Fernwood Parkway is located in the Washington Heights community. This park is a passive greenspace for all community members to enjoy and have fun.
In 1887, the newly formed Village of Fernwood created a wide green parkway between South 99th and 103rd Streets. Trees and lawn were soon planted, and the village extended Fernwood Parkway north to South 95th Street the following year. Though the new parkway provided a lovely setting for new homes and businesses, the sleepy village remained sparsely settled with only a railroad depot, a post office, and a few corner grocery stores. In 1889, many towns and villages outside of Chicago, including the communities on all four sides of Fernwood, voted for annexation to the city. Fernwood residents, however, feared that becoming part Chicago would result in saloons opening and taxes increasing, and thus voted against annexation. Due to its refusal to be annexed, the Village of Fernwood became an island in the city, nicknamed "the Monaco of Chicago." Although the small village retained its independence, it could not afford to pave its streets or build a school. Residents soon began reconsidering their decision. In 1891, the village was annexed to Chicago, and the city assumed management of Fernwood Parkway. Early in the 20th century, the city's Special Park Commission improved Fernwood Parkway by planting additional trees and shrubs, installing a wading lagoon, and enclosing the park with iron fencing. By the late 1920s, the lagoon had been filled, and the parkway was under the management of the city's Bureau of Parks and Recreation. The bureau continued maintaining the site until 1959, when more than 250 city-owned properties were transferred to the Chicago Park District. The district re-graded and re-planted Fernwood Parkway and installed new lighting in the 1960s and 1970s.
For directions using public transportation visit www.transitchicago.com.