Update 12/18/2015

You Did It! We are happy to announce that we surpassed the goal of $600,000 need to secure the central café and plaza late yesterday. Your contributions helped to secure over $400,000 in matching funds! Plans are being revised as we speak to ensure they are completed as part of the Phase I project.

The past several weeks have been inspiring. Residents, Business Owners, Anchor Institutions, Neighborhood leaders came together with City leaders and together we sustained the Vision for a critical element of Tarkington Park Phase I. While the funding campaign remains open for the final $179,500 needed to support the Performance Stage and funding for a comprehensive operations/programming feasibility study, the core of Phase I is intact.

We want to thank everyone who has contributed to the effort thus far and has helped to secure the café and lower an $800,000 funding gap to only $179,500. A very special thanks to the following:

Public and Private Partners: CICF and the City of Indianapolis lead the effort with $400,000 in matching funds. The Metropolitan Development Commission approved $60,000 in funding from the Midtown TIF.


Individuals: Hundreds of residents, many who went door to door and rallied their neighbors on social media and helped raise over $44,000 in individual contributions.

Nonprofit organizations: To the nonprofit organizations like the Indianapolis Parks Foundation, the Local Initiative Support Corporation (LISC), North United Methodist Church, the Butler Tarkington Neighborhood Association, the Meridian Kessler Neighborhood Association, the Meridian Street Foundation, Midtown Inc., and the Kourany Family Fund who collectively gave $59,500.

Midtown Anchor Institutions: Generous support from institutional leaders in Midtown like Butler University, the Christian Theological Seminary, and the International School who contributed $24,000.

Corporations: Companies big and small like Nuvo, Colby Equipment, Rundell Ernstberger, Axis Architecture, Pivot Marketing, Brandt Construction, Deering Cleaners gave $33,000

Make a secure, tax deductible donation today!






Tarkington Park: Phase I

(Estimated completion: Fall/Winter 2015)

Catalyst Redevelopment Strategy:

Tarkington Park Phase I-$5.8 Million (Original budget was 5M, bids came in 1M too high)


Proposed TIF Investment:

$1 Million (20% of project cost)


This project is the first element in a comprehensive redevelopment strategy for the 38th and Illinois Street area. While this is a preliminary phase, the plan in its entirety will feature a 12 million dollar destination urban park in an area that serves over a dozen neighborhoods. The park will also help rejuvinate a key commercial node along a critical transportation corridor.

At the end of the bidding process, the construction bids came in about $1M too high, so the budget was increased from $5M to $5.8M to adjust for that. As of December 2015, nearly $5.5 of that $5.8M has been raised.


38th and Illinois/Tarkington Park - A Brief History

The Tarkington Park Master Plan was adopted by the City in November of 2012. The plan was the culmination of numerous area neighborhood plans which called for area redevelopment, new investment, and improved public amenities. The Indianapolis Parks Department hired a team lead by Rundell Ernstberger to to plan out the park's future as a central element to the area’s revitalization. Several independent commercial node studies have identified the 38th and Illinois area as a viable residential, retail, and transportation node in need of public and private reinvestment. Below, see the Tarkington Park Master Plan, and the Mid-North and Midtown Commercial Node Studies.


Phase I of Tarkington Park is expected to be complete by end of 2015.

The full park Master plan is estimated at $12 million dollars. The proposal at hand would utilize $1 million of the proposed bond revenue generated by the Broad Ripple area development to leverage additional City and philanthropic funds to fund a $5 Million Phase I of the park Master plan. The strategy focuses on an initial catalyst public realm investment in the park simultaneously with City investments in business and infrastructure investments. The plan aims to stimulate specific redevelopment opportunities in the short term and many more in the long term.

The completed version of Tarkington Park, at right, depicts the following amenities:

-Dog Park

-Bocce Ball

-Children's Play Area

-Basketball Courts

-Tennis Courts

-Farmer's Market Venue

-Splash Plaza

-Cafe and restrooms

-New walking paths

-New lighting, landscaping

-Picnic shelters

-Improved street crossings

-Improved parking

-Great lawn for field sports

-Performance stage



Above is a rendering depicting Tarkington Park with all future phases complete.

New development in the background is for the sake of illustration purposes only.

Click here to see the write up in the Indy Star.


Updated Renderings:







Existing Conditions:


This map depicts problem areas that surround the site. Get more info about these sites in the North Midtown Economic Development Plan.

Image Source: 2011 North Midtown Economic Development Plan


Proposed Future Development Areas: