Riches to Rags

Indianapolis's Gold Building will be stripped of its iconic, reflective facade

The 44-year-old Market Square Center is going from gold to glass. (Steve Baker/Flickr)

The infamous Gold Building in downtown Indianapolis is set to lose its luster. After purchasing the 20-story office tower earlier this year, local developers Gershman Partners and Citimark announced it would modernize the facade with an all-glass curtain wall, effectively stripping the 44-year-old building of its longtime identity. 

Located at 151 N. Delaware St., Market Square Center—as it’s officially called—is one of the shiniest buildings in Indiana’s capital city. The boxy modernist structure was designed by local firm Wright, Porteous & Lowe in the mid-1970s and features a reflective gold exterior wrapped around 420,500-square-feet of office space. Over the last several years, the Gold Building and its neighbor, Two Market Square Center, have struggled under many changes in ownership and the site has proved too costly to maintain.

Rendering of office tower with blue glass exterior

The 20-story building will be renovated and transformed with a new transparent glass facade. (Courtesy Citimark)

Set in the city’s Market East District, a burgeoning neighborhood of downtown Indianapolis, the project sits next to the popular City Market Food Hall and along an eight-mile-long walking and biking path known as Cultural Trail. Over the last five years, the area has received significant commercial and retail investments and the developers hope the Gold Building will find a new life in the center of the scene. In a March interview with the Indianapolis Business Journal, Eric Gershman, principal of Gershman Partners, said his team aims to connect the two buildings more seamlessly with the neighborhood below by activating them at street level and updating the interiors to boost occupancy.

Newly released renderings reveal that Market Square Center will soon feature a transparent facade and public space at the ground level. Per Citimark’s portfolio, not only will the facade undergo a significant change, but the interiors will as well. The lobbies, restrooms, and office tenant spaces will be upgraded with Class A finishes and the first floor will include room for a restaurant, bar, and retail. 

Ground-level rendering of office building with tree-lined sidewalk and lit-up first level

Rumors had spread that the city was aiming to convert the building into a mixed-use property. (Via Citimark)

The redevelopment has received both criticism and praise from locals since it was unveiled in May. Some are sad to see the gold glass go, while others don’t mind and claim the glare produced by the Gold Building has made it unbearable to drive by over the decades. It’s unclear when construction will begin on the renovation, or when the building will reopen to future tenants, but one thing is for certain: Golden hour will never be the same in downtown Indy. 

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