City to Dedicate Downtown Community Space

The city of Seymour plans to officially open downtown’s newest community green space in front of the John Mellencamp mural on May 25. 

A public dedication will be at 2 p.m. The space is located at the corner of West Second Street and Indianapolis Avenue.  

Featuring a fenced-in grassy space with tables and seating, the location is the perfect destination for small, public gatherings and outdoor dining.

“I have already seen the green space in senior pictures and am excited every time I see someone eating lunch or chatting with friends in the area,” said Mayor Matt Nicholson.

The project is the result of a $50,000 donation from the Mellencamp family and was a partnership between the city and Seymour Main Street.

Richard Mellencamp said the family was pleased and proud of the mural, painted by Indianapolis artist Pamela Bliss, and wanted to help enhance the area even more to attract more investment and tourism in Seymour. It also is a way for the Mellencamps to leave their mark on the community in a tangible way.  

“We think this project is a perfect compliment to Pamela’s mural. It will also help the city and Main Street’s efforts to beautify downtown and make it a destination,” Richard said. “This space will give people a place to meet, have lunch and get a photo by the mural.” 

Other donations to the project included a $2,000 local impact grant from the Duke Energy Foundation and sod from Gary and Adam Myers of Myers Sod Farm in Seymour.

Construction on the green space got underway in October 2020 after being delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Instead of hiring an outside company to create the park, several city departments teamed up to do the work including parks and recreation, the department of public works and water pollution control.  

Chad Keithley, parks operations director, served as project manager. 

“The new green space is socially valuable to Seymour being within walking distance from all of the downtown businesses,” he said. “Being located next to the Mellencamp mural it draws people outside to increase social interactions within the downtown area.” 

Bri Roll, executive director of Seymour Main Street, said the mural has been a huge attraction piece for downtown Seymour and the new green space is a beautiful addition.

“We appreciate the Mellencamp family and the partnership with the city of Seymour in accomplishing a welcoming atmosphere for friends, families, coworkers and tourists all to enjoy,” she said.

A memorial plaque is being included in the green space in honor of the late Larry McDonald, who owned This Old Guitar music store located in the building on which the Mellencamp mural is painted. The building is owned by Bill Bevers.  

McDonald, who passed away in February, was a promoter and historian of the Seymour music scene and was instrumental in the mural project which was completed in November 2019. He also was a classmate and bandmate of Mellencamp’s.

Those scheduled to attend the dedication event include Richard Mellencamp, Bliss, Nicholson, Keithley, Roll, Bevers, and members of the McDonald family.


Sorry, this website uses features that your browser doesn’t support. Upgrade to a newer version of Firefox, Chrome, Safari, or Edge and you’ll be all set.