Garfield Park

  • 100 N. Central Park Ave.   Chicago, Illinois 60624 [View Map]
  • Fieldhouse Hours: , ,
  • Park Hours:
  • Park Supervisor: James Hobson
  • Park Phone: (312) 746-5092

Located in the East Garfield Park Community, Garfield Park totals 184.72 acres and features the historic Golden Dome field house. The field house holds a gymnasium, auditorium, dance studio, fitness center, boxing center, grand ballroom and meeting rooms.

Outside, the park offers a swimming pool, baseball fields, athletic fields for football or soccer, a fishing lagoon, tennis courts, floral gardens and playgrounds that were recently renovated as part of Mayor Emanuel’s Chicago Plays! Program. The park also offers an artifical turf where children can play in Owls LaCrosse teams and other park district and community programs. Garfield Park sits adjacent to the Garfield Park Conservatory, a popular destination for special events, educational field trips and flower shows.

Many of the spaces in Garfield Park are available for rental, including the grand ball room, which is popular for wedding receptions.

Park-goers come to Garfield Park to enjoy baseball, basketball or tennis. On the cultural side, Garfield Park offers dance, music and arts classes with partnership organizations including the Najwa Dance Troupe and the Chicago West Music Center. Afterschool programs are offered throughout the school year, and in the summer youth attend the Park District’s popular six-week day camp.

In addition to programs, Garfield Park hosts fun special events throughout the year for the whole family, including Movies in the Park, Black History festivals, Halloween Haunted Houses, concerts and other Night Out in the Parks events.

History

In 1869, the Illinois state legislature established the West Park Commission, which was responsible for three large parks and interlinking boulevards. The centerpiece of the system, the 185-acre Central Park, was renamed to honor President James A. Garfield (1831- 1881) after his assassination in 1881. Plans for the entire ensemble of Humboldt, Garfield and Douglas Park had been completed ten years earlier, by William Le Baron Jenney, best known today as the father of the skyscraper. As ambitious plans could not be realized all at once, Garfield Park developed in stages, beginning with the east lagoon.

Jens Jensen, a Danish immigrant who had begun as a laborer for the West Park System in the 1880s, worked his way up to Superintendent of Humboldt Park a decade later. At that time, the West Park System was entrenched in political graft. In 1900, the commissioners fired Jensen because of his efforts to fight the corruption. Five years later, during major political reforms, new commissioners appointed him General Superintendent and Chief Landscape Architect. Deteriorating and unfinished sections of the parks allowed Jensen to experiment with his evolving Prairie style. For instance, when he took over, each of the three parks had a small, poorly maintained conservatory. Rather than repairing these structures, which each displayed similar collections, Jensen decided to replace them with a single centralized facility. Designed in conjuction with an engineering firm, Hitchings and Company, Jensen conceived the Garfield Park Conservatory as a work of landscape gardening under glass. Considered revolutionary when it opened to the public in 1908, the form of the building emulated a "great Midwestern haystack," while inside the rooms were wonderful compositions of water, rock, and plants.

In 1928, the West Park Commission constructed the "Gold Dome Building" in Garfield Park to provide a new administrative headquarters for the West Park Commission. The structure was designed by architects Michaelsen and Rognstad, who were also responsible for other notable buildings including the Humboldt, Douglas and LaFolette Park Fieldhouses, and the On Leong Chinese Merchant's Association Building in Chinatown. In 1934, Garfield Park became part of the Chicago Park District, when the city's 22 independent park commissions merged into a single citywide agency. At that time, the adminstrative offices were no longer needed and the "Gold Dome" building became Garfield Park's fieldhouse.

