Downtown Indy, Inc. is a private, not-for-profit organization that uniquely focuses on advancing the growth of the Downtown Indianapolis area.

The Challenge

Downtown Indy, Inc. has been in charge of decorating the Soldiers and Sailors Monument in Monument Circle with “The World’s Largest Christmas Tree” since the early 1960s. They have used a variation of bollard caps designed as toy soldiers and sailors for several years. They needed a holiday decor that was visually stunning, yet weather resistant. They also wanted to redesign the flags so as to not obstruct traffic around the monument. Downtown Indy was looking for a new design of the toy soldiers, sailors and candy canes that have been installed in the Monument Circle for years. ExpoDesign had built the original decor in the late 1990s and early 2000s using materials that were available at the time. However, these materials were no longer durable enough for Downtown Indy’s needs. ExpoDesign needed to design and fabricate an updated, more durable outdoor decor that would withstand the weather and the test of time.

The Solution

ExpoDesign proposed creating 13 new soldiers, 13 new sailors and 26 new candy canes that snuggly fit over the existing concrete bollards; brandishing security hardware and redesigning the flags to keep traffic on the circle safe. Not only did Expo adapt the design for safety and durability, we also designed and fabricated a new hydraulic boom-crane trailer that allowed for easy installation and removal. ExpoDesign reevaluated the faults of the existing decor and redesigned them to be fabricated out of a weather resistant fiberglass and hardcoat. They were fabricated and hand-painted in-shop and finished with a resistant automotive clearcoat. These pieces were phased into the holiday decor over a few years, beginning in 2007.

ExpoDesign is not often credited for the iconic Monument Circle holiday decor that has been a part of downtown Indianapolis history for many years. However, not only did we build these important figures, but we also install and maintain them—and our long-standing relationship with the client—to this day. Downtown Indy, Inc. has been very satisfied with our work for several years. In 2015, there was discussion to revamp the design of the toy soldiers and sailors yet again. The design continues to evolve over time, and the design discussion continues to take place.

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