Chicago Park District
Chicago Womens Park and Gardens

Chicago Womens Park and Gardens

 
Produced by Robinson Irons, the Botanical Gardens Fountain

Produced by Robinson Irons, the Botanical Gardens Fountain

 
The Clarke House, constructed in 1836, is one of Chicago’s oldest buildings.

The Clarke House, constructed in 1836, is one of Chicago’s oldest buildings.

 
Sculpted in 1993 by Louise Bourgeois, Helping Hands memorializes Jane Adams.

Sculpted in 1993 by Louise Bourgeois, Helping Hands memorializes Jane Adams.

 

Chicago Women's Park and Gardens

1801 S Indiana Ave Chicago, IL 60616

Hours: +Park: 6am - 11pm, Bldg: M- F: 8:30am - 8:30pm; Sa

Bldg Hours: M-F, 8:30am-6:30pm : Sat. 8:30am-4:30pm Closed on Sunday. Open Play Area Hours listed below.

Park Supervisor:
Sarah Unz

(312) 328-0821

 
 
 

Description

 

Located in the Near South Side Community, locally known as the South Loop, Chicago Women’s Park & Gardens totals [2.51] acres and formerly housed the Vietnam Veterans Museum.

The Clarke House Museum sits adjacent to the gardens. Built in 1836 for Henry B. Clarke, it is Chicago’s oldest house. Over the years, the house survived fires, belonged to a church, and was moved twice – during the second move, the house was stuck in the air for two weeks. The house is now located in the Chicago Women’s Park in the Prairie Avenue Historic District, and operated as a museum by the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events. The recreation building is a B-3 field house facility and features an indoor children’s playground and meeting room facilities.  Visitors will also enjoy the recently renovated second and third floor space that features three new fitness studios, club room, staff office, restrooms and lockers and on the 3rd floor, Kids Science Labs.  Kids Science Labs (KSL) offers hands-on science classes, birthday parties, summer camps, and field trips for kids ages 2-12.   Outside, the park offers a passive garden. Part of the spaces available for rental for children’s birthday parties and meetings.

Park-goers can enjoy mom, tots and pop classes or play bridge or take yoga classes at the facility. In the summer youth attend the Park District’s popular six-week day camp. Specialty camps include pre-school activities. In addition, 

In addition to programs, Chicago Women’s Park hosts fun special events throughout the year for the whole family, such as Parents Night Out and Concerts in the Park.

Opened to the public in 2000, Chicago Women’s Park and Gardens honors the contributions that women have made to the city throughout its history. The park provides a quite respite in the Near South Side community area. It is located within the Prairie Avenue Historic District, and nestled between two house museums— the Widow Clarke House and the Glessner House. The park’s field house includes an indoor playground, two clubrooms, a café, and the Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial Art Museum, which operates out of the third floor of the building. In 2011, the Chicago Park District installed a relatively small, but extremely significant monument in the park in homage to Jane Addams (1860 – 1935), Chicago’s famous social reformer and Nobel Peace Prize winner. Internationally renowned artist Louise Bourgeios (1911 – 2010) created the artwork, which was first dedicated on the city’s lakefront in 1996. The sculpture was commissioned by the B.F. Ferguson Fund of the Art Institute of Chicago. Representatives of the Art Institute selected Bourgeios because they knew that the surrealist artist would portray Jane Addams through a symbolically powerful artwork rather than a depictive figurative sculpture. Bourgeios produced a series of carved granite hands that sit on rough-hewn granite bases. The monument, which is also known as “Helping Hands,” recognizes the humanity of Addams’ efforts, as well as the large number of people she helped. Speaking about her work in a 2007 PBS Documentary film entitled “From Art in the 21stCentury” Louise Bourgeois said, “A work of art does not have to be explained… If you do not have any feeling about this, I cannot explain it to you. If this doesn't’t touch you, I have failed.” The work entails six rough hewn stone bases which each support a hand or series of carved black granite hands representing a broad range of people of different ages and backgrounds. The current installation reflects the artist’s original arrangement of the sculptures and their positions. Describing the significance of the artist and her approach to this project, Michael Darling, a Chief Curator at Chicago’s Museum of Contemporary Art explains: “Louise Bourgeois is one of the most important and influential artists of the 20thand 21stcentury, primarily because she has addressed central aspects of the human condition in her work. Channeling the issues raised during her tumultuous childhood, she has focused her work on ideas about inter-personal communication, nurturing, alienation, belonging, motherhood, sensuality, birth and death, among many other themes. This sculpture is an excellent example of how she suggests these concepts in a truly universal form—through the motif of the human hand.”

