Broncho Billy Playlot Park

  • 4437 N. Magnolia Ave.   Chicago, Illinois 60640 [View Map]
  • Park Hours:
  • Park Supervisor: Robert Geraghty (Gill Park)
  • Park Phone: (312) 742-7802

This small park is located in the Uptown community (1/2 block north of Montrose Avenue, approximately four blocks east of Clark Street). It contains a water spray feature, and a soft surface playground.

While there is no structured programming taking place at this location, we invite you to check out our great programs offered at nearby Gill Park

History

The Chicago Park District established this small park in 1991 on .2 acres obtained from the Board of Education. Until the park's creation, its densely-populated Uptown community was lacking in recreational space, especially when compared to neighborhoods to the east, with easy access to the lakefront. The park now includes a playground, a spray pool, and basketball courts. The park district officially designated the property Broncho Billy Park in 1999.

Broncho Billy was the screen name of silent film star Gilbert M. Anderson (1882-1971), who founded Essanay Studios, located at 1333 Argyle in Uptown, near what is now the park site. Anderson (formerly Max Aronson), had his start in the 1903 Western The Great Train Robbery. In 1907, Anderson, together with Chicagoan George Spoor, formed Essanay Studios. The following year, Anderson made The Life of Jesse James. In search of more realistic backdrops, Anderson took his film crews west to shoot further cowboy adventures, establishing the Essanay Western Company at Niles Canyon, California. Anderson created the much-loved Broncho Billy character in 1911, and went on to star in 376 Broncho Billy films. Essanay Studios closed its doors in 1917.

Parking/Directions

For directions using public transportation visit www.transitchicago.com.

Broncho Billy Playground

Broncho Billy PlaygroundAccessible

Location Notes: 4437 N. Magnolia Ave.

Broncho Billy Water Spray Feature

Broncho Billy Water Spray Feature

Location Notes: 4437 N. Magnolia Ave.

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Description

This small park is located in the Uptown community (1/2 block north of Montrose Avenue, approximately four blocks east of Clark Street). It contains a water spray feature, and a soft surface playground.

While there is no structured programming taking place at this location, we invite you to check out our great programs offered at nearby Gill Park

The Chicago Park District established this small park in 1991 on .2 acres obtained from the Board of Education. Until the park's creation, its densely-populated Uptown community was lacking in recreational space, especially when compared to neighborhoods to the east, with easy access to the lakefront. The park now includes a playground, a spray pool, and basketball courts. The park district officially designated the property Broncho Billy Park in 1999.

Broncho Billy was the screen name of silent film star Gilbert M. Anderson (1882-1971), who founded Essanay Studios, located at 1333 Argyle in Uptown, near what is now the park site. Anderson (formerly Max Aronson), had his start in the 1903 Western The Great Train Robbery. In 1907, Anderson, together with Chicagoan George Spoor, formed Essanay Studios. The following year, Anderson made The Life of Jesse James. In search of more realistic backdrops, Anderson took his film crews west to shoot further cowboy adventures, establishing the Essanay Western Company at Niles Canyon, California. Anderson created the much-loved Broncho Billy character in 1911, and went on to star in 376 Broncho Billy films. Essanay Studios closed its doors in 1917.

For directions using public transportation visit www.transitchicago.com.