Today, for the Doorscursion, I am introducing you to another small town, this one in the Midwest. Carmel, Indiana, located in Hamilton County, just north of Indianapolis, is a paradise for the young and old. In 2012, Carmel was selected as the Best Place to Live in America by CNN Money Magazine and has maintained that status for years. Until 1874, the town was called Bethlehem. In 1924, one of the first automatic traffic lights was installed at the intersection of Main Street and Rangeline Road. The signal that was installed was the invention of Leslie Haines and is currently located in the old train depot on the Monon Trail in Carmel. Today, Carmel has become the unofficial roundabout capital of the world, due to the installation of over eighty roundabouts and the demolition of seventy-eight sets of traffic signals! So, let’s take a look at Carmel! The old storefronts………..
mixed with the new storefronts……
Carmel Arts and Design District promotes small businesses and local artisans. Walking down Main Street there are fifteen bronze life-like sculptures, part of the “Man on the Street Series,” created by J. Seward Johnson, Jr, starting in the 1980’s. He is considered the Norman Rockwell of American Sculpture. These sculptures look so real and are placed in front of store fronts that depict their actions. Here in front of the newspaper stand……..sits…….
and in front of the grocery shops………
Love is all around……..
Walking past the storefronts in Old Town you come to a crosswalk, where there is the sculpture of a policeman. Look both ways here, because the Monon Trail crosses this section of Main Street and is always busy with bikers, joggers, skate boarders, men and women walking dogs, families with prams; you get the picture….. What exactly is the Monon Trail? The Monon Railroad was a popular railroad line connecting the cities of Chicago and Indianapolis, with stops at major settlements along its route. The railroad tracks were taken out and is now the Monon Walking Trail………one of the longest in Indiana.
The Monon Trail, completed in 2003, measures 10.4 miles from 10th Street, where it connects to 96th Street, to the 5.3 mile Monon Greenway in Carmel. Used more than 1.2 million times yearly, this makes the Monon Trail one of the busiest in the nation. The inviting part of the Monon Trail in Carmel, is the restaurants, coffee shoppes, shopping and the Saturday Farmers Market to be found right along the trail. One can bike, jog or walk and stop along the route for a cuppa, lunch or shopping, and then return to the trail. Also, along the trail you pass lovely, turn of the century neighborhoods, sprinkled with pastel cottages and “arts and crafts” style homes. For the newbies, there are townhouses built within a few yards of the Monon Trail!
The artwork on the buildings…….
The Monon Trail…….in Carmel…..
A very popular restaurant along the trail………I got up early to get this photo without a lot of people in the waiting line to get in and there were still two people ahead of me!
In 2007, a 24.5 million dollar water park and mega fitness center was opened in the 55 million dollar Carmel Central Park. You guessed it, it is situated right along the Monon Trail! The outdoor water park consists of two water slides, a drop slide, a lazy river, a kiddie pool, a large zero-depth activity pool and a lap pool. The state-of-the-art fitness center consists of an indoor lap pool, a recreation pool with it’s own water slides, snack bar, gymnasium, 1/8 mile indoor running track and the Kids Zone Childcare Center. The building is connected by an elevated walkway over the Monon Trail to a banquet center that can be rented out.
The Carmel City Center is a million square foot mixed- use-development, located in the heart of Carmel. The Monon Greenway runs directly through this project. Here is the location for the Center For Performing Arts, which includes a 1600 seat concert hall named the “Palladium” and the 500 -seat theater named the “Tarkington.” The large park located next to the City Center is the location for the Carmel Farmers Market. On Saturday mornings, you may park your car in the covered parking garage located just 150 feet from the Market. Founded in 1998, the Market is a growers and producers-only market with over sixty vendors. There are fresh meats, cheeses, jams and salsas, coffee, eggs, honey and prepared foods (like the Walking Waffle) There are cooking demonstrations, children’s activities and live music, all in one place. All workers are volunteers and there is even is a bike parking lot, manned by local youth organizations, so you can park your bike and go!
And now for the houses, many along the Monon Trail!
I hope you have enjoyed some of the doors of Carmel and the introduction to this great little city and all the fun you can have here ! See you next week in another spot!
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