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Events & Venues: Crane Bay: A Unique Event Experience in Downtown Indianapolis

by Amadeus Finlay

The country is being swept by a trend where old or disused spaces are renovated into chic, modern expressions of minimalist design. Full of character, and exuding just the slightest hint of mischief, these grand establishments provoke conversation in their visitors and have the scale and visual variation to cause wonder.

Crane-Bay-300x300-pres-awards-But even among all the striking examples of renovation architecture located across the U.S., some buildings can’t help but stand out. One of those leading lights is 1,200-capacity Crane Bay Event Center in the heart of downtown Indianapolis. Located just a stone’s throw from the home venue of the Indianapolis Colts, the Crane Bay is one of the city’s statement pieces as well as one of its rejuvenation success stories.

Originally built as an industrial facility in the nineteenth century, the 18,000 square foot building lay derelict for Crane-Bay-300x200-xmas-tree-Omany years until it was reawakened and transformed for Rolling Stone magazine’s Super Bowl XLVI Party in 2012. The venue has since been taken over by full-time management, subdivided into three interlocking sections, and hasn’t looked back. Today it has the ability to support everything from conferences and professional occasions, to weddings, and entertainment events.

Inside, the meaning of the name Crane Bay soon becomes apparent, as the high ceiling remains crisscrossed with the building’s original crane and truss features. The expansive open heart can be divided into any arrangement by the way of flowing curtains, while at full capacity it can host 600 seated guests at dinner service. Events see the whitewashed brick walls lavishly uplit in a swash of warming pastels, but they can also be dimmed for effect. Supporting the scene are lighted LED columns, which can be customized to match almost any color scheme. White leather sectional couches frame the perimeter, while a large, square bar, resplendent in opaque glass is offset at a right angle to the wall.

Crane-Bay-300x200-ice-sculpture-Looking for a place to perform? The venue comes equipped with a fully-lit, raised stage that can also be fitted with a cat walk for fashion events. Sound and lighting are managed by an in-house production company, and can be customized to suit the tone of your event. And talking of in-house facilities, Crane Bay also offers its own award-winning culinary team, Crystal Catering, that also offers customizable menus.

As with all good event venues worth their salt, the Crane Bay also has a private outdoor patio that overlooks the downtown skyline, a stunning vista whatever the weather. Visitors are even welcome on cooler evenings, for the patio offers a fireplace and elevated heating elements. This space has one last feature that’s a sure selling point; unlike so many other downtown spaces, Crane Bay comes complete with its own 1,200-space parking garage, just to make life that much easier.

The Crane Bay is located at 551 West Merrill St., Indianapolis, IN 46225, (317) 423-2999,www.thecranebay.com. Sales/facility manager Amanda Van Der Moere can be reached at amanda@thecranebay.com.  

This story originally appeared in the January/February issue of Exhibit City News, p. 74. For original layout, visit https://issuu.com/exhibitcitynews/docs/ecn_flipbook_janfeb2019web?e=16962537/66750078

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