Hodes Park is a quarter-acre greenspace lying along Stony Island Avenue in the South Shore community. The City of Chicago Water Fund has leased this site to the Chicago Park District since 1960.
The park is much older, however. As early as 1935, the city's Bureau of Parks and Recreation was maintaining the property as parkland. At that time, the park held a small shelter house, a rock garden, and swings. Of the original park design, only a stone walk remains. The park honors Barnet Hodes (1900-1980), alderman for the South Shore community from 1921 to 1935. Hodes served as Chicago's Corporation Counsel from 1935 until 1947, and was a member of numerous other public and private boards over his long career. As head of the Patriotic Foundation of Chicago, Hodes was instrumental in commissioning sculptors Lorado Taft (1860-1936) and Leonard Crunelle (1872-1944) to create the patriotic monument now standing in Wacker Drive's Heald Square. Dedicated on December 19, 1941, the 150th anniversary of the ratification of the Bill of Rights, the bronze statue depicts George Washington and fellow-patriots Haym Salomon and Robert Morris. Salomon, a Polish-born Jew, and Morris, an Englishman, were the primary financiers of the American Revolution. Through Hodes' further efforts, the city declared the monument its first sculptural landmark in 1971.
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