The McOuat (Mi-COO-it) building was a blight. Few buildings in downtown Indianapolis looked this bad.

Blighted, not blighted

But a renovation completed in 2010 brought this 1901 building back to life. It’s now stores and apartments.


This building stands on Washington Street and is on both the National and Michigan Roads. I took the first photo above when I toured the Michigan Road in 2008. Much of this block was blighted then. But in the years that followed, Washington Street resurged. Buildings were renovated, businesses moved in — and now it’s a destination again.

To get Down the Road in your inbox or reader six days a week, click here to subscribe!
To get my newsletter with previews of what I’m working on, click here to subscribe!


10 responses to “The McOuat building”

  1. rennydiokno2015 Avatar

    Reblogged this on

  2. Lone Primate Avatar

    I like stories like that, especially when they happen within the notice and timeframe of a particular person. Redemption stories of any kind are welcome. :)

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      We do like redemption stories, don’t we?! Downtown Indianapolis is undergoing a rebirth of sorts, slowly. I wonder if it’s because the millennial generation wants to live downtown. Whatever the reason, I love to see it. Secretly, I’d love to live downtown someday.

  3. Carole Grey Avatar
    Carole Grey

    Wonderful photos. Way to go Indy!

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      I remember when I used to come Downtown 25 years ago, visiting from Terre Haute. This place was a dump. It’s astonishing how much work they’ve done to make Downtown a real destination since then.

  4. Bob Dungan Avatar
    Bob Dungan

    Nice to see it has been redone. I think Goverment should encourage reuse of existing buildings and discourage gobbling up farm land to build new buildings. Urban sprawl has gotten out of control in our area.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      I drove through the 116th/Spring Mill area the other day. I worked up there 10 years ago and it was all farmland. Now there’s subdivisions and a CVS and strip malls. Good heavens, the world did not need another strip mall.

      1. Bob Dungan Avatar
        Bob Dungan

        I know the feeling well.

  5. Tom Klockau Avatar
    Tom Klockau

    Great to see it brought back. Usually there’s a less-happy ending.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      Yeah. That was the usual outcome here for years. Now we save most old buildings downtown.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: