Thomas Park

Thomas Park Avondale

Thomas Park

Muncie, Indiana 47303, United States

Created By: Ball State University


Location: Bounded by Rochester Avenue, W. Memorial Drive, W. 15th Street, and S. Kathy Drive.

Year Opened: 1935

Current Use: Park

Thomas Park opened in 1935 during the height of the Great Depression.[1] Named in honor of Reverend Eddie Thomas, the founder of the Muncie Mission homeless shelter, the park served as a green space and recreation area for people of all ages in south Muncie.[2] Throughout the 1950s, Thomas Park held a summer recreation program with informal dances, lunches, basketball free-throw competitions, and family movie nights.[3] Over the years, the park has seen various improvements including a “face-lift” in 1967, which repaired existing equipment, and a major renovation in 1978 which added tennis courts, expanded parking, and planted many of the trees you see today.[4] In the 1990s, the existing baseball field was expanded and upgraded to make it a part of the national Babe Ruth youth baseball league.[5] The Muncie Parks Department, in collaboration with the Thomas Park Avondale Neighborhood Association, plan to renovate the park again in 2024.[6]

[1] “Park Named in Honor of Eddie Thomas,” Muncie Evening Press, November 16, 1935.

[2] “Park Named in Honor of Eddie Thomas,” Muncie Evening Press, November 16, 1935; “History,” Muncie Mission Ministries Inc., 2024,

[3] “City Recreation Program Will Close Down on Friday,” The Star Press, Jun. 29, 1958.

[4] “Thomas Park Gets Quick ‘Face-Lift’,” Muncie Evening Press, June13, 1967; Thomas Park Renovation Drawings, 1978, DADA-004, Daggett Architectural Records Collection, Andrew Seager Archives of the Built Environment, Ball State University Libraries, Archives and Special Collections.

[5] “Opening Pitch: Mayor Launches Fundraiser for Babe Ruth Facility,” The Star Press, October 8, 1992.

[6] Mike Rhodes, “City Of Muncie Update On Improvements To City Parks,” Muncie Journal, April 15, 2021,

This point of interest is part of the tour: Thomas Park Avondale


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