Indianapolis has the fortune of having numerous cultural amenities and several significant works of landscape architecture located adjacent to each other in the area of 38th street and the White River. These landscapes include the historic Jens Jensen landscape at Marian College, George Kessler’s Riverside Park and Parks and Boulevards System, and the Olmstead Brothers’ Oldfields at the IMA. These landmarks, as well as their caretaker institutions — the Indianapolis Museum of Art, Marian College and Indy Parks — and the recent improvements to 38th Street, have generated a newfound enthusiasm and excitement in the area.
An organizing committee has evolved to foster dialog and discussion on linking and celebrating these cultural amenities. It is also working to encourage the active participation of the many diverse and exciting neighborhood associations and other institutions in the area.
On Tuesday, May 15th, the group hosted a gathering of area stakeholders who listened to presentations concerning the history and future plans for these cultural amenities and institutions. It is exciting to realize the tremendous investment, from the IMA’s Art and Nature Park to Marian College’s landscape restoration, occurring in this area that will continue to enhance an already amazing natural environment.
As a follow up to this meeting, this “brainstorming” workshop was held to explore this area –referred to as the “Western Gateway” –can be enhanced and its’ landscape amenities celebrated through connections, redevelopment opportunities and placemaking efforts.