May 23rd, 2014

The Changing Face of Fountain^2

by Adeleine Sinsabaugh

When I first moved to Fountain Square, nearly ten years ago, I moved onto a very different street than the one I live on today. I haven’t moved to a new area, a new street, or even into a new house. Fountain Square has changed. When we first moved in, our house was egged by the boys next door, and there were five empty houses on our block alone. Now, new neighbors are more likely to be greeted by a smile than egg yolk on the front door, and the empty houses are being filled.

virginia avenue

In these past ten years, Fountain Square has changed and developed, growing in pockets and mixing with the older parts of the neighborhood. Now, at the fountain, there are bars, hip retail shops, and restaurants stretching on for at least three blocks. But the unique part about Fountain Square isn’t the turn around. It’s that it hasn’t been complete. There are still places that are like the neighborhood I moved into ten years ago. The neighborhood is existing in this unique in between time of transition. The most amazing part though, is that these two sides of Fountain Square, the new and the old, aren’t disjointed. There is no dividing line. They’ve bled together, and it’s difficult to tell where one begins and the other ends.

fs bball

Because these two communities have came together into one, there is a large diversity of people in Fountain Square. There are all different age groups, economic backgrounds, creeds, beliefs, and social groups represented in the patchwork that is the neighborhood. And they have all come together in one area. Certainly, there are stores, events, bars and restaurants that have their target frequenters, but so does every community. The different thing is that in Fountain Square, there are events, bars, restaurants and stores that pull everyone in together. Somehow, this crazy patchwork comes into one functioning community.

I’ve fallen in love with this neighborhood. I love the diversity in Fountain Square, all of the changes that are happening here, and everything that’s stayed the same. In an attempt to capture the uniqueness of the neighborhood that I encounter everyday, I’ve started a project, Fountain^2: a photo documentation of Fountain Square. I’ve set out to capture all I love about this community through the lens of my camera. In the ongoing process to photograph this community in transition, I’ve learned more about the people living here, the history of the neighborhood, and realized what a unique place Fountain Square is.

scooter & trike

I’ve been working on the Fountain^2 Project, the name I gave the idea, since February, and as the project has grown and developed, the focus has changed. I’ve continued to document Fountain Square as a whole, but also narrowed in on the particular community I experience here, and how it changes with the seasons, along with our traditions and day-to-day activities.

man in blue

Fountain Square is a community like no other, a truth I’ve learned the more time I spend walking the streets with my camera. I think I’ve been able to capture the neighborhood the way I see it, and although it’s just a small fraction of an even larger story, it’s a fraction I’d love to share with the rest of Indy.

Herron High School junior, Adeleine Sinsabaugh is a Harrison Center for the Arts intern.