Parking/Directions

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

Conservatory Entrance Fountain

Conservatory Entrance Fountain (1)

Location Notes: East of N. Central Park Avenue in front of the Conservatory

Descriptors: Outdoor, Fountain

Green Line Mosaics

Green Line Mosaics (1)

Location Notes: Central Park/Lake Green Line 'L' station

Descriptors: Outdoor, Mosaic or Ceramic

Lincoln the Rail-splitter

Lincoln the Rail-splitter (1)

Location Notes: North of W. Washington Boulevard and west of N. Central Park Avenue

Descriptors: Outdoor, Sculpture

Norman Cornwall Memorial

Norman Cornwall Memorial (1)

Location Notes: S. Central Park Avenue and W. Jackson Boulevard

Descriptors: Outdoor, Object

Palm Tree Reliefs

Palm Tree Reliefs (1)

Location Notes: Garfield Park Conservatory, Palm House

Descriptors: Indoor, Sculpture

Pastoral and Idyl

Pastoral and Idyl (1)

Location Notes: Garfield Park Conservatory, Palm House

Descriptors: Indoor, Sculpture

Persian Pool

Persian Pool (1)

Location Notes: Garfield Park Conservatory, Aroid House

Descriptors: Indoor, Sculpture

Playground Mosaics

Playground Mosaics (1)

Location Notes: Playground at the southwest corner of Homan Avenue and Lake Street

Descriptors: Outdoor, Playground Art

Robert Burns Memorial

Robert Burns Memorial (1)

Location Notes: W. Washington Boulevard between N. Central Park Avenue and N. Hamlin Avenue

Descriptors: Outdoor, Sculpture

SOLARise

SOLARise (1)

Location Notes: Garfield Conservatory

Descriptors: Indoor, Sculpture, Temporary

World's Fair Bulls with Maidens

World's Fair Bulls with Maidens (1)

Location Notes: West of the Garfield Park Conservatory in the City Garden flanking propagating houses

Descriptors: Outdoor, Sculpture

Zellij Fountain

Zellij Fountain (1)

Location Notes: Garfield Park Conservatory, Horticulture Hall

Descriptors: Indoor, Fountain

Garfield Baseball

Garfield Baseball

Location Notes: 100 N. Central Park Ave.

Garfield Basketball

Garfield Basketball

Location Notes: 100 N. Central Park Ave.

Garfield Boxing

Garfield Boxing

Location Notes: 100 N. Central Park Ave

Garfield Fieldhouse

Garfield Fieldhouse

Location Notes: 100 N. Central Park Ave.

Hours: , ,

Garfield Fishing

Garfield Fishing

Location Notes: 100 N. Central Park Ave.

Garfield Fitness Center

Garfield Fitness CenterAccessible

Hours: , ,

Notes:

Sign up for a membership: Month, 3 Month, Year

Descriptors: ADA Accessible Equipment

Garfield Football/Soccer

Garfield Football/Soccer

Location Notes: 100 N. Central Park Ave.

Descriptors: Grass

Garfield Artificial Turf

Garfield Artificial Turf

Location Notes: 100 N. Central Park Ave.

Descriptors: Artificial Turf

Garfield Gymnasium

Garfield Gymnasium

Location Notes: 100 N. Central Park Ave.

Garfield Gymnastic Center

Garfield Gymnastic Center

Location Notes: 100 N. Central

Garfield Horseshoe

Garfield Horseshoe

Location Notes: 100 N. Central Park Ave.

Garfield Park

Garfield Park

Location Notes: 1440 N. Sacramento Ave.

Notes: Garfield Park Lagoon

Garfield Auditorium & Clubrooms

Garfield Auditorium & Clubrooms

Location Notes: 100 N. Central Park Ave.

Garfield Paths and Trails

Garfield Paths and Trails

Location Notes: 100 N. Central Park Ave

Garfield Playground - E

Garfield Playground - EAccessible

Location: 3430 W. Madison St.

Notes: Renovated Summer 2016, Chicago Plays! Renovation Program

Descriptors: Engineered Wood Fiber Surface

Garfield Playground - NE

Garfield Playground - NEAccessible

Location: 160 N. Homan Ave.

Descriptors: Rubberized Surface

Garfield Park Pool

Garfield Park Pool (1)

Location Notes: 100 N. Central Park Ave.

