Chi Che Wang Playlot Park is located in the Lakeview community (on Diversey Parkway, approximately 2 ½ blocks east of Damen Avenue). The new ADA soft-surface playground is a favorite place for community children to spend the day.
While there is no structured programming taking place at this location, we invite you to check out our great programs offered at nearby Hamlin Park.
In 2000, the Chicago Plan Commission approved the creation of a residential planned development in the Paulina Ave. Corridor, an area that had previously been a manufacturing district. Two years later, the Chicago Park District began acquiring a 1.72 acre site in the development to create a park for the new community. By 2006, laborers “cleaned and greened” the site which included removing industrial debris, planting lawn and trees and fencing the new park. Chicago Park District planners are currently working with the local community to design and plan for future development of the site. Construction on this next phase is expected to take place in 2009.
In 2004, the Chicago Park District Board of Commissioners named the new park in honor of Chi Che Wang (1894 – 1979), an important scientist and teacher who participated in many civic efforts in Chicago. Born in Soochow, China, Chi Che was sent to America by her parents to obtain a good education. She received a bachelor’s degree from Wesley College in 1914, and came to Chicago to attend the University of Chicago, where she received a Master’s degree in chemistry in 1916 and a Ph.D. in nutrition and chemistry in 1918. Soon after her arrival, Chi Che helped found the Chicago Chinese Women’s Club, a group with which she remained active for a decade. After teaching for several years at the University of Chicago, she became a department head conducting medical research for Michael Reese Hospital. Due to the importance of her work, she was elected as a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 1922.
Between 1931 and 1940, Chi Che Wang lived in Cincinatti where she continued her research on children’s metabolism. She returned to Chicago to work as a research chemist for the Northwestern Yeast Company. In 1943, she accepted a position as assistant professor of physiology at the Northwestern University Medical School. In this position, she specialized in the study of nephrosis in children, and her research headquarters were at Children’s Memorial Hospital. Several years later, she left Chicago again to work for the Mayo Clinic, but returned to the area several years later when she accepted a position with the Hines Veterans Administration Hospital. Among many civic efforts in which she participated, Chi Che Wang provided clinical laboratory demonstrations for the Woman’s World’s Fair in Chicago. Chi Che Wang conducted important work from her research headquarters at Children’s Memorial Hospital, which is less than two miles from the new park.
For directions using public transportation visit www.transitchicago.com.