Indianapolis ,


United States

Lockefield Garden Apartments

Located less than a mile east of the White River and adjacent to the Indiana University–Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) campus, this rectilinear site measures nine-and-a-half-acres. Framed by Indiana Avenue to the north, Blake Street to the east, University Boulevard to the west, and Lockefield Green to the south, the property features seven International-style apartment buildings and a tree lined mall, originally part of a 22-acre public housing project developed in the 1930s to serve middle and lower middle income African Americans.     

Funded by the Public Works Administration, the apartments were dedicated in 1938. Designed by architects William Russ and Merritt Harrison of the firm Russ and Harrison, and landscape architect Lawrence Sheridan, the racially segregated neighborhood featured 24 structures, each, two to four stories tall. It also included retail shops, playgrounds, and an elementary school. The center of the community was dominated by two parallel north-south oriented rows of chevron-shaped structures separated by a Picturesque mall planted with red oaks and traversed by linear paths. Each structure framed a generous, triangular-shaped courtyard, planted with trees and shrubs. Less than one-fourth of the grounds were occupied by structures, with the remaining acreage devoted to play areas, courtyards, and the mall. The project served as a model for other federally subsidized garden apartment communities.     

As housing opportunities expanded for African Americans, the number of residents decreased. The apartments closed in 1976 and in 1983 seventeen structures were demolished to accommodate adjacent development, including the construction of University Boulevard. By the early 1990s the remaining seven structures overlooking the mall were rehabilitated and reopened. An adjoining apartment community was developed to the immediate east; its streets and structures oriented to complement the layout and features of its neighbor. In 1983, nine-and-a-half-acres of the original parcel was listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

Location and Nearby Landscapes

Nearby Landscapes