Hours:

Phone: (312) 742-5092

Descriptors: Outdoor

Garfield Tennis

Garfield Tennis

Location Notes: 100 N. Central Park Ave

Garfield Spray Pool

Garfield Spray Pool

Location Notes: 100 N. Central Park Ave.

Events

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DJ_Mike_P

DJ Mike P at Garfield

Location: Garfield Park, Chicago, IL  60624

Spring Programs

Gymnastics Programs:
Gymnastics Session I programs run the week of March 6 through the week of April 17.
Gymnastics Session II programs run the week of May 1 through the week of June 12.

All other programs:
Most spring programs start the week of April 3 and run through the week of June 5. 

 

Summer Programs

Gymnastics Programs:
Gymnastics programs run the week of June 26 through the week of August 7.  View programs online & create your wishlist beginning Tuesday, May 30.  Registration dates for these programs are:
Online registration begins Tuesday, June 13 at 9:00 am.
In-person registration begins Saturday, June 17, if spots are still available*.
 
All other programs:
The standard 6-week day camp runs June 26 through August 4.  Specialty camp dates vary.  Most other summer programs start the week of June 19 and run through the week of August 21.  Register now,  see program list below.  
 
 
*Note:  Since gymnastics centers do 100% online registration, in-person registration is only available if all of the program slots don't fill online before the first day of in-person registration.  Check the program online to see if spots are still available.

Click on the program name links below for program descriptions, availability information and to register online now (if available).

