Military Park has the distinction of being the oldest of the many parks in Indianapolis. Originally named “Military Ground,” it was founded in 1820. Used for military training during the Black Hawk War, it was the site of the Indiana State Fair for many years, up until 1863.
This 14-acre property was an important encampment for Union soldiers during the Civil War, when it was called “Camp Sullivan.”
In the years immediately following the Civil War, the grounds were gradually upgraded to a rustic park-like setting, with a pool, a playground, a fountain and the pavilion that remains proudly standing in the park. The area was shortly thereafter renamed “Camp Sullivan Park.”
With the advent of two World Wars, frivolities such as parks were somewhat neglected. It wasn’t until 1980 that what is now called “Military Park” received a large infusion of money and attention, whereupon it became part of the great White River State Park.
The Shelter House at Military Park underwent a major renovation to the tune of $700,000 in 2007. The park is home to frequent and ongoing Indianapolis events, including festivals, Indianapolis music concerts and other large public gatherings.
The Congressional Medal of Honor Memorial, one of the most impressively stirring memorials of its kind in the state of Indiana and even in the entire country, is located on the south side of the park. Military Park is a registered Historic District and has a listing in the United States Register of Historic Places.
100 N West St
Indianapolis, IN 46202
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