a core space to live • create • connect
Aspire House, located on Udell Street in the Near North neighborhood of Indianapolis, is an old firehouse – built in 1897. The building is being repurposed to offer living, creative and connecting spaces for residents of the immediate and surrounding community. The urban neighborhood where the building sits in the heart of three waterways. The median household income of $28,443 is significantly lower than the $56,604 US average. The population is primarily African American and mostly single. Thirty-one is the median age of residents. Nearly half of the residents have lived in their homes for at least five years. While the neighborhood surrounding W. Udell has suffered business divestiture, is a food desert, with no access to basic neighborhood services; the 46208-zip code that it shares is home to notable employers/real estate. Butler University, Indianapolis Children’s Museum, Riverside Park, Ivy Tech Community College, Christian Theological Seminary, Coffin Golf Course, and Newfields (Indianapolis Museum of Art), are its impressive neighbors.
The mission of Aspire House is help eradicate systemic racism and social injustice in this community by renovating and/or building residential dwellings. The objective is to transform blight that business divestiture has caused in the neighborhood. Through building, we seek to uplift the community by revitalizing and repurposing existing structures. Our mission is to develop and attract educational programs to the Near North Neighborhood of Indianapolis. To dismantle systems of racism and lack of access, we will provide artistic residential workforce housing, establish education incubators, offering construction, technology, creative arts, economics, sports, education in repurposing materials through upcycling, and agricultural programs for children and youth. Aspire House will create community gathering spaces and social programming for all residents to help redefine the trajectory of this declining neighborhood. Our foundation, Aspire Higher Foundation will execute the programming initiatives of Aspire House.
Aspire House is the main property of The Preceptors Enclave @ Aspire House Village. The Village, an equal opportunity learning incubator of innovation and design, is an environment that supports global living and learning, designed to attract the nation’s best educational leaders. We will build beautiful workforce homes with an artistic style that entices residency. The first of these residences will be four apartment units (approx. 850 sq. ft. each) inside Aspire House. We will offer visionaries a place for diverse collaboration and support among educators, entrepreneurs, artists, non-profits and community. The Village – a place where neighbors live and grow. A place where children learn beyond the traditional walls of the classroom. Our location – the city’s urban core -surrounded by three major waterways, with existing greenspace. The area offers walkability to natural environments that can be used for learning, and close connection to residents. It is an optimal landscape for living, working, and educating.
In addition to apartment-style living, the renovated physical structure of Aspire House gives the neighborhood a hub for activity, connection and a place to gather. Situated on a corner, the Firehouse is across the street from a park. Renovating the property extends the communal space for the youth. Residents will use the property for nutrition education, (i.e., how to prepare healthy meals, what is involved in planting a vegetable garden, learning to make healthy food choices); an information station, (i.e., community happenings, volunteer opportunities, neighborhood clean-up efforts); and a multiuse meeting place. Aspire House will offer a visual arts presence in the neighborhood with better lighting, artistic sidewalks, flower gardens, artistic benches, and arts education. A studio space for visual arts and sculpture will allow local artisans to create and sell their works. Upon completion, the increase in property value will support more redevelopment efforts.