Known as North Indianapolis when platted in 1873 as an industrial area with a small residential population, since 2014 the neighborhood is known as Northwest-Riverside, which is part of the Northwest Quality of Life Plan, an association of area neighborhood organizations. The neighborhood is named for its proximity to the White River, with boundaries of 30th Street on the north, Fall Creek to the south, the Central Canal to the east, and the White River to the west.

Although never incorporated, the original area developed around the Udell Ladder Works, the North Indianapolis Wagon Works, and the Henry Ocow Manufacturing Company. The construction of the Belt Line Railroad in the 1870s and an electric streetcar line to the area in the early 1890s increased the neighborhood’s popularity. It became a residential location for middle-income, working-class families and was one of six communities annexed to the city during the decade 1890 to 1900.

The Riverside Civic League, a grassroots neighborhood association, has been instrumental to the success of the modern conception of the neighborhood. Once a middle-class white community, the neighborhood became a predominately African American neighborhood as white homeowners moved to the suburbs.  Most homes are two-story frame buildings, dating primarily from the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Located on the west side of the Northwest-Riverside neighborhood, Riverside Park is an 861-acre park that surrounds the White River from 18th Street to 38th Street. The park was designed between 1898 and 1913 by J. Clyde Power and George Kessler as part of the Park and Boulevard System.

A memorial to Indianapolis mayor Thomas Taggart, who helped establish the park, was designed by architect Carleton B. McCullough and landscape architect Lawrence V. Sheridan. In 2019, a grant from the lilly endowment, inc. funded a $9.2 million revitalization of the monument including the development of an amphitheater.

Revised April 2021

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