For many Indianapolis residents, the thought of the Lafayette Square Mall area brings joyful childhood memories, but today several of those memories have faded away as the once bustling retail area has hit a brick wall.
But behind the crumpling landscape and abandoned lots, lies 900 acres of international destinations waiting to be explored by the Indianapolis community.
Mary Clark, one of the founders and now executive director of the International Marketplace Coalition, an organization started in 2005 to revitalize the neighborhood and formally known as The Lafayette Square Area Coalition, said the area once known for its retail shops is now known for its international cuisine.
“As this area became older, big businesses such as Macy’s and Penny’s (JC Penny’s) left and surrounding small businesses did also, which created vacancies,” said Clark. “People were fleeing to places such as Castleton, Circle Centre was relatively new at the time, then there was Keystone at the Crossing. At one point, leases were inexpensive so it made a great place to start a business.”
Photo by Eldon Lindsay