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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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

Kessler Park and Boulevard System

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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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10 Parks that Changed Louisville

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 in the series 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 Louisville that they felt helped, shaped or changed the City. Here they are (in no particular order):

Olmsted Parkways

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Olmsted’s influence cannot be ignored in Louisville. The parkway system he planned there, one of the more intact systems still in place, represents the forward social thinking he brought to the City.

Cherokee Park

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One of Olmsted’s flagship parks, this park continues to provide a natural presence in the heart of Louisville’s eastside neighborhoods.

Iroquois Park

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This Olmsted-designed park on the City’s south side provides a “scenic reservation of forested hillsides and breathtaking vistas.”

Shawnee Park

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This Olmsted riverfront park still provides the open space and picnic grounds for residents in the northwestern portion of the City.

Waterfront Park

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This downtown reclaimed waterfront park provides the setting for many of Louisville’s largest and most impressive events.

Portland Wharf Park

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This historic open space preserves the ruins of the Portland community, an historic portage village south of the Falls of the Ohio.

Louisville Loop

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Louisville’s planned 100+ mile trail system will link the community’s neighborhoods, parks, cultural facilities, natural areas, and other unique environments.

The Parklands of Floyds Fork

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This eastside park represents a new model for development and operations of significant parks and open space.

Big Four Bridge

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While not technically a park, the conversion of the Big Four Railroad bridge opens pedestrian and recreational connections between Louisville and southern Indiana, greatly expanding the potential experiences of the region.

Jefferson Memorial Forest

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The nation’s largest municipal forest provides unique recreational opportunities usually only available in larger state or national parks.