Broad Ripple Village is the longest established of seven cultural districts in the City of Indianapolis. Located six miles north of downtown, the neighborhood was established in 1836 by Jacob Coil on the banks of the White River, is the only district located outside of the downtown area. Coil named this area Broad Ripple because the “ripple in the river at this point was the largest and widest in the country.” So large, in fact, that it is said that only one man, Isaac Simpson, could throw a stone across it. Local settlers in the area prior to 1837 called the area “Ripple” or “Riffle”.
The Broad Ripple Village neighborhood of nearly 17,000 residents embraces its reputation for being socially, economically and ethnically diverse. Not only does the Village’s unofficial motto “we’re always open if you are” refer to the inclusive nature of the neighborhood, it also literally speaks to the fact that numerous Broad Ripple bars and night spots remain open as late as 3 a.m. Locally owned pubs and restaurants, art galleries, boutiques and specialty shops — not to mention the White River Canal and greenways like the Monon Trail — make the Village an exciting place for all to explore.
From the opening of the White City Amusement Park (1906) and The Vogue (1938) to the grand opening of the Fresh Thyme Farmers Market and Coil Apartments (2017), Broad Ripple has long been known as a vibrant center tucked in “at the head of the canal”. For more than 180 years, locals have had a role in making this dynamic and super unique cultural district what it is today.
The current Broad Ripple Village is supported by the Broad Ripple Village Association (BRVA), which was founded in 1969 to enrich the community, attract investment, improve public spaces, and improve the quality of life in Broad Ripple. The BRVA is the oldest and largest nonprofit volunteer association actively working to advance the Village community through engagement and advocacy.