Name Number Type Category Ages Gender Dates Fee
Park Kids - Fall Winter Spring at Garfield 163598Activity_PackageOut of School Programs - After SchoolAt least 6 but less than 13Coed2016/08/29 20:00From August 29, 2016 to June 16, 2017$243.00
Name Number Type Category Ages Gender Dates Fee
Basketball League at Garfield 177204Individual_LeagueSports - BasketballAt least 13 but less than 18Female2017/04/03 23:00From April 3, 2017 to August 23, 2017
Each Monday from 6pm to 8pm
Each Wednesday from 6pm to 8pm
$0
Basketball League at Garfield 177203Individual_LeagueSports - BasketballAt least 15 but less than 18Male2017/04/18 22:30From April 18, 2017 to August 24, 2017
Each Tuesday from 5:30pm to 8:30pm
Each Thursday from 5:30pm to 8:30pm
Each Friday from 5:30pm to 8:30pm
$0
Basketball League at Garfield 177202Individual_LeagueSports - BasketballAt least 14 but less than 15Male2017/04/22 15:00From April 22, 2017 to August 26, 2017
Each Saturday from 10am to 2pm
$0
Baton & Pom Pom at Garfield 177379InstructionSports - CheerleadingAt least 5 but less than 16Female2017/04/03 21:00From April 3, 2017 to June 5, 2017
Each Monday from 4pm to 6pm
$9.00
Boxing at Garfield 177349InstructionSports - Boxing18 and upCoed2017/04/03 16:00From April 3, 2017 to June 9, 2017
Each Monday from 11am to 3pm
Each Tuesday from 11am to 3pm
Each Wednesday from 11am to 3pm
Each Thursday from 11am to 3pm
Each Friday from 11am to 3pm
$39.00
Boxing at Garfield 177350InstructionSports - BoxingAt least 8 but less than 18Coed2017/04/03 20:30From April 3, 2017 to June 5, 2017
Each Monday from 3:30pm to 6pm
Each Tuesday from 3:30pm to 6pm
Each Wednesday from 3:30pm to 6pm
Each Thursday from 3:30pm to 6pm
Each Friday from 3:30pm to 6pm
$0
Cheerleading - Recreational at Garfield 177375InstructionSports - CheerleadingAt least 4 but less than 7Female2017/04/06 21:00From April 6, 2017 to June 8, 2017
Each Tuesday from 4pm to 5pm
Each Thursday from 4pm to 5pm
$14.00
Cheerleading - Recreational at Garfield 177374InstructionSports - CheerleadingAt least 8 but less than 16Female2017/04/11 22:00From April 11, 2017 to June 6, 2017
Each Tuesday from 5pm to 6pm
Each Thursday from 5pm to 6pm
$14.00
Dance - Hip Hop at Garfield 175996InstructionCulture and Arts - DanceAt least 8 but less than 16Female2017/04/05 21:00From April 5, 2017 to June 7, 2017
Each Wednesday from 4pm to 6pm
$9.00
Gymnastics Lev. 1 - 2 at Garfield Gymnastics 198658InstructionGymnastics - RecreationalAt least 6 but less than 18Female2017/05/02 23:15From May 2, 2017 to June 6, 2017
Each Tuesday from 6:15pm to 7:15pm
$22.00
Gymnastics Lev. 1 - 2 at Garfield Gymnastics 198660InstructionGymnastics - RecreationalAt least 6 but less than 13Female2017/05/03 21:15From May 3, 2017 to June 7, 2017
Each Wednesday from 4:15pm to 5:15pm
$22.00
Gymnastics Lev. 1 - 2 at Garfield Gymnastics 198659InstructionGymnastics - RecreationalAt least 6 but less than 18Female2017/05/06 16:15From May 6, 2017 to June 10, 2017
Each Saturday from 11:15am to 12:15pm
$22.00
Gymnastics Lev. 1 - 3 at Garfield Gymnastics 198694InstructionGymnastics - RecreationalAt least 6 but less than 13Male2017/05/03 23:30From May 3, 2017 to June 7, 2017
Each Wednesday from 6:30pm to 7:30pm
$22.00
Gymnastics Lev. 3 - 4 at Garfield Gymnastics 198713InstructionGymnastics - RecreationalAt least 6 but less than 18Female2017/05/03 22:15From May 3, 2017 to June 7, 2017
Each Wednesday from 5:15pm to 6:15pm
$22.00
Music and Movement at Garfield 175986InstructionCulture and Arts - DanceAt least 3 but less than 16Female2017/04/07 21:00From April 7, 2017 to June 9, 2017
Each Friday from 4pm to 6pm
$0
Parent & Tot Gymnastics at Garfield Gymnastics 198781InstructionGymnastics - RecreationalAt least but less than 3Coed2017/05/06 15:15From May 6, 2017 to June 10, 2017
Each Saturday from 10:15am to 11am
$19.00
