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Made Paradise On Top of a Parking Spot*

15 Sep

Doing Indy — the Indianapolis Convention & Visitors Bureau official blog — came across the AFH Indy PARK(ing) Day by happenstance last year. Actually, a fire alarm in the offices helped.

This year, Emily Elliott of Doing Indy has given it coverage again, this time in advance of the big day, writing:

The Architecture for Humanity Indianapolis (AFH) has decided Washington Street needs to be a little greener. On Friday, September 17, AFH will give the intersection of Washington and Meridian street the green thumb it needs.

PARK[ing] Day will transform 10 metered parking spaces in front Borders Bookstore into an urban park for all who pass by to enjoy. What use to be ten parking spaces that visitors use to come and go only pausing to drop in a handful of quarters, will now be transformed into a space you won’t want to leave.

Look to see you there, Emily and the folks at the ICVB!

We will also look for Renee and Meghan over at Green Piece Indy on Friday. They blogged about PARK(ing) Day yesterday, penning:

You commute to work day after day, park your car, and think of it little until it’s time to return home. But what if you arrived one morning to find that your favorite parking spot had been converted into a lush, green park complete with benches, flowers, and room to relax? Would you honk your horn in protest? Or in sheer elation?

We pick elation!

* By the way, I stole my headline from GreenPieceIndy — who modified it from Joni Mitchell.


PARK(ing) with Style

13 Sep

AFH Indy founder ChunSheh Teo was a guest on the Indy Style morning show on WISH TV this morning, telling Indianapolis about PARK(ing) Day and AFH Indy’s initiative to bring ‘green style’ to downtown streets on Friday. His interview with host Tracy Forner was about two-thirds of the way into the show and we hope to bring you the video interview soon.

Buy A Book, Build A Park

9 Sep

As if the thirst for knowledge isn’t reason enough, you now have an even better reason to buy a book!

If you use this coupon at ANY Borders Bookstore in the United States or online on September 15th and 16th, you will help create a beautiful space in a community that deserves one — the Reagan Park neighborhood in Indianapolis.

The Indianapolis chapter of Architecture for Humanity is teaming with Borders Bookstore to raise funds and awareness to the Reagan Park pocket park project, a lot at the corner of 23rd and Guilford Streets which will be transformed into a wonderful gathering place thanks to AFH Indy and Borders as well as other partners and sponsors. The permanent park will be primarily constructed with materials gathered, built or donated in conjunction with PARK(ing) Day 2010.

That PARK(ing) Day event will take place in Indianapolis on Friday, September 17th, in front of the downtown Borders Bookstore at the corner of Meridian and Washington Streets. AFH Indy and its partners will transform public parking spaces into an urban park for a day, before permanently re-installing it in Reagan Park the following day.

And no matter where you are, you can help this project on September 15th and 16th… simply by using this coupon to purchase a book (or two!). Remember, the more books sold, the more materials for the park — so forward it along on Facebook and in email.

Click below and print or use the promo code:::

A Matter of Art

8 Sep

If you are going to go to the Penrod Arts Fair at the Indianapolis Museum of Art on Saturday, at about 1:15 you should head over to the Blues Stage, close to the Garden Terrace building near Michigan Street.

That’s where WFYI Radio’s Art of the Matter, hosted by Travis DiNicola, Matt Socey and Sharon Gamble, will be broadcasting live from noon to 5 pm. At 1:20 pm, DiNicola will be joined on the air by AFH Indy founder ChunSheh Teo to talk about PARK(ing) Day and the subsequent pocket park construction in Reagan Park.

This will be the 44th year for the Penrod Arts Fair and tickets are $12 in advance and $17 on Saturday. Advanced tickets can be purchased at participating MARSH Supermarkets, Hubbard & Cravens, Borders and the IMA.

PARK(ing) Day = Every Day

2 Sep

In July, the Indianapolis chapter of Architecture for Humanity announced that it would be bringing PARK(ing) Day back to downtown Indianapolis on Sept. 17. A few days later it detailed meetings it had initiated with the Community Outreach Center in Indy’s Reagan Park neighborhood about the construction of a pocket park.

Now the two ventures have merged into one.

AFH Indy’s PARK(ing) Day materials — from sod, bricks and paving stones to plants, lumber and a unique shading structure — will be moved across town and reinstalled in a corner lot at the corner of 23rd and Guilford Street the following day.

