Riverside Neighborhood

This tour focuses on the history of the Riverside Park and its surrounding neighborhood

Riverside Neighborhood

Indianapolis, Indiana 46204, United States

Created By: Historic Urban Neighborhoods of Indianapolis

Tour Information


This tour is a part of the Historic Urban Neighborhoods of Indianapolis Tour Series. It is endorsed by the Indianapolis Bicentennial Commission as an 'Official Indy Bicentennial Community Project.'

This is a driving tour, but feel free to park and enjoy the different stops or bike the same path!

Neighborhood History

The Riverside Neighborhood boasts a rich history with roots in the City Beautiful movement.

Early in the 1900’s, real estate developers and local landowners saw the opportunity to create a community that would be accessible by the newly expanded downtown transportation system. The “streetcar suburb” would feature landscaped traffic circles, generous front yard set-backs, wide boulevards, and glacier boulder retaining walls. A George Kessler designed park, Indianapolis’ first zoo, and the now-demolished Riverside amusement park, followed the success of the planned community.

Today, Riverside enjoys a wide array of amenities and boasts a diverse and active neighborhood community. Amenities include the Thomas Taggert Amphitheater with a Family Center with pool and play grounds, picnics, muncipal gardens, Kuntz Soccer stadium, soap box derby course, Colts playground, velodrome, boat ramps, three golf courses, and three near by universities. Additionally, there is connecting linkage to nature trails: White River, canal towpath, and Fall Creek. Future projects include The Riverside Hertiage Promenade and The Nature and Adventure Park for Indianapolis.


Our Thanks

This program has been made possible through a Historic Preservation Education Grant from Indiana Landmarks, Indiana Humanities, and the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Funding provided in part by Indiana Landmarks.


Tour Map

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What You'll See on the Tour

WELCOME TO RIVERSIDE This is a driving tour, but feel free to park and enjoy the different stops or bike the same path!  If you are biking the tour, the Riverside Family Center is the best place to park. Neighborhood History The Riversid... Read more
The White River Wapahani Trail is an important trail that links to the Central Canal Towpath on its North endpoint and the Canal Walk downtown; both very scenic trails. This path also links to the Southern portion of another trail of inter... Read more
An excerpt is from a 1930’s publication titled, “The WPA Guide to Indiana: The Hoosier State” describes two bathing beaches on Riverside’s White River.... “one at 26th Street for whites and one at 16th Street for Negroes.” The w... Read more
These apartments are a great example of adaptive reuse. Originally the Bush Stadium was home to the Indianapolis Indians from 1931 to 1996. It was also home to a few Negro League baseball teams, as well as a Continental Football League t... Read more
The construction of this station was completed in 1900 and overseen by the first president of the Indianapolis Water Company Thomas Armstrong Morris. He spearheaded the construction of the Riverside Pumping Station and the sand filtration b... Read more
Year Built: Circa 1880s Architecture Style: I-House with Addition Key Features: Two Front Entrances Segmental Arched Windows Two Rooms Wide, One Room Deep Footprint Originally home of Danish dairy farmer Peder Christensen (P. C.) Moller and... Read more
Built in 1931, this memorial honors Thomas Taggart, mayor of Indianapolis from 1895 to 1901, who purchased and helped develop the land for Indianapolis parks in 1897. He was also chairman of the Democratic National Committee from 1900 to 19... Read more
This mile-long parkway was designed to connect Fall Creek Boulevard and Parkway in the east with Riverside Park and White River Parkway in the west. From its western edge, it stretches seven blocks, crossing a railroad line and the historic... Read more
Year Built: Circa 1912 Architecture Style: American Foursquare Arts & Crafts Key Features: Shingle Siding Multi-Paned Windows Square Footprint and Box Style This home has been restored impeccably including a wooden, hand-crafted, period... Read more
The original 1950’s Long’s location was in the heart of Riverside at c. Long’s is a family bakery founded by Carl Long in 1955. Its original location was in the heart of Riverside at Harding and 26th Street. When it comes to hot, fres... Read more
The Riverside Drive Historic District lies to the east of Riverside Park and it draws its name from this association. The district is composed of six different additions and/or subdivisions, the earliest of which was platted in 1902 and the... Read more
When this pavilion was built in 1904, it attracted many amusement park passersby filled a need in the city for a place where dances could be held during the summer months. There was a large porch across the front of the building and one dow... Read more
Year Built: 1899 Architecture Style: Key Features: Large Porch with Column Supports and Balustrade River Rock Wall Tall Narrow Windows August Wacker immigrated from Germany as a young entrepreneur in 1870. He found great success as a floris... Read more
Old Train Car Pavilion Once a popular stop on the train car’s route. On June 5, 1909, an accident occurred at the Riverside Train Car pavilion when a streetcar overturned due to a defective brake chain, killing one man and injuring many o... Read more
Indianapolis’ first amusement park was constructed in 1903 through a joint venture between Pittsburgh investor Frederick Ingersoll and local businessmen J. Clyde Power, Bert Feibleman, and Albert Lieber. The 30-acre Riverside Amusement Pa... Read more
Year Built: 1936 Architecture Style: Art Moderne Key Features: Curved Corners and Smooth Walls Small Narrow Windows Decorative Stone Carvings The Heslar Naval Armory was designed by architect Ben H. Bacon. Built by the Depression-era Works... Read more
This bridge replaced a much narrower bridge after two 1904 floods washed away most of the old and unstable bridges spanning the White River, leading to the formation of a Bridge and Stream Improvement Commission to build more durable and be... Read more


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