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2011 chamber mag. article
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2011 chamber mag. article

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  • 1. Getting to Know You From humble beginnings … to the largest landscape architecture firm in the state BY DARREL RADFORD | PHOTO BY KYLE EVENS F rom a modest office in downtown Muncie, landscape architects Deane Rundell and Eric Ernstberger quietly go about their business. Not much fanfare is needed. Their work – now extending from Ball State Univer- sity to Indianapolis and more than 20 states – speaks for itself. What they did in transforming a desolate site at the center of downtown Detroit, Mich. into Campus Martius Park played a major role in Compu- ware’s decision to move from a suburban campus into the city. In Bowling Green, Ky., what once was a plot of land used for a circus is now Circus Square Park, a centerpiece for the downtown area, thanks to the design efforts of Rundell-Ernstberger. In Rapid City, S.D., reflections of their genius are about to unfold in what used to be a city parking lot for tourists and residents. Con- struction concludes this fall on Main Street Square, a new downtown park where the scenic Black Hills, Badlands and waterfalls of Spearfish Canyon will be creatively expressed through artwork, carved granite stones and interactive water features. These are but a few of the more than 1,200 projects Rundell Ernstberger Associates (REA) has completed since 1979 as prime CONTINUED ON THE NEXT PAGEEric Ernstberger, left, and Deane Rundell The Chamber | 45
  • 2. The work of Rundell Ernstberger Associates MINNETRISTA CULTURAL CENTER AFRICAN ELEPHANT PRESERVE Muncie, Indiana Indianapolis Zoo, Indianapolis, Indiana The Minnetrista Cultural Center is a community gathering place and A new exhibit to support the Indianapolis Zoo’s African elephant museum celebrating the industry, arts and heritage of East Central conservation efforts and its world-renowned breeding, management, Indiana. education and research program. MURFREESBORO CIVIC GARDENS AND PLAZA MONON RAIL~TRAIL Murfreesboro, Tennessee Rundell Ernstberger Associates, LLC was commissioned by the Ball Brothers Foundation to prepare Indianapolis, Indiana In 1999, the Zoo commisioned REA to assist in the effort to build a state-of-the-art elephant exhibit and complete planning, design and site construction documents for a new cultural center, located on the site holding facility that would support its research and breeding efforts and allow for expansion of its existing Providing opportunities for public gathering and community events of "Minnetrista," a mansion that burned to the ground in 1967. herd of Passing and two baby elephants. �ve females through diverse neighborhoods, the trail promotes the Situated on twenty acres overlooking the Whitein the heart regularly hosts large public gatherings the in a signi�cant greenspace River, the center of the city, reminiscent of physical connection of the community’s parks, schools, commercial green hills of Tennessee. on its “greensward”, a formal lawn, elevated and defined by a 500’ serpentine sandstone wall. A portion Working with the Zoo’s staff, REA led a site design team of habitats. exhibit, and interpretive con- centers, cultural sites, and wildlife engineering, of a local street was vacated and replaced with a river walk so that the property would directly adjoin the sultants in the planning and design efforts for this 3.5 acre site. Design elements include separate river and a new three-quarter mile parkway was designed to provide access to the center. Two curving elephant cow and bull yards, elephant pools with a waterfall, training yards, public walkways with inter- pergolas extend from the entrance of the building, guiding visitors to the doors. The parking areas are pretive elements, arti�cial mudwalls, boulders, and baobob trees, containment fencing, train ride, auxil- recessed while the surrounding embankments are planted with flowering trees and shrubs to screen lary exhibits, and plantings to recall the imagery of the elephants’ native African habitat. parked cars from view. The portico columns of the original mansion, already a community landmark, were relocated to create an entrance feature on the parkway. REA completed schematic design, design development, and construction