Richard G. Lugar Plaza

Richard G. Lugar Plaza is a 2-acre civic space that sits in the heart of downtown Indianapolis. The downtown district has grown around the plaza, including the Indianapolis Cultural Trail, the Julia Carson Transit Center, and new residential and mixed-use developments. These investments have heralded a new era of life and vitality to the area.


City of Indianapolis

Project Size:

2 acres




October 2018


Urban Design, Landscape Architecture, Civil Engineering

In Association With:

Circle Design, Fink, Roberts, & Petrie, Axis, RLR Associates, ProjectOne Studio, Brandt Construction, Biederman Redevelopment Ventures



Daniel Showalter, Hadley Fruits

Situated at the base of the towering City-County Building and atop a parking garage, the original plaza featured a complex arrangement of granite walls, water features, and raised plant beds. This presented complex challenges, like selectively demolishing existing elements while integrating others into the design.

We added subtle earthforms to provide adequate soil depth for 68 shade trees while maintaining the waterproofing and structural integrity of the parking garage below. We worked with the city and their chosen artist to conceive and integrate a new public art piece — ALLOY — commissioned by their sister cities program. We also assisted in creating a strategic plan to restore Quaestio Librae, the first contemporary sculpture to be permanently installed in downtown Indianapolis.

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The new plaza is transformational. It is a series of interconnected scenes around a central green space, with communal and intimate gathering areas, an interactive spray fountain, interpretive murals, a speaker’s platform, and accommodations for events. A bright, colorful, and contemporary design vocabulary gives downtown Indianapolis a new, modern urban living room.

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