10 Parks that Changed Indianapolis

The new PBS series “10 that Changed America” is a whirlwind tour of America’s architectural treasures: including great homes like Fallingwater and Monticello, masterpieces of landscape architecture like Central Park and the High Line, and triumphs of town planning like Philadelphia and Portland. Each episode stops by 10 places that changed the nation. With the upcoming premier of 10 Parks that Changed America, we asked our landscape architects and planners at Taylor Siefker Williams Design Group to identify the 10 significant parks in Indianapolis that helped, shaped or changed the City. See if you agree. Here they are (in no particular order):


Garfield Park

The oldest park in the Indy Parks system, it was the city’s first step in creating public open space. It is on the National Register of Historic Places.


Monon Rail-Trail

While not the first trail built as part of the Indy Greenways system, development of this trail certainly put Indy Greenways on the map.


Eagle Creek Park

Eagle Creek remains one of the largest municipal park in the country and provides residents with an experience usually reserved for larger state or national parks.


Martin Luther King Jr. Park

Forever linked to a specific point in history, the park is significant because of Robert Kennedy’s speech on the day of the Martin Luther King assassination. The events that day in this park prevented the city of Indianapolis from the unrest seen across the United States.


White River State Park

This urban state park reintroduced Indianapolis to the White River and created a new model for urban civic parks.


Kessler Park and Boulevard System

George Kessler’s plan for the creation of a parks and parkways plan put into place an enduring series of greenspaces, providing opportunities to access the city’s waterways.


Riverside Park

One of Indianapolis’ oldest civic destinations, Riverside Park has a rich history and was a key park in the growing Indianapolis Parks system.


Indianapolis Cultural Trail

While not technically a “park,” the cultural Trail established a new approach to the use of public open space within the city’s established rights-of-way.


Fort Benjamin Harrison State Park

The transition of Fort Benjamin Harrison from active army base to state park serves as an example of how these types of properties can be reused.


Indy Greenways Full Circle Plan

We took the liberty of adding “future greenways” to the park discussion. The new vision for Indy Greenways outlines over 250 miles of trail development through Marion County and will continue to transform how we move around Indianapolis.

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