For a pdf file of the proposed park master plan or of the clubhouse rehabilitation options, click on one of the buttons below ... 

Wabash Valley Community Foundation Awards Friends of Rea Park, Inc. Funds to Market Project to Community

In the fall of 2016, the Wabash Valley Community Foundation awarded Friends of Rea Park, Inc. $1,500 to use toward marketing the Rea Park renewal project.  This money will used to market the Rea Park clubhouse and park master plans to the public.  The grant also calls for the development of brochures, displays, copies of the clubhouse and park master plans, as well as outdoor signs to be displayed at Rea Park.  Thank you, Wabash Valley Foundation!    


An Invitation to Participate

in Our Rea Park/ISU Community Survey!

Are you a frequent patron of Rea Park?  Do you enjoy playing our historic golf course?  How about playing tennis, or running or walking the park?  Or, maybe you just want to support our Terre Haute parks system.  We need and very much seek your input!

Indiana State University, Friends of Rea Park, Inc. and the Terre Haute Parks Department have developed a survey.  We will use the results to develop a master plan for the park.  You may participate in the survey by clicking here.  This link will take you to the survey at ISU. We appreciate your participation.  Results will be released next spring to the parks board and the general public.  Thank you!   

News, Meetings and Activities 

"Relighting the Glow"

Historic Clubhouse Lit at Night for All to See 


For most of the 20th century, Rea Park's clubhouse was lit at night by two large spotlights located on the west side of the structure.  The clubhouse could be easily seen by those riding in automobiles passing by on a dark South Seventh Street.  

This is where the phrase "Relighting the Glow" originates.  It is the desire of Friends of Rea Park to see spotlights shine once more on one of Terre Haute's most iconic buildings.  This time, however, our group wishes to see lights shine on a newly renovated clubhouse, one ready to stand another 100 years, just in time for Rea Park's 100th anniversary in 2022.        

 Original Photo by John Lowry   

What can you do to help?

You can assist the TH Parks Department and Friends of Rea Park by ...

Being active in various fundraising activities such as a benefit golf or tennis outing, or running event.

Volunteering to participate in a work day or project at Rea Park.  

Making a tax-deductible donation to Friends of Rea Park which can be used to improve Rea Park's buildings and grounds, or to conduct needed programs.

Leaving a gift of charity to Rea Park when writing your will.  

​​​​​​​Friends of Rea Park, Inc. Sets Priorities for 2017 Season at Rea Park ...

The officers of Friends of Rea Park, Inc. are working to finalize goals for 2017.  Priorites are to ...

1.  Complete the clubhouse feasibility study.  Complete the master park plan for Rea Park.  Present these plans to the TH Parks Board for their final approval and support during the spring of 2017.

2.  Monitor the National Register of Historic Places application for Rea Park.  Approval is expected to come from the State of Indiana sometime during 2017. Assist in planning and implementing a community celebration of this important designation.

3.  Develop a comprehensive fundraising plan using the Rea Park master plan and the clubhouse feasibility study as baselines.  Submit grant applications whenever possible to help begin the renovation of Rea Park's historic 1925 clubhouse.  

4.  Set a 2017 calendar of events ... marketing functions, socials, and golf or tennis fundraisers, etc.

5.  Dedicate a new 40 ft. flagpole donated by the Friends of Rea Park, Inc. behind the 9th and 18th greens.


6.  Continue to seek sponsors who will assist the TH City Parks Department and Friends of Rea Park, Inc. in gaining visibility for the Rea Park project.  


Friends of Rea Park Core Beliefs ... 


1. We believe Rea Park is one of Terre Haute's greatest assets!


2. We want to preserve and enhance the current clubhouse and its immediate surroundings.  We do not want to lose the 90 years of history and culture that goes with this historic structure.  We want the clubhouse to be utilized to its full potential.


3. We believe Terre Haute has the expertise and the desire to bring our community together in an effort to renew Rea Park.


4. We want to prepare Rea Park for future generations.

A non-profit community group partnering with the City Parks Board and the City Parks Department in an effort to renew one of Terre Haute, Indiana's greatest treasures, William S. Rea Park.   

City Parks Board Hears Four Options for Historic Rea Park Clubhouse Renovation​

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Meeting in the Rea Park clubhouse, the Terre Haute Parks Board on Wednesday considered a series of options to renovate that aging landmark, as part of a park-wide revitalization effort. 

Possibilities range from expanding the building to allow for year-round events to moving the pro shop to an outdoor kiosk, according to blueprints designed by architectural firm Sanders & Associates.  Costs range from $1 to $1.4 million.

However the project takes shape, the structural condition of the building demands immediate action, said architect Dan Sanders.

"You can go to the outside there, grab certain parts of the building, and it comes off in your bare hands,"  he told board members.  "That's not good."

Sanders is working with Friends of Rea Park, Inc., a non-profit community group leading the renovation project with support from the city.  The group aims to honor the legacy of William and Geraldine Rea - whose financial gifts established the park - while maintaining the grounds for future generations.

