Park is Indianapolis' oldest park. In 1873 the city of
Indianapolis purchased the land that is located at 2450 South Shelby
Street, between Raymond and Southern Avenue. For the first few years the
property was used as a horse racing track and called Southern Park.
It is 122.59 acres of beautiful trees, flowers, picnic areas, and
several community gathering spots. Our featured photo on each page
of the website is of the spring in Garfield Park Sunken Gardens.
In 1881, the park was named in honor of Hoosier native
and U. S. President, James A Garfield. The late 1800's and early 1900's
saw many changes and improvements in the park facilities. In 1895, the
park began serving the horticultural and floral culture needs of
Indianapolis. The Pagoda, a south side icon, was opened in 1903.
My family roots are in the south side of Indianapolis.
From the immigrants in 1857 who settled just south of the center of
downtown, as did thousands of their fellow German-born citizens, to many
of the current descendants, the roots are deep.
The Weber family lived just a block from
Garfield Park from the early 1900s through early 1960s. To the
right is a photo of my mother, Rosemary Weber, in the Sunken Gardens at
Garfield Park in 1938. There were many family picnics in this park as a
In 1915 the new greenhouses and
Conservatory were built. The photos above and to the right are of the
conservatory, which displays many species of plants, a very interesting
place any time of the year, but especially in the spring.
The first dedication of the Sunken Garden took place
October 29, 1916.
In the late 90s the city committed funds to restoring
these unique gardens. The Sunken Gardens rededication on October 29,
1998, realized the goal of bringing the gardens back to the glory of the
The Garden is currently planted with three distinctive floral
displays from early spring till late fall, and includes beautiful
fountain displays daily with elaborate light and water displays for
special evening events.
It's a great place to spend some time!