“This was a no-brainer,” said AFH Indy founder ChunSheh Teo. “We were building a one-day park for PARK(ing) Day and Reagan Park was interested in a permanent park. This is a challenging and exciting design and build for our partners and us and we are investigating to see if this is a first-of-its-kind off-shoot of PARK(ing) Day.

Among the partnering non-profit organizations are the U.S. Green Building Council, People for Urban Progress and Keep Indianapolis Beautiful. In addition, three universities — Butler, IUPUI and Vincennes — are involved along with Borders Bookstore on Meridian Street, the site of AFH Indy’s PARK(ing) Day celebration.

The recipient of the permanent park — the Community Outreach Center — was established by the late Percy Scruggs in 1972 to combat problems unique to the Reagan Park neighborhood, which was beset with high crime and low income. Scruggs developed the Center on a shoestring budget, providing job training for adults, Bible clubs, activities and tutoring for youth and a food pantry.

The aforementioned shading structure is a first-of-its-kind donation from the People for Urban Progress. “In addition to AFH’s work, we’re excited that PUP can gift the Reagan Park community a shade structure made from the former roof material of the RCA Dome,” said PUP co-founder Maryanne O’Malley. “We anticipate that this will be the first of several shade structures and pavilions that will begin to populate several of our city’s parks, ensuring that the public can continue to benefit from this incredible resource.”

“We are thrilled that through AFH and Parking Day, the RCA Dome will have new life and bring new life to the Reagan Park community,” added O’Malley. “In conjunction with our mission to invest in engaging and responsible urban projects, we’re excited to be part of a first-of-its-kind PARK(ing) Day reuse event.”

And They’re Off!

10 Aug

Three members of the AFH Indy Chapter have touched down in the Dominican Republic and will spend the week working with the Rose-Hulman Chapter of Engineers Without Borders to renovate and expand an HIV/AIDS Clinic in Santo Domingo. AFH Indy is still looking for donations to defray the expense of the airfare. Please click here to learn about that.

Chapter President ChunSheh Teo (third from left above) was at the Indianapolis airport on Sunday to see Carmen Szczesiul, Marco Ladron and Anna Waggoner off for their adventure. And the group is taking photos and journaling its experience. We hope to begin to bring that to you very soon.

Help Us Raise The Roof

1 Aug

As you might have know that we are still actively working on a fundraising effort for the Dominican Republic humanitarian trip to help with the construction for a HIV/AIDS Clinic in partnership with Engineers Without Borders Rose-Hulman Institute Chapter. The project team will be departing from Indianapolis on August 9 and returning on August 16. And we need your help now. We are accepting donations for as little as $1. For a video explaining the project, please click here.

“The Batey Relief Alliance provides medical services to the country and the sugar farmers in the region,” says Anna Waggoner, one of the AFH Indy members preparing for the trip. “Santo Domingo is very close to Haiti and if you saw footage from Haiti in the aftermath of January’s earthquake, you could see the archaic state of medical facilities. I saw doctors using construction hand saws to perform medical procedures and it really tugged at my heart in profound way. I wanted to help the community there anyway that I could and this trip shall provide that by aiding the expansion of the medical community.

“I will also be training the architecture and engineering students on construction techniques which will help the students to be better architects and engineers … I would personally appreciate any donation you could make to this cause. Funds are going to send a group of four architects and nine students to Santo Domingo to complete the first phase of the project which is to enclose the building with a new roof.”

All donors will be listed and acknowledge on the website with the categories below BUT if you or anyone that you know wanted it to remain anonymous, please let that be known and we will not identify the donation. Also to make it easier, if you wish to donate but would be difficult to send it by mail, please contact us at so that we can coordinate someone to pick up the check. All contributions are tax-deductible in accordance with IRS regulations and please let us know if you would like to have a tax-deductible receipt sent to you.

[$100 and up]
[$50 to $99]
[$20 to $49]
[$1 to $19]

If you can just send this message out to your contacts or, even better, if you would like to personally help with this effort, you can make a difference in just two easy steps.

1. Write a donation and make a check payable to Architecture for Humanity. IMPORTANT: Please make checks payable to ‘Architecture for Humanity’ with a note in memo section reading, “Indianapolis Chapter — Dominican Republic Project.”

2. Please send your donation to the following address: 40 North Irwin Street; Indianapolis, IN 46219.