Located in the Garfield Ridge community, LeClaire-Hearst Park totals 12.33 acres and features a field house with a gymnasium, a kitchen and meeting rooms. Outside, the park offers basketball courts, baseball fields, an athletic field for football or soccer, a playground, tennis courts and a community garden. The playground at LeClaire-Hearst Park was renovated in Fall 2015 as part of Mayor Emanuel’s Chicago Plays! Program.
Many of these spaces are available for rental. Park-goers can play seasonal sports or participate in recreation programs at the facility. After school programs are offered throughout the school year, and in the summer youth attend the Park District’s popular six-week day camp. LeClaire-Hearst Park also offers an early childhood program through a partnership with the Hull House.
In addition to programs, LeClaire-Hearst Park hosts fun special events throughout the year for the whole family, such as holiday celebrations, Black History month activities and other Night Out in the Parks events.
The Chicago Park District planned and developed LeClaire-Hearst Park in conjunction with the Chicago Housing Authority's construction of the nearby LeClaire Courts public housing project. The park district first purchased land for the park in 1948, acquiring additional property from C.H.A. in 1968 and from the Board of Education in 1991.
In 1974, the park was officially designated LeClaire Courts - Hearst Community Park for the neighboring communities. The park district expanded the park with Board of Education land in 1991.
LeClaire Courts, which opened in 1950, was Chicago's first attempt at integrated, lowrise public housing. The complex takes its name from Antoine Le Claire, a fur trader and government interpreter who came to Chicago with John Kinzie (1763-1828) in 1809. LeClaire Street, which terminates at the south edge of the park, also bears his name.
Hearst is the single-family residential community south of 45th Street. Its name derives from that of philanthropist Phoebe Apperson Hearst (1842-191), mother of newspaper publisher and businessman William Randolph Hearst (1863-1951).
For directions using public transportation visit www.transitchicago.com.