MAY
9
Parents' Night Out at Chicago Women's
Event's details
May 09, 2014

Time:05:00 PM - 07:45 PM
1801 S Indiana Ave Chicago, IL 60616


 
(05:00 PM - 07:45 PM)
 
MAY
10
Get Movin - Fitness Boot Camp at Chicago Women's
Event's details
May 10, 2014

Time:10:00 AM - 11:00 AM
1801 S Indiana Ave Chicago, IL 60616


 
(10:00 AM - 11:00 AM)
 
MAY
10
Get Movin - Running Group at Chicago Women's
Event's details
May 10, 2014

Time:09:00 AM - 09:45 AM
1801 S Indiana Ave Chicago, IL 60616


 
(09:00 AM - 09:45 AM)
 
MAY
10
Get Movin - Yoga at Chicago Women's
Event's details
May 10, 2014

Time:11:15 AM - 12:15 PM
1801 S Indiana Ave Chicago, IL 60616


 
(11:15 AM - 12:15 PM)
 
MAY
17
Get Movin - Running Clinic at Chicago Women's
Event's details
May 17, 2014

Time:09:00 AM - 10:00 AM
1801 S Indiana Ave Chicago, IL 60616


 
(09:00 AM - 10:00 AM)
 
 

 

SPRING PROGRAMS:
Online registration for our park begins Tuesday, February 25 at 9 am, and in-person registration begins Saturday, March 1.  Spring programs run the week of March 31 through the week of June 2. 

SUMMER PROGRAMS:
Online registration for our park’s summer programs begins Tuesday, April 8 at 9 am, and in-person registration begins Saturday, April 12.  Our traditional 6-week summer camp program runs June 23 through August 1.  Most other summer programs run the week of June 16 through the week of August 18.

Join us! 

 
 

FACILITIES

FACILITY TYPE ADDRESS DESCRIPTOR QTY NOTES
Community Gardens 1801 S. Indiana 1 Community Garden
Meeting/Event Space 1801 S. Indiana Ave. 1 Kids Science Lab
Meeting/Event Space 1801 S. Indiana Ave. 3 All three fitness studios on the second floor featured mirrored walls.
Landscape architect Mimi McKay and architect Tannys Langdon designed Chicago Women’s Park and Garden, which opened to the public in 2000. The small scale of the park and its lushly planted borders enhance the space’s contemplative feeling. The centerpiece of the design is the Botanical Gardens Fountain with a copper-coated cast iron basin created by Robinson Iron of Alexander City, Alabama.A winding path along the perimeter of the site serves as a metaphor of a woman as she moves in and out of traditional boundaries and roles through the course of her life.

For additional information please visit, http://www.clarkehousemuseum.org

Contact: Randall Raaflaub

Contact Title: President

Email: park550advisorycouncil@gmail.com

 

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

Open Play Area Hours:

Mondays: 8:30 am - 6:30 pm
Tuesdays: 12:30 pm - 5:00 pm
Wednesdays: 12:30 pm - 6:30 pm
Thursdays: 12:30 pm - 6:30 pm
Fridays: 10:30 am - 6:30 pm
Saturdays: 1:30pm - 4:30pm

 

 

 

 

Accessibility Information

Summer Day Camps

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