documents and oversaw the exhibit construction, which was completed in June of 2002. The Minnetrista Cultural Center was awarded a Centennial Medallion by the American Society of Landscape Architects, designating it as a “national landmark” for outstanding landscape architecture. RUNDELL ERNSTBERGER ASSOCIATES, LLC MUNCIE OFFICE: 315 SOUTH JEFFERSON STREET MUNCIE, INDIANA 47305 TE [765] 747.9737 FX [765] 747.5053 INDIANAPOLIS OFFICE: 429 E. VERMONT STREET SUITE 110 INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA 46202 TE [317]263.0127 FX [317] 263.2080 WWW.REASITE.COM RUNDELL ERNSTBERGER ASSOCIATES, LLC INDIANAPOLIS, IN | MUNCIE, IN | LOUISVILLE, KY | www.reasite.com When the City of Murfreesboro was planning for a new city hall and public library on separate sites, Rundell Rundell Ernstberger Associates, LLC completed design and construction documents for this 10-mile Ernstberger Associates, together with Hickerson Fowlkes Architects, presented a proposal to build both trail development in Indianapolis. The project’s design is respectful of the Monon Railroad’s historical together on one site east of the county courthouse. The sloping site was ideally suited for a below-grade legacy in its preservation of the Monon graphic identity and adaptive reuse of the railbed landscape parking structure, the roof of which would be a landmark civic space facing downtown. and its structures. REA prepared design and construction documents for the space, featuring a public plaza and gardens The Monon has become one the most successful trails in the country. Over one million people per that recall the "green hills" of Tennessee. The transition from plaza to garden is de�ned by the Outcrop year use the trail, with daily traf�c counts exceeding 4,000 people. As the �rst rail-to-trail in the city, Fountain, an abstraction of geologic substrata and springheads found at the foot of many Tennessee it established a model of planning and design for the subsequent development of the Indianapolis hillsides. The fountain walls are a rich composition of limestone, granite, cast glass veins, and stainless Greenways system. steel accent points. Meandering crushed stone walks are highlighted by limestone steps and light piers. The stair shelter is the focal point of the garden, providing access to parking below and a nighttime The Monon Rail~Trail has had an immediate and profound impact on the landscape of the City, as landmark with its soft internal glow. evidenced by the community’s enthusiastic response to and adoption of the project. The project has won numerous design awards, including the American Society of Landscape Architects’ Centennial Medallion, given in recognition of the nation’s most signi�cant landscapes. RUNDELL ERNSTBERGER ASSOCIATES, LLC MUNCIE OFFICE: 315 SOUTH JEFFERSON STREET MUNCIE, INDIANA 47305 TE [765] 747.9737 FX [765] 747.5053 RUNDELL ERNSTBERGER ASSOCIATES, LLC INDIANAPOLIS OFFICE: 429 E. VERMONT STREET SUITE 110 INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA 46202 TE [317]263.0127 FX [317] 263.2080 WWW.REASITE.COM MUNCIE OFFICE: 315 SOUTH JEFFERSON STREET MUNCIE, INDIANA 47305 TE [765] 747.9737 FX [765] 747.5053 INDIANAPOLIS OFFICE: 429 E. VERMONT STREET SUITE 110 INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA 46202 TE [317]263.0127 FX [317] 263.2080 WWW.REASITE.COM46 | The Chamber
  • 3. Getting to Know Youconsultants to municipalities, governmental There is synergy behind the energy of “While our familiesagencies, nonprofit organizations, private this firm in which Rundell, originally frominstitutions and universities. Albany, N.Y., teamed with Ernstberger, who were growing up, we So what had humble beginnings in a was raised in New Albany, Ind., to forge newbasement has now become the largest land- visions and unique imprints for Midwestern didn’t want to do a lotscape architecture firm in Indiana. With a towns and cities – including several here in of traveling. With a fewstaff consisting of mostly graduates of Ball East Central Indiana.State University’s award-winning Depart- From the campus of Ball State University exceptions, our clientsment of Landscape Architecture – including and the nearby Minnetrista to the White Riv-current partners Mike Sommer and Kevin er Botanical Gardens at the Indianapolis Zoo were primarily close,Osburn along with Purdue graduate and and along the Monon Trail, the