Park Kids - Spring at Garfield 176827InstructionOut of School Programs - After SchoolAt least 6 but less than 13Coed2017/04/03 20:00From April 3, 2017 to June 16, 2017
Each Monday from 3pm to 6pm
Each Tuesday from 3pm to 6pm
Each Wednesday from 3pm to 6pm
Each Thursday from 3pm to 6pm
Each Friday from 3pm to 6pm
$81.00
Rising Stars Gymnastics at Garfield Gymnastics 198831InstructionGymnastics - RecreationalAt least 3 but less than 6Coed2017/05/02 22:15From May 2, 2017 to June 6, 2017
Each Tuesday from 5:15pm to 6pm
$19.00
Rising Stars Gymnastics at Garfield Gymnastics 198832InstructionGymnastics - RecreationalAt least 3 but less than 6Coed2017/05/06 17:45From May 6, 2017 to June 10, 2017
Each Saturday from 12:45pm to 1:30pm
$19.00
Seasonal Sports Club at Garfield 177557InstructionSports - Seasonal SportsAt least 6 but less than 13Coed2017/04/04 21:30From April 4, 2017 to June 8, 2017
Each Tuesday from 4:30pm to 5:15pm
Each Thursday from 4:30pm to 5:15pm
$0
Senior Citizens Club at Garfield 176925OpenSpecial Interest - Clubs60 and upCoed2017/04/03 15:00From April 3, 2017 to June 8, 2017
Each Monday from 10am to 2pm
Each Tuesday from 10am to 2pm
Each Wednesday from 10am to 2pm
Each Thursday from 10am to 2pm
$0
Shooting Stars Gymnastics at Garfield Gymnastics 198862InstructionGymnastics - RecreationalAt least 4 but less than 6Coed2017/05/04 22:00From May 4, 2017 to June 8, 2017
Each Thursday from 5pm to 6pm
$22.00
Teen Leadership Club at Garfield 176914InstructionSpecial Interest - ClubsAt least 13 but less than 18Coed2017/04/05 21:00From April 5, 2017 to June 7, 2017
Each Wednesday from 4pm to 5pm
$0
Track & Field at Garfield 177818InstructionSports - Track & FieldAt least 8 but less than 16Coed2017/04/03 21:30From April 3, 2017 to June 7, 2017
Each Monday from 4:30pm to 5:15pm
Each Wednesday from 4:30pm to 5:15pm
$9.00
Tumbling Lev. 1 - 2 at Garfield Gymnastics 198876InstructionGymnastics - TumblingAt least 6 but less than 18Coed2017/05/04 23:15From May 4, 2017 to June 8, 2017
Each Thursday from 6:15pm to 7:15pm
$22.00
Twinkle Stars Gymnastics at Garfield Gymnastics 198914InstructionGymnastics - RecreationalAt least 3 but less than 6Coed2017/05/02 21:15From May 2, 2017 to June 6, 2017
Each Tuesday from 4:15pm to 5pm
$19.00
Twinkle Stars Gymnastics at Garfield Gymnastics 198915InstructionGymnastics - RecreationalAt least 3 but less than 6Coed2017/05/04 21:15From May 4, 2017 to June 8, 2017
Each Thursday from 4:15pm to 5pm
$19.00
Twinkle Stars Gymnastics at Garfield Gymnastics 198916InstructionGymnastics - RecreationalAt least 3 but less than 6Coed2017/05/06 14:15From May 6, 2017 to June 10, 2017
Each Saturday from 9:15am to 10am
$19.00
USAG Team Tumbling at Garfield Gymnastics 199020InstructionGymnastics - CompetitiveAt least 6 but less than 18Coed2017/05/06 18:45From May 6, 2017 to June 10, 2017
Each Saturday from 1:45pm to 3:45pm
$29.00
Name Number Type Category Ages Gender Dates Fee
Adult Swim at Garfield 193800OpenAquatics - Open18 and upCoed2017/06/09 23:15From June 9, 2017 to August 20, 2017
Each Sunday from 6:15pm to 7:15pm
Each Monday from 5:30pm to 7:15pm
Each Wednesday from 5:30pm to 7:15pm
Each Friday from 5:30pm to 7:15pm
Each Saturday from 6:15pm to 7:15pm
$0
Boxing at Garfield 193974InstructionSports - Boxing18 and upCoed2017/06/12 15:00From June 12, 2017 to August 11, 2017
Each Monday from 10am to 3pm
Each Tuesday from 10am to 3pm
Each Wednesday from 10am to 3pm
Each Thursday from 10am to 3pm
Each Friday from 10am to 3pm
$39.00
Boxing at Garfield 193975InstructionSports - BoxingAt least 13 but less than 18Coed2017/06/12 20:00From June 12, 2017 to August 11, 2017
Each Monday from 3pm to 6pm
Each Tuesday from 3pm to 6pm
Each Wednesday from 3pm to 6pm
Each Thursday from 3pm to 6pm
Each Friday from 3pm to 6pm
$0
Clubhouse Camp at Garfield 200116CampsCamps - General InterestAt least 11 but less than 13Coed2017/06/26 15:00From June 26, 2017 to August 4, 2017
