(updated Aug 29, 2014)

Margaret Banning, Executive Director of the Irvington Development Organization, provides an update an important Irvington project:

Hello Irvington Friends and supporters,

It’s hard to imagine a project with more profound benefit to our neighborhood being heard by the Indianapolis Historic Preservation Commission (IHPC).  OOctober 1, the Irvington Coal Factory site plan and design approval will be on the docket. If you aren’t familiar with the Coal Factory development, more information can be found here.  Please note: these dates are subject to change! 

The hearing will take place at 5:30pm, 2nd floor of the Public Assembly Room of the City-County Building, 200 E Washington St. (use Market St entrance).

Coal Factory Perspective

So, how can you help ensure this great project is completed? 

First, find out about the project.

Hopefully you were able to view the site plans and renderings for the Coal Factory improvements at the Historic Irvington Community Council meeting on July 15 (7:00, Irvington Presbyterian Church) and hear the full presentation.  If you weren’t able to attend and have specific questions, you can contact me at Margaret@irvingtondevelopment.org or 260-0669.

Especially if you live, own property or a business near the Coal Factory, please write a letter of support for this projects at least a week prior to the date of the hearing. You can address your comments to Emily Jarzen or send via US Mail to IHPC, Room 1801, 200 E. Washington St., 46204. The Commission needs to hear from the people most effected.

You can send emails or more formal letters, but the important thing is to say where you live and why you’re in support of the project.  You know what an eye sore the former Foam Craft property has been for over a decade, and you know what the new investment, jobs, businesses and activity will mean for this long-neglected corridor that was the original downtown of our neighborhood.

Join us October 1, 5:30pm at the Public Assembly Room on the 2nd floor of the City/County Building, 200 E. Washington St. for the IHPC hearing.  Use the Market St. entrance, and you will need to go through metal detectors.  You don’t need to speak, but just being present will be so important.  The Commission was blown away at our last hearing – they’ve never seen so many people out in support of something, especially during a blizzard!

And ask your friends and neighbors and others who want to see progress and new amenities in our community to do the same.

The IHPC has the authority to approve, ask for changes, or turn the project down.  I know we’ve been working on this for a long time, but we’re not done yet.  We still need to show the support the community has for this game-changing project for Irvington.  Please email, write, and/or come to the hearing and let them know you want to see this project come to life in your neighborhood.


Margaret Lawrence Banning
Executive Director
Irvington Development Organization
5855 E. Washington St., Ste. 100
Indianapolis, IN 46219

…Irvington, the classic suburb which has an interesting way of turning up all kinds of freaks and strange things generally… (Indianapolis Star, Oct. 19, 1903).

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Volunteer Coordinator (Unpaid Position)

The Irvington Development Organization (IDO) works for the benefit of the Irvington neighborhood by cultivating positive business development, promoting the unique character of our neighborhood and enhancing the quality of life for residents and visitors.  As a not-for-profit, IDO accomplishes its mission with a one-person staff, dedicated board and committee members, and passionate volunteers.  In order to better centralize the communication with, education of and deployment of volunteers, IDO is looking for a Volunteer Coordinator or a small team of Coordinators.  The Coordinator would work with the Executive Director to maximize the experience for the volunteers by matching their interests and skills to the various projects, committees and functions IDO pursues.

The duties of the Coordinator would include:

  • Identify and recruit volunteers through existing database of 60+ interested individuals, community outreach, and other contacts.
  • Evaluate volunteers’ interests and skills and match to the appropriate functions.
  • Train the volunteers for their specific tasks and in the mission and history of IDO.
  • Schedule the necessary shifts to provide coverage for events.
  • Create a means to recognize and reward volunteers in a meaningful way.
  • Identify volunteers with interest and aptitude for leadership opportunities and board membership.

The potential time commitment is six to eight hours per month, perhaps more at first as documents and procedures are created.  All duties would be closely coordinated with the Executive Director, and advise, assistance and feedback are freely available from the board and committee members.


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Photo courtesy of Vishant Shah

Irvington Development Organization is proud to have served as  one of the many partners with Foundation East’s Traffic Signal Box art project AND Foundation East is delighted to announce that the traffic signal box art project in Irvington has won first place in the category of Best New Public Art in NUVO’s 2014 Best of Indy Readers Choice Poll!


Traffic signal box located at Arlington Ave and Pleasant Run Pkwy in Irvington. Artist: Rita Spalding. Photo courtesy of Vishant Shah.

For the past two years, Foundation East has commissioned local artists to create art on traffic signal boxes in and around Irvington. The twenty uniquely painted boxes are loved by those in the community. Irvington resident Svetlana Sadovova says, “I think it’s wonderful that there is art for people to view without going to a museum.” The traffic boxes can be experienced by bike, foot, or car, and are there for all to enjoy.

IMPD officer Shane Foley has noticed the correlation between the themes represented on the signal boxes and the characteristics of the neighborhood that houses them. “The boxes suggest life, motion, activity, which is what we want people to know about the area. There’s life and activity here, and people who care.”

