Situated along the southern bank of Fall Creek in northeast Indianapolis, this historic suburb was the vision of founder and developer Charles Lewis, who acquired the land between 1909 and 1915 following an extensive search for a location that would accommodate residential development while capturing the area’s natural and scenic beauty. In 1914 Lewis retained George Kessler, who had recently completed his Park and Boulevard System plan, to assist with the layout of roads and house lots that would preserve the site’s topographic character and varied vegetation, which ranged from open meadows to densely wooded areas.
Of the site’s 350 acres, 250 were set aside for 110 residential lots ranging from 1.4 to 5.7 acres each. Understory plantings that included spiraea and barberry were introduced to provide privacy, demarcate boundaries of individual lots, and evoke the scenic character of an English countryside. The remaining 100 acres were set aside for curving roadways, walking paths, dedicated recreational areas, and a golf course, designed in 1923 by Lawrence Sheridan. A distinguishing feature of the suburb is The Mall, an imposing double-lane drive accessible from East 56th Street, which was originally lined with seven rows of elms. Dutch elm disease claimed the trees in the 1950s, and they were replaced with scarlet maples. The Mall also features a large boulder at its entrance, an element of the Kessler design, which holds a bronze plaque etched with the neighborhood’s name. Brendonwood was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 2004.