design magic allowing us to get homepartner Carl Kincaid – the firm now has of REA has established iconic images.a national reputation built on the vision Since 1983, REA has been responsible for at the end of a work day.of Frederick Law Olmsted, the man who more than $50 million in site developmentdesigned Central Park in New York City projects on the Ball State campus, includ- Several large metropolitanand is regarded as the father of landscape ing transforming a busy McKinley Avenue areas and tens of millionsarchitecture. into a pedestrian-friendly boulevard with the Rundell-Ernstberger began to take shape picturesque Shafer Tower as its centerpiece. of people live within ain the fall of 1979, when Rundell left a part- The firm has also designed a Frog Baby five-hour drive of Muncienership in another firm that was threatening fountain and another popular gathering spaceprofessional burn-out at an early age. Less for students, a courtyard developed around and that provided athan year later, Ernstberger left the same firm a large gingko tree at the Art and Journalismand joined Rundell. In 1984, they became Building. significant market for us.”partners in what is now known as Rundell Their work as master planners and land- — DEANE RUNDELLErnstberger Associates, L.LC. scape architects on the original design for “We both have a great respect for family Minnetrista – a community gathering placelife,” Ernstberger said. “That has shaped the and museum celebrating the industrial andculture of our firm.” artistic heritage of East Central Indiana – re- “While our families were growing up, sulted in a Centennial Medallion awarded bywe didn’t want to do a lot of traveling,” the American Society of Landscape Archi-Rundell said. “With a few exceptions, our tects, designating it as a “national landmark”clients were primarily close, allowing us to for outstanding landscape architecture. That’sget home at the end of a work day. Several just one of more than 50 local, national andlarge metropolitan areas and tens of millions international design awards the firm has re-of people live within a five-hour drive of ceived in the past three decades.Muncie, and that provided a significant mar- Those who have been to the Indianapolisket for us.” CONTINUED ON THE NEXT PAGE The Chamber | 47
  • 4. Zoo or the adjacent White River Botanical decisions we ever made.” Gardens have also experienced the elegance Indeed, in 2010, the Urban Land Institute Getting to Know You of Rundell-Ernstberger designs. The firm recognized Campus Martius Park as the best transformed an unused exhibit area into a urban open space in the country. habitat-based exhibit yard for endangered On any given day in Indianapolis, the true “There was a time Southern White Rhinos. The firm also de- transformative power of REA design work signed the African elephant preserve. can be seen through the presence of walkers, when we as landscape Meanwhile, the gardens, with their joggers and bikers along busy downtown uniquely Midwestern agrarian design, were streets. architects worked almost featured on the cover of Landscape Architec- The Indianapolis Cultural Trail: A Legacyexclusively as consultants ture Magazine. of Gene & Marilyn Glick, includes the Glick Design footprints of Rundell-Ernstberger Peace Walk and is one of Rundell’s favorite to architectural and can also be found along the Monon Trail in projects. Indianapolis, which has become one of the This one-of-a-kind urban bike and pedes- engineering firms. But most successful trails in the country and has trian path has been called “the boldest step times have changed earned a place in the National Rail-Trail Hall of any American city toward supporting of Fame. bicyclists and pedestrians.” According to as awareness for Summit Lake, a state park in Henry Brian Payne, president of the Central Indiana County near New Castle, was originally Community Foundation and Cultural Trail environmental concerns master planned by this pair. Critics said Founder, it is “truly making a national and has heightened, and “Structure 20” as it was officially known international impact.” then, wouldn’t hold water. It became In- If he could tour some of these REA proj- now we are more often diana’s 19th state park in 1988 and today ects today, Olmsted, himself might smile. selected as the prime draws hundreds of visitors annually. “All things are connected