Garfield Park Branch Library

Landscape Architecture, Site Planning, & Urban Design

Posted by on Oct 1, 2012 in Parks, Projects


The Indianapolis Public Library developed a concept for their ‘Green Library in the Park’ for their Shelby Branch Library abutting Garfield Park. With a list of ideas, they enlisted Mader Design to lead them through a Master Planning and Design process to see the project to fruition. Working with Library Staff, the planning and design process was a fast paced, free flowing exchange, as Mader Design harnessed the ideas, priorities, and funding capabilities of the Library and its Foundation to create a vision for an outdoor community space focused on sustainable principles, connections between the redesigned 1964 library building, the park, and the community.

The first phase was implemented immediately with a new storytelling garden with decorative pervious concrete depicting the Green Library’s new logo of a Tulip Tree Leaf with seating for adults and children surrounded by native plants. This phase also provided new sidewalk connections to the front door and landscaping in the front yard and around the storytelling garden in keeping with the building design and sustainable goals while incorporating rain barrels, bike racks, electric vehicle charging stations, new more visible sign and flagpole, and an enhanced feeling of safety and security as you walk the grounds.

Future phases are planned to include raingardens to capture and infiltrate the stormwater on the site, additional revisions to landscape materials around the parking lot and building, and a new garden walk connecting to the adjacent park picnic shelter and the Garfield Park Conservatory. At it’s grand re-opening, the library was rebranded as the Garfield Park Branch ‘Green Library in the Park.’