Cultural Landscape Report

This Garfield Park Cultural Landscape Report honors that legacy while it seeks to insure the vibrancy and value of this important park into the future.

Introduction

Garfield Park is a valued, irreplaceable historic public park serving the Indianapolis community as both a city and neighborhood park. The park is a significant cultural landscape recognized for its history, its design influence, and its place in the Indianapolis parks and boulevards system. Heritage Landscapes was commissioned by the Friends of Garfield Park (FOGP) to develop a cultural landscape report investigating the history, chronology, existing conditions and use of the Garfield Park landscape and to recommend a preservation approach that respects its heritage while accommodating current and future directions. Garfield Park stands as a testimony of over a century of use, support and patronage by the neighborhood and the Indianapolis community. This Garfield Park Cultural Landscape Report honors that legacy while it seeks to insure the vibrancy and value of this important park into the future.

Purpose

To preserve the future of the park FOGP championed the creation of the Garfield Park Cultural Landscape Preservation and Renewal Plan. Created in 2004 and 2005, The Cultural Landscape Plan was funded through grants of $25,000 from the Efroymson Fund of the Central Indiana Community Foundation, $5,000 from Marion County Historic Preservation Fund and $22,500 each from Friends of Garfield Park and Indy Parks.

This project, which celebrates the concepts and designs of George Kessler, was guided to completion by Patricia O’Donnell, ASLA, of Heritage Landscapes, which  specializes in preservation planning and implementation for cultural landscapes.  The plan will serve as a guide to future development and programs at the park such as:

  • Educational materials, such as those included in the Historic Garfield Park Tour
  • Fundraising campaigns to preserve and maintain the Bean Creek Bridge and the 100 year old Fountains
  • Efforts leading to the designation on the National Registry of Historic Places
  • Landscape renovations and restoration, including tree plantings, streets, pathways and other elements

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