in all places at Now with offices also in Indianapolis and all times,” Ernstberger said. “Each natural consultant to lead design Louisville, Ky., what Rundell-Ernstberger or man-made system is connected to and does for its clients transcends beauty, order dependent upon yet another system more teams on important and and smart design. Their projects are often complex than just itself. This is the beauty complex public projects.” economic development drivers as well. embodied in creation, captured in the vi- In Detroit, their award-winning Campus sion of Olmsted and passed down to us.” — DEANE RUNDELL Martius Park has generated more than “There was a time when we as landscape $500 million in new development invest- architects worked almost exclusively as ment for the downtown district since it consultants to architectural and engineer- opened in 2004. ing firms,” Rundell said. “But times have REA was selected to design the park changed as awareness for environmental following a national search of landscape concerns has heightened, and now we are architects. According to Bob Gregory, presi- more often selected as the prime consultant dent of the Detroit 300 Conservancy and to lead design teams on important and com- developer of the park, “it was one of the best plex public projects.”48 | The Chamber
  • 5. SELECTED AWARDSSome of REA’s awards for their work in landscape architectureThe Engineering Society of Detroit Project for Public Spaces: Great Parks Great Cities Awards American Society of Landscape Architects, Indiana ChapterOutstanding Achievement Award Best New Park Honor AwardCampus Martius Park Little Turtle Waterway Robert C. Beutter ParkDetroit, Michigan Logansport, Indiana Mishawaka, IndianaUrban Land Institute American Society of Landscape Architects American Society of Landscape ArchitectsTop Ten Urban Parks Centennial Medallion Centennial MedallionCampus Martius Park Monon Rail - Trail Minnetrista Cultural CenterDetroit, Michigan Indianapolis, Indiana Muncie, IndianaA Monumental Affair: A Monumental Affair: A Monumental Affair:Awards for Excellence in Design and Development Awards for Excellence in Design and Development Awards for ExcellenceMerit Award - Landscape Architecture Honor Award - Downtown Development Honor Award - Landscape ArchitectureHonor Award - Architecture Indiana Government Center Honor Award - EngineeringHonor Award - Construction Indianapolis, Indiana Honor Award - Mayors Neighborhood AwardWhite River Gardens Maple Street Parkway (38th St.)Indianapolis, Indiana Indianapolis, IndianaAmerican Society of Landscape Architects, Indiana Chapter American Society of Landscape Architects, Indiana Chapter American Society of Landscape Architects, Indiana ChapterHonor Award Award of Excellence Honor AwardCampus Martius Park The Garden at Perrin Park Noblesville Riverfront Master PlanDetroit, Michigan Jeffersonville, Indiana Noblesville, IndianaAmerican Society of Landscape Architects, Indiana Chapter American Society of Landscape Architects American Society of Landscape Architects, Indiana ChapterHonor Award Merit Award Honor AwardEngineering Mall White River Gardens McKinley Avenue CorridorPurdue University Indianapolis, Indiana Muncie, IndianaWest Lafayette, IndianaIndiana Greenways Conference Arts Council of Indianapolis American Institute of Architects, Tennessee ChapterOutstanding Trail Project ARTFUL Impact Award Honor AwardMaple City Greenway Indianapolis Cultural Trail Murfreesboro Civic GardensGoshen, Indiana Indianapolis, Indiana Murfreesboro, TennesseeIndiana Planning Association Indiana Association of Cities and Towns American Civil Engineering Consultants of IndianaHonor Award Best Downtown Rehabilitation Project Merit AwardWhite River Corridor Development Plan Historic Farmland Streetscape McKinley Avenue Phase IAnderson, Indiana Farmland, Indiana Muncie, IndianaBuilding Stone Institute Indiana Park and Recreation Association Brick in ArchitectureTucker Award for Architectural Excellence Outstanding Park Development Best in Class:Frog Baby Fountain Outdoor Awareness Award Paving and Landscape ArchitectureBall State University Dr. James A. Dillon Park McKinley Avenue Phase IMuncie, Indiana Noblesville, Indiana Muncie, Indiana The Chamber | 49RUNDELL ERNSTBERGER ASSOCIATES, LLCMUNCIE, IN | INDIANAPOLIS, IN | LOUISVILLE, KY | www.reasite.com

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