There’s always something new going up or on in Indiana, from new boutique hotels and meeting venues to historic landmark restorations. Here are a just a handful of new meeting venues across the state that give visitors a glimpse of the area’s history as well as a contemporary vision of its future.
Hotel Carmichael, Autograph Collection
Hotel Carmichael opened in October 2020 in Carmel’s City Center neighborhood, right on the Monon Greenway, a 20-mile bicycle and walking path that extends all the way to downtown Indianapolis, wending its way through nature and past various dining establishments. The hotel’s design has a deep connection to performance and music. It is tied to the Great American Songbook Foundation, which was founded by Michael Feinstein.
The Carmichael has 122 guest rooms and five event spaces totaling 4,891 square feet, with a capacity of 240 people theater-style. The Cole Porter Grand Ballroom is appointed with European-style crystal chandeliers and can host up to 160 for a banquet. It has a large pre-function space and a terrace that can host 100 people for a reception. Noble Sissle meeting room can accommodate groups up to 60 for a banquet. There are two small boardrooms, and every meeting space in the facility has natural light. All the spaces, except the smallest boardroom, have direct access to the outdoors.
Vivante, the hotel’s elegant French restaurant, has a private dining room for up to 16 people. Most weekends Feinstein’s Cabaret features live music and entertainment, as well as food and spirits. The Cabaret can hold groups of 120 people and has a private dining space for 20 people. The Adagio Lounge in the hotel lobby is centered around a grand piano and a wood-burning fireplace and features selections from the Great American Songbook.
The Bradley Hotel
The 124-room Bradley Hotel, within blocks of Fort Wayne’s burgeoning riverfront district, opened its doors in July 2021. The boutique hotel is a collaboration between the co-founder of lifestyle brand Vera Bradley, Barbara Bradley Baekgaard and Provenance Hotels. All the rooms are warm, contemporary and feature custom letterpress prints of detailed botanicals found in and around Fort Wayne. They were designed by Julie Wall of Hedge Studios and were hand-carved from linoleum blocks.
The Bradley is in the Landing, a historic neighborhood that dates back to the early 1800s and is home to the city’s first post office, hotel, newspaper, theater and railway station. Today, the district is full of restaurants and entertainment and is only a block away from the downtown riverfront and Promenade Park. Meeting planners will love the intimate setting, with 2,000 square feet of meeting space that can accommodate up to 122 people theater-style or 92 for a banquet. The hotel has two restaurants, Arbor and Birdie’s. Arbor serves Italian-American food for breakfast, lunch and dinner, while Birdie’s has an outdoor terrace overlooking downtown and serves classic cocktails, trendy bites and a full brunch.
Guests who stay at The Bradley can take one of the hotel’s bicycles for a spin to explore the city or take advantage of Provenance’s Well and Fit program, which utilizes mindfulness, movement and wellness.
Waldron Arts Center
The Waldron was built in 1915 as Bloomington’s city hall. Through the years, it has served as a municipal building, courthouse, police station and fire station. The Bloomington Arts Council took over the building in the 1990s and retrofitted it to become an arts space. The old courthouse was turned into a large auditorium that can hold 150 people, and the area where the fire wagons were stored has been turned into a small theater, which seats 75 people.
The Arts Council ran the facility until 2010, when Ivy Tech took over its operation. Ivy Tech continues to run it as a space to serve artists in the community and uses Cardinal Stage to show their work. When the pandemic hit, the college determined it wasn’t financially viable to run the facility. The city evaluated the building to decide if it was worth saving. They found it needed $500,000 in internal repairs but still opted to keep it an arts space.
A group of theater companies has agreed to take over the space and overhaul the interior of the building. They plan to take one of the main classrooms and turn it into a glitzy concession stand/café area with a liquor license. In the meantime, the space is still being used, and groups can rent the spaces for meetings or events.
Fairfield Inn and Suites Madison Historic Eagle Cotton Mill
Madison’s newest full-service hotel is in a renovated historic cotton mill that was built in 1884, overlooking the Ohio River. The building sat vacant for decades but was renovated in 2017 as part of the Indiana Stellar Designation project. The space was taken over by the Fairfield Inn and Suites by Marriott and opened its doors July 29, 2021, as an 85-room boutique hotel.
The building has 249 custom windows, and each guest room has very high ceilings. The first three floors have 12-foot ceilings, while the fourth floor has ceilings that are 14 feet tall. The hotel has three event rooms with more than 4,800 square feet of meeting space. All the meeting spaces are on the first floor and have amazing views of Madison’s riverfront. The largest space can hold groups of up to 285 people. The property offers free Wi-Fi and a fully stocked fitness center. Meeting planners can treat their attendees to a networking brunch in the hotel’s airy dining area or host a meeting in the historic Welch Conference Center.
Catering services include custom meals, post-meeting coffee breaks and more. The project fits in well with Madison’s historic downtown, which has the largest contiguous National Historic Landmark District in the country, with 133 blocks of beautiful architecture. The area is full of restaurants, shopping and entertainment.
Lafayette’s Loeb Stadium was built in 2020 to replace a stadium that had stood in that location from 1940 to 2019. Located in the middle of the 43-acre Columbian Park in the heart of the city, the new stadium will be used for both soccer and baseball. Loeb was inaugurated in March 2021 and is home to the Lafayette Aviators baseball team and Lafayette Jefferson High School Bronchos. The facility seats 2,600 people, and new suites and group seating areas were added as part of the rebuild.
Synthetic turf replaced the grass to allow multiple sports to utilize the space. Meeting planners wanting to host events there can rent out the three indoor suites, which can each hold 20 people, or the three outdoor suites that feature 28 seats, 32 seats and 18 seats, respectively. Groups can rent out the entire facility for corporate events, movie nights or charity baseball games, or buy blocks of tickets to attend a Lafayette Aviators baseball game. Groups of 20 or more can purchase tickets for only $8 each.
A private group area on the suite level offers great views of the stadium and Columbian Park. Each flight deck party area includes game tickets and an all-you-can-eat menu of hot dogs, hamburgers, chicken, popcorn, chips, cookies, soft drinks and water. Two of the hangars can host 40 people each and one can host 30. A private group area located on the field level of the stadium, along the third baseline, can accommodate groups of up to 60 people.