The Garden
Lilly House
open 11 AM - 5 PM

While wandering The Garden, don’t hesitate to tour Lilly House, a National Historic Landmark and exemplary example of a 20th century country estate. The Landon family founded the estate in 1907, building their French inspired home, greenhouses, and other support buildings. In the 1920’s Jessie Landon invited the Olmsted Brothers to design a garden landscape to match the grandeur of their home. The Lilly family purchased the property in 1932 and acquired the neighboring properties over the next few decades. They would eventually donate the 56 acres to the Art Association of Indianapolis to build an art museum and become what we know as Newfields today. 

 

Today, the first floor of Lilly House has been restored to closely resemble its appearance in the 1930s. In fact, the majority of the furnishing and decorative arts objects featured belonged to the Lillys and were used in the home. The upper level of the Lilly House hosts a variety of events and public programs offering expansive views of Oldfields’ landscape and gardens. On the lower level, don’t miss the garage, complete with an early 20th century-era car on loan from the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum. To learn more about the IMS Museum, click HERE

 

The newly reimagined Lower Level of the Lilly House invites guests to explore the stories that make the 26-acre Oldfields Estate the historic heart of Newfields. This national historic landmark has been home to two prominent families, a superb example of landscape architecture, and connect to many stories that are unique to the history of Indianapolis. 

 

Richly illustrated with historic and contemporary photographs, the new orientation space will guide guests through an exploration of who lived and worked at the estate, as well as key designers who created the landscape guests can enjoy on their visit. Guests will be able to try their hand at designing the estate in a new, hands-on activity. For those looking for new experiences of the estate, untold stories and meditative moments will be revealed through self-guided tours. 

 

While visiting the Lilly House and surrounding gardens we invite guests to think about the evolution of the estate, how it was used by the different people who lived and worked at the estate, and how their desires and needs shaped the place we now call Newfields. 

 

Children are welcome, but strollers are not! Help us protect Lilly House by parking your stroller while visiting the inside of Lilly House. Stroller parking is available outside the front door of Lilly House and inside on the lower-level.

LILLY HOUSE MOBILE TOUR

TOUR

 

 

Accessibility

Restrooms

Accessible restrooms are located on the lower level of the Lilly House.

Service Animals

Service animals are welcome.

Mobility Access

The Garden

We have outdoor wheelchairs available to borrow for the day, on a first come first served basis. On busy days (holidays, special events, and weekends) demand is higher for wheelchairs. Guests are always welcome to bring your own manual wheelchair, motorized wheelchair, or electric mobility scooter to use while visiting the Newfields campus.

Portions of The Garden include accessible pathways. Newfields staff at the Admissions desk are happy to direct guests to our online Garden map and point out these pathways upon arrival.

Lilly House

Wheelchairs are available for free on a first-come, first served basis. 

  • Inside the house an elevator is available that can take guests between Floors 1 and 2. Because the elevator car dates to the 1930s and is relatively small, a staff member will operate it for any guest who wishes to use it.
  • The staircase in Lilly House is circular with 16 steps (8” rise) leading from the top of the ground-floor ramp to Floor 1, and 23 steps (7” rise, with one landing) leading from Floor 1 to Floor 2. Both stairs feature handrails.
  • While moving through the rooms on Floor 1, guests will encounter different floor surfaces (wood, marble, linoleum, carpet) and two small ramps that bridge a 3½-inch change in floor elevation on the west side of the house.
  • As you marvel at the beauty of Lilly House, seating options are available throughout. Sit and stay as long as you like.
Advanced tickets are required for all members and guests.