Case Study: Pan Am Plaza, Indianapolis

The site of the 1987 Pan American games is not only historic and rich with athletic inspiration, but it also serves today as a city center to Indianapolis, connecting Union Station, Lucas Oil Stadium, the Indiana Convention Center, and the Crown Plaza Hotel.

Originally constructed to accommodate the games, the site included clay brick pavers, fountains, flag poles, and sports monuments sitting atop a three level underground parking garage. Time and weather, compounded by drainage issues, began to take its toll on the plaza.

“The condition of the plaza didn’t properly pay homage to the athleticism and patriotism displayed in 1987,” said Yves LeGoff, Commercial Sales Specialist for Northfield an Oldcastle Company.

Property owners Kite Realty Group wanted to revitalize the plaza and fix the drainage issues once and for all. To accomplish this goal, the old brick pavers and fountains would be removed and replaced with a new waterproof membrane and new interlocking concrete pavers.

Belgard Commercial Moduline Series was chosen in order to revitalize the historic Indianapolis Pan Am Plaza.

Northfield an Oldcastle company

Kite Realty Group, Indianapolis

Fink Roberts & Petrie, Inc., Indianapolis

Ratio Architects Inc., Indianapolis

F.A. Wilhelm Construction Co., Inc., Indianapolis

Decorative Paving Company, Loveland, Ohio

Belgard Moduline Pavers

81,900-square-foot pedestrian plaza



Ratio Architects was called in to design the new layout which included three different mosaic pattern modules using five different colors in three sizes of Belgard Moduline pavers.

“Moduline’s clean lines make it appealing to the eye and smooth underfoot,” said Ken O’Neill, vice president of sales and marketing for Belgard Hardscapes. “It’s a completely modern aesthetic experience, and Pan Am Plaza was an exciting project for this new product from Belgard.”

Moduline is a 14 stone system available in nine colors and four textures. It allows for unique accents, highlights and borders for mosaics and creative design. Moduline was developed to create the ultimate in design versatility, with a defined and linear 2mm chamfer for a seamless transition from paver to paver that enhances surface smoothness and exceeds ADA requirements. All units are based on three-inch dimensional increments and have a raster that is exactly specified and produced, allowing all pieces to fit together as intended.

While the new interlocking pavers would solve aesthetic and functional issues, the install wasn’t without its own challenges.

“Ratio Architects wanted to honor this historic site by creating a plaza that would captivate visitors and be pleasing to the eye,” said LeGoff. “We worked with Ratio to custom match their chosen colors for a truly unique color palette designed in three modules.”

Due to this level of detail in size and color, one installer would stage the pavers, laying out the sizes and color patterns for each 4’x4’ module on wooden pallets while others installed the pavers from the wooden pallets.

While a downtown project site with very limited access proved to be difficult for delivery and staging of more than 55 truckloads of Moduline pavers, it was an effort worthwhile to pay tribute to Pan Am Plaza.

“The new 80,000-plus-square-foot plaza offers a variety of activities for different users, while upholding the civic pride and memorial to the original games,” said LeGoff. “We’re proud to have been involved in a project like this and glad that our innovative solutions were able to revitalize this historic plaza.”

Article provided by Belgard Commercial, part of the Oldcastle Architectural Group.

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