Today, it is a popular downtown green space that features several monuments to honor important state and national figures, including:
BENJAMIN HARRISON, Indiana’s only president
ABRAHAM LINCOLN, the 16th president of the United States
SCHUYLER COLFAX, a Hoosier who was Vice President under Ulysses S. Grant
AT THE CENTER OF THE PARK IS THE DEPEW FOUNTAIN, a five-level fountain built in 1919 to honor Dr. Richard Johnson Depew, a former physician, and his wife. Additionally, Syrinx the wood nymph and Pan the satyr call the park home.
The land was originally designated for a state university that was never built.
From 1833 through 1860, the land was used to house a seminary, several churches and the city’s first high school—all in the same building.
In 1860, the land was used by Union troops for drilling exercises.
After the war, Indianapolis citizens established a fund to develop the land into the park that stands today.
The original design of the Depew Fountain was created by Karl Bitter, who was killed in a traffic accident in 1915 before the work could be completed. Following Bitter’s overall design, Alexander Stirling Calder created the bronze figures and the fountain. Henry Bacon, a well-known landscape architect, designed the fountain’s setting.
The Schuyler Colfax statue was the first to be placed in the park.
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