New life for Bush Stadium 

Over 10,000 orange stadium seats stand ready for reuse at bus stops, parks and public spaces.
  • Over 10,000 orange stadium seats stand ready for reuse at bus stops, parks and public spaces.

Fans of baseball — and urban development — will gather at Indianapolis' Bush Stadium on Friday to pay homage to the city's oldest ballpark. A brief tour and reception at the stadium will provide attendees with a final glimpse of the park before renovators convert the stadium into a contemporary-style apartment complex.

The historic ballpark has stood in disrepair since the Indianapolis Indians relocated to Victory Field in 1996. Final development plans were revealed in June, when the City of Indianapolis announced that the stadium would be renovated into 100 green-minded loft-style apartments. The redevelopment plans aim to preserve the historic personality of the ballpark, including restoring the field and diamond as a common green space for new residents. An office complex and possible retail space are in the works as well.

The Bush renovation raises concern about how to make urban redevelopment more environmentally friendly. Sustainable development group People for Urban Progress (PUP) has provided one solution — repurpose the stadium's seats. PUP's plan aims to salvage the 10,000+ stadium seats for reuse in various public locations, from bus stops to parks and pedestrian trails. The project will save an estimated 100 dumpsters' worth of local landfill space.

Non-profit PUP has maintained a partnership with the City of Indianapolis since the Parks Department offered to house the materials for PUP's "Dome Project" last year, during which local artists used materials from the demolished RCA Dome to create sellable crafts. For the stadium seat project, PUP has begun working with IndyGo to install seats at bus stops that are too small for full-fledged shelters. Three bus stops on Mass Ave have already been approved for seats.

The PUP project will rely heavily on volunteer participation. For more info, visit the PUP website or Facebook.

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