Historic Indianapolis baseball stadium finds new life as apartment complex

Updated May 1, 2013

Bush Stadium apartmentsBy the end of this summer, Bush Stadium in Indianapolis will have quite the backstory including stints in baseball, the movie business, auto racing and, now, modern downtown living.

Completed in 1931, the stadium is the former home to the town’s minor league ball club (and affiliate of the Pittsburgh Pirates) the Indianapolis Indians. However, the Indians moved out in 1996 and into Victory Field where the team plays today.

In its lifetime, the historic stadium has, according to CBS Sports, housed auto racing in the form of midget cars on a dirt track, played the part of Chicago’s Comiskey Park in the movie Eight Men Out and has even been employed in the downright sad use of car storage.

But now, the stadium is nearly ready to move to the next phase of its life. The redevelopment of Bush Stadium into a modern apartment complex is nearly complete. Civil Engineering magazine has a really interesting article which interviews the project’s structural engineering firm Lynch, Harrison & Brumleve, Inc.

The cool thing about the redevelopment is that it will keep the look and feel of a baseball stadium. The apartment units will be located within the former dimensions of the grandstands. From the outside, Bush Stadium will look like its old self, but once inside, rather than looking at bleachers, you’ll see apartment windows as pictured above.

You’ll also notice in the picture above that the baseball field itself is still intact. However, rather than keeping the infield clay, it has been replaced with clay-colored concrete.

“The biggest challenge was that the existing steel roof trusses, which were to remain, are supported by steel columns bearing on top of concrete columns, with the hinge between and the two materials located at the original concrete bleacher level,” Robert Dee, a principal at LHB, told Civil Engineering.

“Because the bleachers had to be demolished—and therefore would no longer laterally stabilize the hinge between the steel and concrete columns—temporary bracing was designed and installed to ensure stability until after the new construction could offer that stability.

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You can view a video of the project concept below and read Civil Engineering’s full piece by clicking here.

[vimeo 25185024 nolink]