Bottleworks District

Bottleworks District

Indianapolis, Indiana

Anchoring the Avenue

Perched on an 11-acre site at the east end of Indianapolis’ historic Massachusetts Avenue, the former Coca-Cola bottling factory is an Art Deco showpiece. Faced with thousands of white terra cotta tiles and accented with hand-lettering glinting with gold leaf, the exterior design carries through to intricate balustrades, glazed tile mosaics, and vaulted ceilings found throughout the main building and garages.

Hendricks Commercial Properties
180,000 SF hotel / 139 keys | 75,000 Retail | 80,000 Parking

Built in the 1940s, the plant is a local treasure. By the 1950s, it had become the largest Coca-Cola plant in the world. But twenty years later the factory was sold, used for storage and administrative work, and closed to the public.

We embraced the opportunity to reinvent the site, connect it to the community, and create a boutique hotel. The client had a strong vision — this would be a district, highly integrated into the surrounding neighborhoods and instrumental to the future of Indianapolis. Surrounding streets and sidewalks were rejoined to the city grid, improving vehicle circulation and pedestrian access. The streetscape has been finished in brick pavers and granite curbs flanked with trees.

Throughout the site, we were sensitive and thoughtful with our designs. To accommodate 139 hotel guest rooms for example, we added a third story — to what was originally a two-story footprint. The profile is stepped-back from the street, and a glazing system slopes away from the facade so as not to detract from the original sightlines. By removing the central roof and floor, we also created a new courtyard for guest-room garden views.

Visitors and locals alike will experience the site as both a historic gem and a contemporary gathering place. They’ll peruse the record store, grab a drink or two in the beer hall, get a haircut, or see a film at the arts cinema. A festive atmosphere will spill out from the Garage food hall to the brick-paved pathways, as catenary lights hang overhead. For nearly fifty years, Bottleworks was partitioned off from the public. It was a barrier. Now, it will be a destination.

“I enjoy breathing new life into a historic building, layering in its different timelines. Over its lifetime, Bottleworks has changed from an industrial factory to an underutilized, isolated storage facility to a restaurant, hotel, retail, and office space – full of vitality.”

Jeff Milliken, Principal, RATIO Design