Sometimes living in Indianapolis is hard. When one is emotionally moved by the visual aesthetic of their surroundings, it can be downright painful. Take, for example, the current state of the Coca Cola Bottling Company building at 858 Massachusetts Avenue. It's a fine illustration of the urban war wounds an architectural empath must endure, when traveling through Downtown Indy.
The first section of the Coca Cola Bottling Company building was built in 1931 and designed by prominent Indianapolis architects Rubush & Hunter. It housed a state-of-the-art bottling facility that churned-out bottle after glass-bottle of the Classic, for thirsty midwesterners. After an expansion in 1940, it was said to be the largest facility of its kind in the world. It was certainly one of the most beautiful.
The building's facade is primarily terra cotta, and slathered in classic Art Deco ornament. An abstracted fountain motif and floral arrangement are prominent, repeated via the terra cotta, and in iron as well. The building's original signage uses a Modern sans-serif typeface, inset into the terra cotta and accented with brilliant gold. The typeface may have been both designed by the architects, and unique to the building, as that was common practice at the time.
The Coca Cola Bottling Company building is an enduring jewel of the Art Deco movement, just one of a handful in the Indianapolis area. It was a great source of pride for the residents of Indianapolis for almost 40 years.
(to be continued in Part 2)