Outdoor work space with the Indianapolis skyline
Indianapolis skyline view from COHatch Polk Stables

COhatch Polk Stables Opens in Downtown Indy

Working from home has its challenges, as many people learned in 2020 due in large part to regulations related to the COVID-19 pandemic. COhatch provides remote workers with thoughtfully designed and carefully curated work and social spaces in various Indianapolis communities. Their newest location, COhatch Polk Stables near downtown Indianapolis, is now open.

Located in the former stable building for the Polk Sanitary Milk Company, the 22,000-square-foot space features 38 private offices, over 100 co-working seats, a third-floor view of the beautiful Indianapolis skyline, phone booths and multiple event spaces, making it the largest COhatch location in Indiana.

Co-working space interior
COHatch Polk Stables co-working space in downtown Indianapolis

“One thing COhatch does very well is to preserve the history of every building where we’re located,” says Veronica Tosino, community manager. “We want to be great neighbors to our communities. We do that by keeping as much as we can that is unique and original to the building.”

Some of those original, historic details include exposed wood beams, barn doors, and meeting rooms named after meaningful events and dates at Polk Stables. For example, Tosino says the 1872 meeting room is adorned with tomatoes because Polk was a cannery for tomatoes in 1872. The Brightwood neighborhood was a railway town in the past, and the Bee Line was the railway company that distributed Polk products. The Bee Line meeting room is named in its honor. Tosino says visitors will notice charred wood beams on the third floor. A previous fire damaged those beams.

Another captivating feature of the building is The Polklore Micro-Museum. This unique space, a collaboration between COhatch and the Harrison Center for the Arts, celebrates the story of the Polk dairy and its neighbors. The museum engages in four key areas: neighbor co-creation, art assemblage, immersive experiences through technology, and a residency experience for artists and entrepreneurs, offering a truly one-of-a-kind experience for visitors.

The museum was co-created with local Martindale-Brightwood residents and artists. One unique feature of the museum is the use of augmented reality, which enables residents to share their own personal stories. Visitors simply scan an artifact with a smartphone, and an educational video of a local resident sharing their story tied to the artifact will pop up.

“Joanna Taft with the Harrison Center for the Arts has done such a wonderful job with the museum,” Tosino says. “She’s done such a wonderful job educating us on the rich history of the neighborhood and the building itself. We want residents to know we’re here to be a part of the area.”

Taft says the Harrison Center for the Arts has partnered in the Martindale-Brightwood neighborhood since 2016. They use the power of art to preserve neighborhood culture in a changing neighborhood. She says they have been creating art about the neighborhood and collecting stories of the neighborhood since that time.

Since 2017 they have been partnering with the neighbors to save the Polk Stables building in a way that would also honor the neighborhood story.

“When COhatch asked us how we would like to partner, we pitched the idea of their hosting a museum that would preserve the stories/culture of the long-term neighbors and invite a new generation into the story,” Taft says. “The museum will also host an artist studio, recording studio and Polk Fellowship program for visiting artists and entrepreneurs. The components will allow us to partner creatively with the neighborhood to achieve their goals, including preserving culture and strengthening economic and community development.”

The Polk Fellowship program is a residency program for both artists and entrepreneurs to move wonder into action. Venezuela native Michelle Bonilla is the first Polk Fellow. She attended the Herron School of Art and Design and graduated from college in Spain. For her residency, she is exploring the small but growing Hispanic community in Martindale-Brightwood, creating a body of visual art featured on the north wall of the Polklore Museum this month, and creating a four-part podcast about the following:

1. Polk Fellowship/history of Polk Stables project

2. Neighborhood History

3. Polklore Museum

4. Reflections on the COhatch Polk Stables opening and her fellowship experience

The COhatch Polk Stables location is not just a historic gem, but also a convenient hub.

Situated near 16th Street and the Monon Trail, it’s a stone’s throw away from Mass Ave and the Bottleworks District. Every meeting room includes whiteboards and televisions. Amenities within the building include high-speed Wi-Fi, 24/7 access, printing, copying and mail services, office supplies, as well as a kitchen with coffee, tea, beer and wine, ensuring all needs are met for a productive and comfortable work environment.

Podcasting and recording studio
COHatch Polk Stables recording studio

Cohatch Polk Stables is located at 1533 Lewis Street in Indianapolis.

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