Richmond, IN

The ‘Voices of the Gorge’ master plan transforms an under-developed asset into a national tourist destination celebrating the origins of recorded music and world renowned geologic features.

The Richmond Gorge, formed by the Whitewater River in downtown Richmond, Indiana, holds rare geological formations, war memorials, and the remnants of the Starr-Gennett Factory, which is the birthplace of recorded American jazz music. Rundell Ernstberger Associates led a multi-disciplinary team to study the 115-acre area to create recreational opportunities, economic development and national tourist destinations that celebrate the “Voices of the Gorge” and the area’s cultural and natural setting.

The master plan includes four different destinations: The Memorial Garden honors our nation’s military campaigns waged in defense of peace; Depot Park is a mixed use development that connects the historic depot building with the Cardinal Greenway and historic downtown Richmond; the Gorge Visitors Center sits atop a prominent vantage point and introduces visitors to the area’s distintive geologic and musical history; and Starr-Gennett celebrates the Gorge’s musical heritage with an interpretive park that outlines the old factory buildings, a new riverwalk overlooking Whitewater River, events and concert venues, and the recording studio where Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington and Hoagy Carmichael first recorded jazz music.