Each Monday from 10am to 4pm
Each Tuesday from 10am to 4pm
Each Wednesday from 10am to 4pm
Each Thursday from 10am to 4pm
Each Friday from 10am to 4pm
$265.00
Day Camp at Garfield 194070CampsCamps - General InterestAt least 6 but less than 13Coed2017/06/26 15:00From June 26, 2017 to August 4, 2017
Each Monday from 10am to 4pm
Each Tuesday from 10am to 4pm
Each Wednesday from 10am to 4pm
Each Thursday from 10am to 4pm
Each Friday from 10am to 4pm
$265.00
Early Bird Camp at Garfield 194160CampsCamps - General InterestAt least 6 but less than 13Coed2017/06/26 13:00From June 26, 2017 to August 4, 2017
Each Monday from 8am to 10am
Each Tuesday from 8am to 10am
Each Wednesday from 8am to 10am
Each Thursday from 8am to 10am
Each Friday from 8am to 10am
$26.00
Extended Camp at Garfield 194200CampsCamps - General InterestAt least 6 but less than 13Coed2017/06/26 21:00From June 26, 2017 to August 4, 2017
Each Monday from 4pm to 6pm
Each Tuesday from 4pm to 6pm
Each Wednesday from 4pm to 6pm
Each Thursday from 4pm to 6pm
Each Friday from 4pm to 6pm
$26.00
Family Swim at Garfield 194227OpenAquatics - OpenAnyCoed2017/06/19 21:30From June 19, 2017 to August 27, 2017
Each Sunday from 4:30pm to 6pm
Each Monday from 3:30pm to 4:30pm
Each Tuesday from 5:30pm to 7:15pm
Each Wednesday from 3:30pm to 4:30pm
Each Thursday from 5:30pm to 7:15pm
Each Friday from 3:30pm to 4:30pm
Each Saturday from 4:30pm to 6pm
$0
Leadership Camp at Garfield 194382CampsCamps - General InterestAt least 13 but less than 17Coed2017/06/26 15:00From June 26, 2017 to August 4, 2017
Each Monday from 10am to 4pm
Each Tuesday from 10am to 4pm
Each Wednesday from 10am to 4pm
Each Thursday from 10am to 4pm
Each Friday from 10am to 4pm
$0
Learn to Swim at Garfield 194444InstructionAquatics - LessonsAt least 6 but less than 18Coed2017/06/25 16:00From June 25, 2017 to August 27, 2017
Each Sunday from 11am to Noon
$30.00
Learn to Swim at Garfield 194441InstructionAquatics - LessonsAt least 6 but less than 18Coed2017/06/20 20:30From June 20, 2017 to August 22, 2017
Each Tuesday from 3:30pm to 4:30pm
$30.00
Learn to Swim at Garfield 194442InstructionAquatics - LessonsAt least 6 but less than 18Coed2017/06/22 20:30From June 22, 2017 to August 24, 2017
Each Thursday from 3:30pm to 4:30pm
$30.00
Learn to Swim at Garfield 194443InstructionAquatics - LessonsAt least 6 but less than 18Coed2017/06/24 16:00From June 24, 2017 to August 26, 2017
Each Saturday from 11am to Noon
$30.00
Open Swim Female at Garfield 194578OpenAquatics - OpenAnyFemale2017/06/24 17:15From June 24, 2017 to August 27, 2017
Each Sunday from 12:15pm to 2:15pm
Each Saturday from 12:15pm to 2:15pm
$0
Open Swim Male at Garfield 194582OpenAquatics - OpenAnyMale2017/06/10 19:30From June 10, 2017 to August 20, 2017
Each Sunday from 2:30pm to 4:30pm
Each Saturday from 2:30pm to 4:30pm
$0
TEAM Sports at Garfield 194844InstructionAquatics - SpecializedAt least 6 but less than 18Coed2017/06/19 21:30From June 19, 2017 to September 4, 2017
Each Monday from 4:30pm to 5:30pm
Each Tuesday from 4:30pm to 5:30pm
Each Wednesday from 4:30pm to 5:30pm
Each Thursday from 4:30pm to 5:30pm
Each Friday from 4:30pm to 5:30pm
$35.00
Youth Swim Female at Garfield 195087OpenAquatics - OpenAt least 6 but less than 18Female2017/06/09 19:30From June 9, 2017 to August 18, 2017
Each Monday from 2:30pm to 3:30pm
Each Tuesday from 2:30pm to 3:30pm
Each Wednesday from 2:30pm to 3:30pm
Each Thursday from 2:30pm to 3:30pm
Each Friday from 2:30pm to 3:30pm
$0
Youth Swim Male at Garfield 195089OpenAquatics - OpenAt least 6 but less than 18Male2017/06/09 18:15From June 9, 2017 to August 18, 2017
Each Monday from 1:15pm to 2:15pm
Each Tuesday from 1:15pm to 2:15pm
Each Wednesday from 1:15pm to 2:15pm
Each Thursday from 1:15pm to 2:15pm
Each Friday from 1:15pm to 2:15pm
$0

