Running parallel to the upper bank of Fall Creek from Burdsal Parkway to the northeast side of Indianapolis, this integral artery of George Kessler’s Park and Boulevard System is the longest continuous parkway in the city. Though initially planned to terminate at Maple Road (now 38th Street), the road’s northern bound was extended an additional six miles with the donation of Woolens Gardens nature preserve in 1909, and to the northeastern county limit by Lawrence Sheridan in 1928.
The Kessler design follows the natural sweeping curves of the creek, providing scenic advantages as well as flood-control and natural resource protection. It was originally planned as a two-lane roadway for both pedestrians and horse drawn carriages. Though the parkway has since been expanded to four wide two-way lanes to accommodate increased vehicular traffic, its pastoral setting, curvilinear alignment, and deliberate views into surrounding natural areas continue to define its character. Native trees and shrubs were extensively planted, some in masses to define open spaces, others to frame views and vistas. Red oaks delineate the parkway’s edge along its residential-facing side, while also providing shade and a canopy for the road and sidewalk. The Parkway was included in the National Register of Historic Places in 2003 as a part of the Indianapolis Park and Boulevard System.