Reclaiming the shoreline : redefining Indiana's Lake Michigan coast

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Carlson, Dane G.
Calkins, Meg, 1965-
Marlow, Christopher M.
Motloch, John L.
Yigit-Turan, Burcu
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Thesis (B.L.A.)
College of Architecture and Planning
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Michigan City’s coal generating plant is a blight on the shoreline of Lake Michigan. The plant and its site hamper economic development and ecological processes through toxic industrial process, shoreline modification, and aesthetic degradation. This proposal intends to establish a basis for reclamation of this crucial lakefront site for both community and ecological purposes. Not only will the site act as a vibrant public amenity and destination, but also as a functional environment supporting and creating new ecological growth. Ecological processes unique to Indiana’s Lake Michigan shoreline enjoy vibrant success and support in the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore to the south. By allowing new dunes to form, thus encouraging inland ecosystem growth, this project introduces an ecological component necessary to establishing a functional environment. Introduction of residential areas allows the site to function as both a destination and place of inhabitation, and, as such, cater to visitors, immediate residents, and residents of surrounding neighborhoods. Amenities not currently possessed by surrounding communities have been provided and walkable access allows all within walking distance to enjoy the site’s amenities without the help of an automobile. All of these systems are created within the existing framework of coal generating station infrastructure, and all buildings are reoccupied to maximize reuse of existing features. Although this site contains many elements, they function as a whole. Ecologically rich forests and beaches are accessible within minutes. Shops allow residents to buy basic necessities in a walkable radius and provide a destination for visitors. The site’s core zone, comprised of passive and active recreation zones, is accessible by any and all. A return to ecological functionality is only the beginning: this must be a place in which community and ecology are able to develop simultaneously