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Stadium Roofs, Seats Find New Homes

Friday, September 23, 2016

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If you find yourself waiting for a bus in Indianapolis, you might well be sitting in a seat that’s seen a lot of sports history—all due to the efforts of an organization started by a local architect.

“PUPStops,” bus stops in Indianapolis are just one of a number of materials-recycling projects carried out by People for Urban Progress, founded by architect Michael Bricker in the wake of the implosion of the city’s RCA Dome in 2008.

PUPStop in Indianapolis
Courtesy of People for Urban Progress

PUPStop bus stops throughout Indianapolis make use of old stadium seats from the now-defunct Bush Stadium, which was the home of the Indianapolis Indians baseball team from 1931-1996.

According to the Huffington Post, Bricker started the organization when he considered where the nearly 13 acres of Teflon-coated fiberglass that made up the dome’s roof would go when the building was taken apart. The building owners had no plans for the materials, so they agreed to give them to the nascent nonprofit to reuse.

The group ended up making accessories with the fabric—durable, and with the added value of coming from a unique source that was close to Indianapolis sports fans’ hearts. Profits from the sale of the “upcycled” purses and wallets went partly back into PUP and partly to other community projects.

From Bus Stops to City Hall

Other projects that make use of otherwise-discarded materials have followed. PUPStops throughout Indianapolis make use of old stadium seats from the now-defunct Bush Stadium, which was the home of the Indianapolis Indians baseball team from 1931-1996, appeared in films and hosted the 1987 Pan-Am Games.

Indianapolis City Hall from People For Urban Progress on Vimeo.

PUP also put its architectural background to work on a project in which the organization partnered with the City of Indianapolis to create a short-term reuse of the city’s City Hall building, which had been sitting vacant for years.

PUP, with a foundation grant, renovated the 1909 building into meeting spaces, taking on jobs like installing windows that had long been blocked over.

Fabric Sale

PUP newest project is a “Fabric Bank”—a public shop where anyone can come and purchase as-is recycled fabrics provided to the organization. While the earliest PUP projects involved pursuing materials, the group now receives inquiries about donations; that’s how it came upon almost five miles of fabric and vinyl signage from Super Bowl XLVI, hosted at Indianapolis’ Lucas Oil Stadium in 2012.

One of the results of the project is, of course, some cool merch that appeals to sports fans and non-fans alike. The crux, though, Bricker told Huffington Post, is sustainability in a throwaway world.

“As cities age, increasingly their buildings are getting replaced, and particularly their stadiums,” he said. “These are often buildings that people really love ... and we’re celebrating them a little bit more, extending their utility.”


Tagged categories: Architects; Maintenance + Renovation; North America; Recycled building materials; Renovation; Stadiums/Sports Facilities; Sustainability

Comment from B Pittman, (9/23/2016, 9:25 AM)

Love! Love! Love! Such an awesome way to re-use what would otherwise end up in a heap and carted off to the landfill.

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