The Northwest Area of Indianapolis is located just northwest of downtown Indianapolis. It is an urban residential neighborhood of 6 square miles, framed by high traffic commuter streets, an interstate highway, waterways, and a historic cemetery.  

The neighborhood has a unique and complex history. During the late 19th and early 20th century, it included Indianapolis’ Millionaire Row. Wealthy white pioneers of the early automobile industry were settling in the north and west areas of the community even as African-American families were settling in the south and eastern parts of the community.  

Construction and development plateaued in the years prior to World War II and declined thereafter, due in part to the middle class migration to the suburbs. From 1960 to the present day, the Northwest has been an almost exclusively African-American neighborhood of working class neighbors increasingly grappling with the impacts of population loss and disinvestment. 

Flanner House, a 100 year old community center,  is a major neighborhood stakeholder.  It is a United Way agency and Center for Working Families site and is the convening agency for the Northwest Quality of Life Plan.  

LISC has worked with other organizations to contribute to significant investments in the NorthWest. Major developments that are complete or in development include: 

  • The creation of Riverside High School at the Helsar Armory, a 2nd campus of Herron High School 
  • The first phase of the Rock N’ Riverside project, a planned 50 unit homeownership project 
  • The new Charlie Wiggins Park 
  • Flanner House Farms, a 2.5 acre urban farm, the largest in Indianapolis 

To download the original Quality of Life Plan, click here. 

Showcasing strong partnerships with the Center for Leadership Development and Groundworks Indy, and anchor institutions like Marian University and Eskenazi Health, the 25th and MLK Great Place stands poised to build upon the neighborhoods assets by building out a vibrant business corridor along MLK as part of the Beloved Streets of America movement as well as increasing connectivity with the completion of the Fall Creek Trail and leveraging the waterway assets complementing Riverside Park.  The completed 25th and MLK Great Places plan is charting a new course for a historic neighborhood that will build on its proximity to downtown, its waterways and green spaces and it’s cultural character as an African American neighborhood with some of Indianapolis’ deepest historical roots.