Board members, who didn't vote for any one of the proposals, were presented four options for overhauling the clubhouse. 

The first option, Sanders said, would match the historical design and original footprint of the building, known for its Mediterranean Revival style. 

The second option calls for building an addition on the east side of the structure, in which a bar and lunch counter would be built . 

The third option would expand the clubhouse and add a terrace, while enlarging underground meeting space where a new pro shop would be located.  

In the fourth rendering, the building's original design would be restored and used as an events center, with the pro shop being relocated to an outdoor kiosk.  

All four proposals make room for golf cart storage under the building, and restoring the west side of the building to its' 1925 appearance.  The plans include space for a kitchen and bar so the clubhouse could be used to host weddings, parties and other events.

Sanders said the blueprints would likely be tweaked once fundraising is complete.

"These are not the final construction-ready drawings,"  he said, adding the plans were drafted so the Friends group could give prospective investors an idea of the proposed projects' scope.

Park board members granted Friends of Rea Park permission to show the drawings to area businesses as the board continues to solicit funding.

Friends of Rea Park, Inc. president Dr. Mike Harding told board members, "You want to be respectful of the history of the building and the architecture, but you don't want it to be returned to 1925 condition. You want it to be 2016 and forward, a building that services all the functions it needs to in today's time frame and beyond."​ 

Original Blueprints Courtesy

Ball State University Archives

The original architectural/construction plans for the Rea Park clubhouse completed in 1924 have been located on Ball State University's Digital Archives Website.  These plans, 14 working drawings in all, have been used by registered, professional architect Dan Sanders to develop a new clubhouse feasibility study.  The drawings serve as a baseline for all new planning.  

As of February 2017, the new clubhouse feasibility study is nearly complete, and will be used as the centerpiece for fundraising activities to be conducted by Friends of Rea Park, Inc.  The clubhouse feasibility study and a new park master plan will be presented to the city parks board for their review and approval. 

Let's work together to build a new master plan for Rea Park, and a feasibility study for the clubhouse.  In this way, we can honor those who established this wonderful park years ago, while preparing it to serve generations to come. 

Then .... and Now ...         

Terre Haute Tribune Star Rea Park Article

Monday, March 6, 2017

About the Rea Park article appearing in the Terre Haute Tribune Star this morning, Monday, March 6, 2017 ... Friends of Rea Park, Inc. has several rationale in mind when it comes to fully developing Rea Park. These include:

1. We wish to honor the William S. Rea family by ensuring the contract to maintain and beautify the park is upheld by the City of Terre Haute. 

2. If properly developed, Rea Park can help Terre Haute establish a competitive workforce by boosting the health of its' citizens (clear minds and bodies). Currently, Terre Haute ranks 91st out of 92 Indiana counties in a 2016 study when considering alcohol, drug, and tobacco use, as well as the obesity levels of our population.  If not addressed, this could be a major deterrent to attracting new business to our city. 

3. Rea Park should establish a close relationship with nearby TH South High, other south-side schools, Terre Haute Regional Hospital, Westminster Village and the TH Parks Department. There should be an effort to fully utilize park facilities and existing lands to promote the overall health of all Terre Hautians - children through senior adults. 

4. Over time, Rea Park should have its' clubhouse, tennis courts and driving range renovated, as well as the possibility of adding new pickle ball courts, walking and running trails, and an area for family activities within Rea's current boundaries. 

5. Wabash Valley public officials should look to repair recreational facilities we already have, honoring existing commitments, before bringing new capital projects of similar purpose on board. 

6. The total cost of renovating Rea Park is reasonable, especially when compared to other projects currently being discussed by Wabash Valley governing bodies. Total renovation of the park is likely no more than half of what was invested in the new aquatic center located in Voorhees Park. 

7. It will likely take a mix of public and private funding to complete the park's renovation - tax dollars, governmental and private foundation grants, private donations, as well as private investment in the park.

The TH Parks Board and local Indiana Landmarks representative Tommy Kleckner worked to develop an application for Rea Park to appear on the U.S. Department of Interior's national register of historic places. The first review of this application will take place on April 19, 2017 by the Indiana Historic Preservation Board in Indianapolis. If successful at the state level, Rea Park's application will be forwarded to the federal government for their review and final approval.

Officers of Friends of Rea Park, Inc. include Mike Harding, Bill Verdeyen, Bill Olah, and Earl Elliott. Architect Dan Sanders and his staff have provided countless hours of assistance in preparing architectural plans and drawings for the project.

Lastly, we appreciate the Tribune Star's continued coverage of our efforts to upgrade Rea Park to 21st century standards. Please know your help in promoting this project is greatly appreciated!  

For more information, or to view the drawings of what a newly renovated clubhouse and park master plan might look like, please

Click on the Clubhouse Survey button in the navigation bar to register your opinions!  Your input will help guide our restoration planning for the new clubhouse.