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Description

Located in the East Garfield Park Community, Garfield Park totals 184.72 acres and features the historic Golden Dome field house. The field house holds a gymnasium, auditorium, dance studio, fitness center, boxing center, grand ballroom and meeting rooms.

Outside, the park offers a swimming pool, baseball fields, athletic fields for football or soccer, a fishing lagoon, tennis courts, floral gardens and playgrounds that were recently renovated as part of Mayor Emanuel’s Chicago Plays! Program. The park also offers an artifical turf where children can play in Owls LaCrosse teams and other park district and community programs. Garfield Park sits adjacent to the Garfield Park Conservatory, a popular destination for special events, educational field trips and flower shows.

Many of the spaces in Garfield Park are available for rental, including the grand ball room, which is popular for wedding receptions.

Park-goers come to Garfield Park to enjoy baseball, basketball or tennis. On the cultural side, Garfield Park offers dance, music and arts classes with partnership organizations including the Najwa Dance Troupe and the Chicago West Music Center. Afterschool programs are offered throughout the school year, and in the summer youth attend the Park District’s popular six-week day camp.

In addition to programs, Garfield Park hosts fun special events throughout the year for the whole family, including Movies in the Park, Black History festivals, Halloween Haunted Houses, concerts and other Night Out in the Parks events.

In 1869, the Illinois state legislature established the West Park Commission, which was responsible for three large parks and interlinking boulevards. The centerpiece of the system, the 185-acre Central Park, was renamed to honor President James A. Garfield (1831- 1881) after his assassination in 1881. Plans for the entire ensemble of Humboldt, Garfield and Douglas Park had been completed ten years earlier, by William Le Baron Jenney, best known today as the father of the skyscraper. As ambitious plans could not be realized all at once, Garfield Park developed in stages, beginning with the east lagoon.

Jens Jensen, a Danish immigrant who had begun as a laborer for the West Park System in the 1880s, worked his way up to Superintendent of Humboldt Park a decade later. At that time, the West Park System was entrenched in political graft. In 1900, the commissioners fired Jensen because of his efforts to fight the corruption. Five years later, during major political reforms, new commissioners appointed him General Superintendent and Chief Landscape Architect. Deteriorating and unfinished sections of the parks allowed Jensen to experiment with his evolving Prairie style. For instance, when he took over, each of the three parks had a small, poorly maintained conservatory. Rather than repairing these structures, which each displayed similar collections, Jensen decided to replace them with a single centralized facility. Designed in conjuction with an engineering firm, Hitchings and Company, Jensen conceived the Garfield Park Conservatory as a work of landscape gardening under glass. Considered revolutionary when it opened to the public in 1908, the form of the building emulated a "great Midwestern haystack," while inside the rooms were wonderful compositions of water, rock, and plants.

In 1928, the West Park Commission constructed the "Gold Dome Building" in Garfield Park to provide a new administrative headquarters for the West Park Commission. The structure was designed by architects Michaelsen and Rognstad, who were also responsible for other notable buildings including the Humboldt, Douglas and LaFolette Park Fieldhouses, and the On Leong Chinese Merchant's Association Building in Chinatown. In 1934, Garfield Park became part of the Chicago Park District, when the city's 22 independent park commissions merged into a single citywide agency. At that time, the adminstrative offices were no longer needed and the "Gold Dome" building became Garfield Park's fieldhouse.

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