart Goodwin, Brigadier General, IN ANG, Indiana War Memorials Commission, executive director
“As a church, things might be a little different for us. Being on the Circle gives us visibility and recognition. However, some people unfortunately assume that we are a museum rather than an active community of faith. The challenges include parking, access during big events and noise.” Stephen Carlsen, Christ Church Cathedral, dean & Rector, Floyd Acoff, Christ Church Cathedral, facilities
“Being on the Circle is very important to the ISO in terms of our position at the heart of the City. Our Opening Night Gala is a key event for the City and for the start of the arts season. The one drawback is that access to the theatre and permits etc. can be complicated and expensive.” Simon Crookall, Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, president and CEO
|2.||HOW LONG HAS YOUR BUSINESS BEEN ON THE CIRCLE, AND HOW HAS BEING IN THAT LOCATION CHANGED (POSITIVELY AND NEGATIVELY) DURING THAT TIME?“We have been here since the end of 1998. While the media industry has been challenging in the last decade, being located in the heart of our community has helped our business. People identify Emmis as being on the Circle, and that’s good for our branding of each of our properties.” Jeff Smulyan, CEO, Emmis Communications Corp.
“The Columbia Club has operated at this location since 1889. Being at this location has positively affected our ability to market the Columbia Club to increase membership.” Jim Rentschler, The Columbia Club, general manager
“We have been at 55 Monument Circle for 21 years. The success of Downtown’s growth has helped our location, but the increase in homeless people looking for handouts has hurt our location. Talk of closing the Circle has also been a threat as many clients are concerned that they won’t be able to get here.” Kevin Williams, Studio 2000 Salon & Day Spa, owner
“IPL has been located on the Circle since the 1930s, and has become an icon for our community. Recently, the condition of the streets and sidewalks has deteriorated.” Ann Murtlow, Indianapolis Power & Light Company, president & CEO
“Construction on the Monument was completed in 1901 with dedication in 1902. The positive aspects are the location in terms of visitor attendance and event participation. Location is also a negative, because with the increased number of events and visitors, the infrastructure receives increased wear and tear that also increases maintenance costs.” J. Stewart Goodwin, Brigadier General, IN ANG, Indiana War Memorials Commission, executive director
“Christ Church Cathedral has been on the Circle for 175 years. In recent decades the Circle has changed substantially for the better.” Stephen Carlsen, Christ Church Cathedral, dean & Rector, Floyd Acoff, Christ Church Cathedral, facilities
“The Orchestra has been on the Circle since 1984. Since that time the downtown area has grown in economic impact and there are more restaurants and shops than previously.” Simon Crookall, Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, president and CEO
|3.||WHAT IS THE ONE THING THAT REALLY NEEDS TO BE IMPROVED/CHANGED FROM YOUR PERSPECTIVE?“We need to focus on making the Circle the ultimate destination in town. More events in the Circle, more retail, more of a festival atmosphere would be very helpful. I lean toward closing it to traffic for many hours in the week.” Jeff Smulyan, CEO, Emmis Communications Corp.
“An upscale restaurant and high-end boutique shops would add a tremendous draw to the Circle. Sidewalk seating, Monument seating (i.e. upscale benches), and high-end landscaping would add beauty to an otherwise drab appearance.” Jim Rentschler, The Columbia Club, general manager
“Better and more timely communication about closures. Bring back the skating rink for the Christmas season, and keep the Circle open to vehicular traffic.” Kevin Williams, Studio 2000 Salon & Day Spa, owner
“Monument Circle has the opportunity to be a more significant pedestrian destination. With that it needs to be more pedestrian friendly, while still accommodating vehicle traffic. On a very practical point, the brick sidewalks need more timely maintenance. When a brick becomes loose or goes missing, it is often weeks before it is replaced. This is a real safety hazard, causing many people to trip and fall.” Ann Murtlow, Indianapolis Power & Light Company, president & CEO
“Anything that decreases vehicular traffic on the Circle will promote foot traffic and more visitors to the Monument. The other aspect we would change is [the size] the current trees around the Monument, which are too large. The root system is deteriorating the pavers inside the bollards causing the walkway to be dangerous. The species of tree is problematic because the leaves seem to fall throughout the year, and are small and plentiful causing additional maintenance concerns.” J. Stewart Goodwin, Brigadier General, IN ANG, Indiana War Memorials Commission, executive director
“Street level culture to increase foot traffic seven days a week, day and evenings: that is more restaurants, galleries and stores. Right now most of the circle frontage is not used by the public.” Stephen Carlsen, Christ Church Cathedral, dean & Rector, Floyd Acoff, Christ Church Cathedral, facilities
“I would like to see more retail opportunities at ground level, and therefore more encouragement for foot traffic. The Monument is a destination, but there are insufficient reasons for people to stay on the Circle.” Simon Crookall, Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, president and CEO
A summary of Monument Circle stakeholder access needs and concerns can be viewed via the Available Resources and Files section.