This small park is nestled on the edge of our quaint Ohio Street Beach and adjacent to the bustling Near North Community, which includes our neighbor Navy Pier. While there is no structured programming taking place at this location, we invite you to stop by nearby Lake Shore Park to use the outdoor track or workout in the fitness center.
Between 1914 and 1916, the city created a municipal pier and a neighboring park by filling in submerged land east of Lake Shore Drive and north of Grand Avenue. The new municipal pier was almost immediately pressed into service as a naval training site during World War I, and in 1927, the city renamed the structure Navy Pier in honor of the trainees. The adjacent park also took the new name.
The Chicago Park District acquired Navy Pier Park in 1959. In 1996, the Park District officially redesignated the park Jane Addams Memorial Park in honor of the world-renowned social reformer and Nobel Peace Prize winner. Addams founded one of North America's first settlement houses, Chicago's Hull House, which provided much-needed social services and cultural opportunities to its near west side immigrant neighborhood. Addams also worked tirelessly to promote various legal reforms, including the first juvenile-court law and an eight-hour working day for women.
A six-piece sculptural grouping honoring Addams by Louise Bourgeois called "Helping Hands" was originally installed at Addams Memorial Park. Unfortunately, the sculptures were severely vandalized and had to be removed. "Helping Hands" was later restored and relocated to Chicago Women's Park and Gardens where it continues to serve as a monument to Addams' work in Chicago.
For directions using public transportation visit www.transitchicago.com.