Saturday, September 30, 2023

Kessler Who?

     A commenter suggested perhaps the lovely wide street that goes from near Fort Harrison State Park to a little northeast of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway could be called "Kestrel" Boulevard -- one of the raptors I've never seen around here.

     But it's named after a famous guy, even if you haven't heard of him: landscape architect George Kessler, father of parks, parkways, bridges and city beautification.  Starting around the turn of the last century, many cities "let George do it,"* and in Indianapolis, he was the father of the park and boulevard system that ornaments the city to this day.  It even carries parts of our network of bicycle paths, especially along Fall Creek Parkway.  Kessler was working on the boulevard that bears his name when he died, 20 March 1923.

     So we won't be renaming it any time soon.
* That innocent-sounding phrase carries its own history: the "George" is not Kessler but Pullman -- after whom every single Pullman railroad porter was addressed as "George," working days-long shifts on constant call and catching naps as they could.  They eased many a traveler's trip, anonymous under the founder's first name. 

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