This weekend, we went on a tour hosted by Indiana Landmarks of the Historic Coca-Cola Bottling Plant in Indianapolis, one of the best examples of Art Deco architecture in the state. It was a lot of fun – and exciting to see that the currently abandoned building is going to be repurposed – with MUCH of the interior remaining intact. You can read a little more about the plant and its future HERE and HERE! We’ve always wanted to go inside, and we missed getting tickets to a tour in the fall, but since it was so popular, they did another one this weekend, and we jumped at the chance!

Here are some significant facts about the building, taken from Architecture Indiana:

Coca Cola Bottling Company, 1931

858-868 Massachusetts Avenue, Indianapolis IN 46204

Architect/Designer: Rubush & Hunter

DESCRIPTION:

There are two main structures within the complex, the main bottling plant and a garage. The buildings within the complex feature facades of white, glazed terra cotta. The terra cotta design features various details such as chevrons, sunbursts and elaborate spandrels. Throughout the structures are decorative pilasters and copper details, even along the loading dock canopies. These exquisite structures have remained in excellent condition, in large part due to their continued use as part of the Indianapolis Public School system. The Coca Cola Bottling Company has remained an art deco icon in Indianapolis and hopefully will continue to be fully utilized as a lasting architectural masterpiece.

SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT – INCLUDING SPECIAL STATUS AND AWARDS WON:

One of the finest examples of art deco architecture in Indianapolis the Coca Cola Bottling Company is largely unaltered from its original appearance. At one time the world’s largest Coca-Cola bottling plant, the complex takes up an entire city block.

I’m posting a LOT of pictures, but I really couldn’t edit because I wanted you to see everything. But there won’t be a lot to read, so it’ll just be a fun pictorial tour!

The Cutest Water Fountain Nook Ever.
Warehouse Space

There were labels on everything – luckily, very few things were marked as “Trash.”
Save the Tiles!
Warehouse Space
Phone Room
Love this terrazzo floor.
Warehouse Space
Warehouse Space
Warehouse Space
Love the tile color pattern here.
This was a lab/science/quality control room.
This was a lab/science/quality control room.
Doug : “This floor makes me want to play Q-Bert.”
This was a lab/science/quality control room.
This was a lab/science/quality control room.
This was a lab/science/quality control room.
Executive Office with Terra Cotta Ceiling.
Executive Office with Terra Cotta Ceiling.
Even the glue from removed floors was pretty.
Executive Office with Terra Cotta Ceiling.
Executive Office with Terra Cotta Ceiling.
This office has the most beautiful ceiling. I think they said this will be a conference room in the new hotel moving in.
THE BEST REFRIGERATOR I’VE EVER SEEN.
I realize my house isn’t Art Deco, but if I could recreate this bathroom in my house, I would. It’s PERFECTION.
Another office with terra cotta ceiling.
JAW. DROP. (And yes, that tag says “Keep!”)
The stairwell with the light leads up to a landing, which was the receptionist’s area. She had her own pink powder room, which I had to lean REALLY FAR over a railing to get a picture of, but I DID.
This is my favorite spot in the whole building.
The Tasting Room
The Tasting Room
The Tasting Room
The Tasting Room
Small kitchen (tag say KEEP!)
Door to The Tasting Room
The Tasting Room
The Tasting Room
Accounting Office
Accounting Office
Accounting Office Safe
The accountants didn’t have a very nice bathroom, comparatively.
Accounting Office
Accounting Office – These were standing desks, with a slanted top – very ergonomic!
Double Layer Garage Door – one layer is glass, the other is screen.
Also, they are gorgeous.
Loading Docks.
Warehouse Space
Exterior
Exterior
Exterior
Exterior
Exterior

It was so great to have Indiana Landmarks facilitate a tour – we are so glad we went!

7 comments

  1. Wow, what a beauty. Thanks for this tour. There is certainly a lot to work with and for the new owners. When the reuse/reno starts to really take place it would be great if you could share links of photos and articles to your non-local followers.

  2. Oh my gosh. That was so fun to look at. Thanks for posting this. Another beautiful building saved. Thank God. Finally. Somebody smart in high places (politicians finally got it right.) Let’s hope more are saved.

  3. Reading that they took inventory of every single block of that terra cotta cladding to preserve/patch/replace them as needed makes me pretty mad at some Philly developers. We lost 2 really cool facades, one of which is coming back as a replica, which I suspect was a ploy to get approval for something cheaper than a facadectomy. Also very interesting that they used terra cotta inside as a substitute for ornamental plaster. (Speaking of art deco architectural terra cotta… https://hiddencityphila.org/2018/02/art-deco-enclave-in-upper-darby-a-display-for-the-ages/)

    And that bathroom – pretty sure you can do it! I spot irregular handmade field tiles, a border of encaustic cement tiles, and one of different sized rectangular tiles arranged in a pattern. All you need is the right plumbing and light fixtures.

  4. Thank you so much for sharing this Amy! So glad this is being saved! Art Deco is not to my personal liking, but I appreciate it non the less. It reminds me of a house we looked at in the Aberdeen/Hoquiam, WA area that was built by a lumber baron. Gorgeous tiled bathrooms, all intact.

  5. Great shots, Amy! Nice meeting you (even if it was just briefly) on Saturday. Glad my big noggin didn’t get in the way of any of these photos!

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