Riverside, Indianapolis

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The Riverside neighborhood is a historical neighborhood on the near west side of Indianapolis, Indiana, United States. The housing 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.[1] Riverside is named for its location beside the White River.


The boundaries of Riverside are 30th Street on the north, Fall Creek and Stadium Drive to the south, the water company canal to the east and the White River to the west.[2] Many of the neighborhood's focus areas are situated along Harding Street.


Riverside has fallen victim to severe challenges over the years and has become run down. As a result, a number of attempts have been made to revitalize the neighborhood in recent years. It became a member of the Indianapolis Weed and Seed Organization which targets deprived areas in Indianapolis to assist in crime reduction. Located in its boundaries is the city's only regional park.[3]

The amusement park[edit]

The Riverside Amusement Park was founded in 1903 with funding from investors from Indianapolis and Pittsburgh. It was located north of 30th Street and had a toboggan ride and concession stands. As Riverside and the surrounding area grew, the amusement park continued to expand. In 1919, under new ownership, it introduced segregation in response to the growing African-American population in the neighborhood. On 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 affected by dramatic white flight. By the 1960s, the racial makeup of the neighborhood had changed to such an extent that the owners of the park were forced to desegregate in an attempt to remain profitable. This failed and the park closed in 1970. The Rivers Edge is a newly built housing complex that now occupies the site.[1]

Riverside now[edit]

Since 1967, Riverside has been included in the umbrella neighborhood organization known as the United Northwest Area or UNWA. This 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. [1] The success of this neighborhood is rooted in its grassroots neighborhood association, the Riverside Civic League, the second-oldest neighborhood association in the city.

Students in kindergarten through sixth grade in the Riverside neighborhood are zoned to Indianapolis Public Schools 42 and 44.


  1. ^ a b c [1] UNWA Narrative History.
  2. ^ [2] Riverside Neighborhood Association.
  3. ^ [3] Weed and Seed

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 39°48′04″N 86°11′11″W / 39.80111°N 86.18639°W / 39.80111; -86.18639