Located on the near eastside of Indianapolis, Brookside is one of the oldest parks in the city and one of three large parks located along the boundary of the old city limits. The park was established to serve a population boom caused by employment at a new United States Arsenal (now Arsenal Technical High School) and the expansion of streetcar service outside the boundaries of downtown. The land was originally acquired from Calvin Fletcher in 1870, and 82 acres were dedicated as Brookside Park in 1898. An additional twelve acres west of the park were purchased in 1912, and today the site spans approximately 102 acres. The park realized its full potential in 1909, when it was incorporated into landscape architect and planner George Kessler’s Park and Boulevard System.
Kessler’s plan retained the park’s wild and scenic beauty to the north, and provided a large area for recreation on its south side. Pogue’s Run creek, which enters the park near the northeast corner and winds its way westward, along with rugged topography and scenic views to the north, are the park’s primary natural features. Brookside Park’s circulation system includes long winding carriage drives that align with Pogue's Run, and as curvilinear loops in the park’s interior that allow for transitions from higher to lower elevations. Trees were planted in massed groups along the drives, framing a variety of scenic views. Brookside Parkway runs along the park’s southern edge, providing access to the surrounding residential neighborhoods and linkage to the Park and Boulevard System. Brookside Park was placed in the National Register of Historic Places in 2003 as part of the Indianapolis Park and Boulevard System.