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Park History. 

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Riverside Neighborhood


The Riverside neighborhood is a historical neighborhood on the near west side of Indianapolis, Indiana. The neighborhood consists mainly of American foursquare-type homes and bungalows built in the 1910s to 1920s. Seventy-five percent of the homes in the area were built before 1939. Riverside is named for its situation next to the White River.

The history of Riverside Amusement Park reflects the history of the area. The amusement park was founded in 1903 with funding from investors from Indianapolis and Pittsburgh, north of 30th Street with a toboggan ride and concession stands. As Riverside and the rest of the area grew residentially, the amusement park continued to expand. In 1919, it came under new ownership, which introduced segregation in response to the growing African-American population in the neighborhood. Most days, the park was only available to white patrons, but there were special days set aside for black patrons. The park and the neighborhood both prospered during and after World War II, but the neighborhood was soon affected by dramatic white flight. By the 1960s, the racial makeup of the neighborhood had changed so much that the park owners were forced to desegregate in an attempt to regain financial stability. This failed, and the park closed in 1970. A newly built housing complex, The Rivers Edge, sits in its place.


Since 1967, Riverside has been included in the umbrella neighborhood organization known as UNWA, or the United Northwest Area. It is made up of three neighborhoods: Riverside to the south, United Northwest in the center, and Crown Hill to the north. The UNWA neighborhood is bounded by Meridian Street to the east, 38th Street to the north, 16th Street to the south, and the White River to the west. UNWA’s population in 1990 was 22,204. The success of this neighborhood is rooted in its grassroots neighborhood association, the Riverside Civic League, the second-oldest neighborhood association in the city.


Riverside Park


Riverside Park was founded in 1898 as a part of land 6 miles in length. Two floods terrorized the park in 1904 and 1913. The city zoo located in the park closed in 1916 due to municipal restructuring. In 1927, Riverside was renamed Taggart Memorial Park, was changed back to Riverside Park in 1930. Riverside Regional Park is located five miles from downtown area, but physically situated in a community at 2400 Riverside drive. The park is bounded by the White River on the west, The Riverside Community on the east, South Grove golf course on the south and The Rivers Edge neighborhood on the north


Just as the Riverside Amusement Park closed in 1970, the City of Indianapolis opened the Riverside Family Center. The park and family center offers diverse recreational area that serves the needs of the Indianapolis area in many ways. Athletic leagues, community and civic meetings, swimming, fitness programs, playgrounds, and large special events are the primary focus.


Park Amenities


A family center with gymnasium, program space, large multi-purpose room, meeting rooms, weight room and craft/ceramic room.

Seasonal Aquatic Center
Tennis courts (12)
Baseball Diamonds (2)
Softball Diamonds (7, 3 lighted)
Playgrounds (2)
Boat Launch (White River)
Picnic Shelters (6)
Outdoor Basketball Courts (2)


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