Eastside artists who developed the themes and painted the boxes include the Department of Public Words, Morgan Hauth, Shelby Kelley, Erin Kelsch, Andrew Severns, and Rita Spalding. The Irvington traffic signal box art can be seen in Irvington and is available online in the Public Art Directory hosted by the Arts Council of Indianapolis.

Aaron Story and Vishant Shah co-founded Foundation East in July 2013 with the idea that public art can remake neighborhoods by inspiring everyone every day. They are matchmakers, project managers, and artist promoters. Foundation East’s long term vision is to make the Eastside into the center of public art for Indianapolis, so it is no longer just the neighborhoods in which artists live, but the neighborhoods in which they publicly share their art.

Foundation East thanks the following groups for their help: the City of Indianapolis Department of Public Works, Keep Indianapolis Beautiful, the Arts Council of Indianapolis, the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department East District, the Irvington Terrace Crime Watch, the Irvington Development Organization, the Historic Irvington Community Council, the Garden Club of Irvington, Mosaic Church, Mike Theard Painting, Shop Irvington and Porter Paints.


Want to be a part of the positive happenings in Irvington? Become an IDO member for as little as $25!  Find out more about IDO on Facebook and Twitter or visit our website!


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Guest Blogger: Vishant Shah

Prime, Pantry, Instant. If you and your online shopping habits recognize these labels, then you probably rent movies, buy (or sell) things on Amazon.com. Amazon is a great way for my family to save time and money and buy items we can’t purchase locally. We order household products online that are delivered a few days later at a reasonable price. I think Amazon Prime even introduced us to binge viewing of old TV shows.

IDO recently joined Amazon’s charity donation program called AmazonSmile. About the program:

AmazonSmile is a simple and automatic way for you to support your favorite charitable organization every time you shop, at no cost to you. When you shop at smile.amazon.com, you’ll find the exact same low prices, vast selection and convenient shopping experience as Amazon.com, with the added bonus that Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price to your favorite charitable organization.

Screen Shot 2014-05-26 at 8.01.01 AM


Signing up is painless as you can see above. Once you switch to the AmazonSmile page, it is the same Amazon shopping experience. If you order products on Amazon using your mobile phone, you will need to use the Amazon Smile mobile webpage. Generally speaking, not much has changed using AmazonSmile. One small quibble, almost all of our purchases have been eligible for donation, but not all.

There are many ways to support IDO. So many residents and local businesses generously give to IDO. Shopping local and Kroger gift cards also help IDO improve Irvington. Now if you shop online for those items you can’t buy from a local Irvington business, a portion of your purchases will also support IDO’s awesome mission.


Want to be a part of the positive happenings in Irvington? Become an IDO member for as little as $25!  Find out more about IDO on Facebook and Twitter or visit our website!

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Irvington Development Organization is partnering with IndyGo and others to sponsor a series of events called the “Magic #8 Bus”. These events are focused on family-friendly, affordable outings to cultural, arts and sporting events. Our next event is a trip to the Indianapolis Zoo, including the incredibly cool Simon Skjodt International Orangutan Center.

orangutan-The Indy Channel-29935781_22867_ver1.0_320_240Thanks to the good folks at the Zoo, we will be giving away 5 free admission tickets.  AND if that isn’t enough goodness, Foundation East will be giving away 10 free Skyline rides in the Orangutan Center!

On Saturday June 28th you will hop the bus around 1pm with fellow Eastsiders along E. Washington Street to our beautiful downtown Zoo, hang out with all the animals - including our newest kids on the block, the orangutans - then head home on the Magic #8 around 5pm. What a perfect way to spend a Saturday afternoon.

Magic #8 is a reference to the #8 IndyGo bus that runs along E. Washington Street. Attending events together using the IndyGo #8 bus is fun, affordable and serves as a unique way to get you on the bus. We would love to see more families in Irvington, Englewood, Holy Cross and other Eastside neighborhoods utilize this amenity more often to explore downtown Indy. No dealing with traffic or parking, just relax and enjoy the ride.

Kindly RSVP for this event via Eventbrite so we can plan accordingly. More info on bus tix and bus logistics here. Info on Zoo tix here.

Everyone wants to see the new orangutan exhibit and there’s no greener (and fun!) way to do so than going on the Magic #8 trip to the Indianapolis Zoo!

The Indianapolis Zoo
1200 West Washington St.
Indianapolis, IN 46222
Saturday, June 28, 2014 from 1:00pm – 5:00pm

The Magic #8 is a Green and Fun Way to Travel!
Magic #8 is a great way to go to the Zoo where you will mingle and get to know other Eastside neighbors. The Zoo prides itself on conservation and being green and taking the Magic #8 fits in perfectly with the green theme. It’s a great way to make new friends, and don’t you think it’s even better riding the bus with your friends? That’s why we call it the Magic #8!

Upcoming Magic #8 events – all affordable & family friendly:


Want to be a part of the positive happenings in Irvington? Become an IDO member for as little as $25!  Find out more about IDO on Facebook and Twitter or visit our website!


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