The French chateau style residence at this 26-acre estate was built in 1912 for Hugh Landon by his brother-in-law, architect Lewis Davis. The oldest garden feature is a walled, sunken garden of symmetrical planting beds centered on a circular fountain pool, likely by Davis. Landon and his second wife, Jessie, impressed by the Olmsted Brothers’ Thomas Lamont garden in Maine, hired Percival Gallagher to redesign the gardens at Oldfields. From 1920-1925, Gallagher designed a seamless mix of formal and informal features. A wild garden in the 40-foot deep ravine was planted with flowering trees, shrubs, and perennials along a rock-lined water course, spanned by a rustic bridge. From the western terrace, the wild garden and the bluffs of the White River are visible. To the east a grand formal vista down the long lawn flanked by elm allées terminates at a fountain.
In 1932, the estate was sold to Josiah Kirby (J.K.) Lilly, Jr., who constructed a second house in 1939, Newfield. The four-season themed garden was designed by landscape architect Anne Bruce Haldeman of Louisville, Kentucky. The Indianapolis Museum of Art acquired the property in 1967, and in 1972 commissioned Sasaki Associates to complete a master plan for 40 acres of the site south of the house and gardens. Oldfields was designated a National Historic Landmark in 2003.