Merrimac Park

  • 6343 W. Irving Park Rd.   Chicago, Illinois 60634 [View Map]
  • Fieldhouse Hours: , ,
  • Park Hours:
  • Park Supervisor: Donna Segreti
  • Park Phone: (773) 685-3382

Located near the intersection of Irving Park Road and Narragansett Avenue in the Dunning community, Merrimac Park sits on approximately 9 acres and features a fieldhouse with a gymnasium, 5 clubrooms, and a kitchen. Outdoors, the park offers 2 small walking trails, 3 softball fields, playground, and spray pool.

The park staff offers a wide range of sports and fitness programming for community residents of all levels and age groups. We invite you to check out our woodshop, where youth, adults and seniors enjoy learning to use scroll and band saws to create a variety of wood projects.

Merrimac Park is noted for its annual Breakfast with the Easter Bunny and Downhill Derby, featuring small race cars crafted by youth under the supervision of the park’s woodshop instructor.The park is also the site of one of the local social clubs for seniors.

History

Soon after World War II, the Chicago Park District began a major initiative to create new parks for the first time in many years. In 1948, a citizens' advisory committee for new parks recommended a number of potential sites. Among them was a 9-acre picnic and dance ground in the rapidly growing Dunning neighborhood. Known as Kolze's Electric Grove, the site dated to the 1890s, when hotel owner Henry Kolze decided to create an attraction for riders of newly-reaching streetcar lines. Purchasing wooded land near his inn, Kolze strung large gas lamps, offered a nightly orchestra, and beer at a nickel a glass. In 1950, the park district condemned Kolze's Electric Grove, and demolished the site's dance shelter, concession stands, raffle tables, and cafeteria. Retaining many of the older trees, the park district transformed the site into parkland between 1951 and 1956, installing an athletic field, a children's playground, and tennis and basketball courts. At that time, the original clapboard dining hall and tavern structure was converted for use as a fieldhouse. In 1969, the park district replaced the structure with a modern brick fieldhouse. In the early 1950s, when the park district naming committee began its proposal for this site, there was a controversy about whether the Kolze's Grove name should be retained. Although some favored the continuation of the name, an informal park district survey revealed that the old hotel and picnic grove had gained an "unsavory reputation" over the years. Merrimac Park was selected as a preferable alternative. Derived from the Native American word for sturgeon, the name Merrimac had become closely associated with this neighborhood. The park was located just west of Merrimac Avenue and the Merrimac Gardens subdivision, and the local community organization was known as the Merrimac Gardens Association.

Parking/Directions

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

Veteran's Memorial

Veteran's Memorial (1)

Location Notes: Corner of W. Irving Park Rd. and N. Narragansett Ave.

Descriptors: Outdoor, Object

Merrimac Diamond

Merrimac Diamond

Location Notes: 6343 W. Irving Park Rd.

Merrimac Fieldhouse

Merrimac Fieldhouse

Location Notes: 6343 W. Irving Park Rd.

Hours: , ,

Merrimac Gymnasium

Merrimac Gymnasium

Location Notes: 6343 W. Irving Park Rd.

Merrimac Clubroom

Merrimac Clubroom

Location Notes: 6343 W. Irving Park Rd.

Merrimac Playground

Merrimac PlaygroundAccessible

Notes: Renovated Summer 2013, Chicago Plays! Renovation Program

Descriptors: Rubberized Surface

Merrimac Spray Pool

Merrimac Spray Pool

Location Notes: 6343 W. Irving Park Rd.

Merrimac Woodshop

Merrimac Woodshop

Location Notes: 6343 W. Irving Park Rd.

Summer Programs

The standard 6-week day camp runs July 5 - August 12. Specialty camp dates vary.  Most other programs start the week of June 20 and run through the week of August 22. Click on the program name links below to register now. Registration is on-going while spots are available. 

  

 

Fall Programs

Fall programs start the week of September 19 and run through the week of November 21.  View programs online & create your wish list beginning Monday, August 1.  Registration dates for our park are:

  • Online registration begins on Monday, August 15, 2016 at 9:00am.
  • In-person registration begins on Saturday, August 20, 2016.

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
16" Softball League at Merrimac 139897Team_LeagueSports - Softball18 and upMale2016/05/02 23:00From May 2, 2016 to August 22, 2016
Each Monday from 6pm to 9pm
$255.00
16" Softball League at Merrimac 139898Team_LeagueSports - Softball18 and upMale2016/05/03 23:00From May 3, 2016 to August 23, 2016
Each Tuesday from 6pm to 9pm
$255.00
16" Softball League at Merrimac 139899Team_LeagueSports - Softball18 and upMale2016/05/05 23:00From May 5, 2016 to August 18, 2016
Each Thursday from 6pm to 9pm
$255.00
16" Softball League at Merrimac 139900Team_LeagueSports - Softball18 and upMale2016/05/06 23:00From May 6, 2016 to August 26, 2016
Each Friday from 6pm to 9pm
$255.00
Name Number Type Category Ages Gender Dates Fee
Day Camp at Merrimac 154646CampsCamps - General InterestAt least 6 but less than 13Coed2016/07/05 14:30From July 5, 2016 to August 12, 2016
Each Monday from 9:30am to 3:30pm
Each Tuesday from 9:30am to 3:30pm
Each Wednesday from 9:30am to 3:30pm
Each Thursday from 9:30am to 3:30pm
Each Friday from 9:30am to 3:30pm
$357.00
Play Camp at Merrimac 155233CampsCamps - General InterestAt least 4 but less than 6Coed2016/07/05 15:00From July 5, 2016 to August 12, 2016
Each Monday from 10am to 1pm
Each Tuesday from 10am to 1pm
Each Wednesday from 10am to 1pm
Each Thursday from 10am to 1pm
Each Friday from 10am to 1pm
$173.00
Senior Citizens Club Partnership at Merrimac 155529PartnershipGroupSpecial Interest - Clubs60 and upCoed2016/06/15 14:00From June 15, 2016 to August 31, 2016
Each Wednesday from 9am to 1pm
$0
Tumbling Camp at Merrimac 155772CampsCamps - SportsAt least 6 but less than 13Coed2016/08/15 15:30From August 15, 2016 to August 19, 2016
Each Monday from 10:30am to 12:30pm
Each Tuesday from 10:30am to 12:30pm
Each Wednesday from 10:30am to 12:30pm
Each Thursday from 10:30am to 12:30pm
Each Friday from 10:30am to 12:30pm
$27.00
Wrestling Camp at Merrimac 155849CampsCamps - SportsAt least 7 but less than 15Coed2016/08/15 18:00From August 15, 2016 to August 19, 2016
Each Monday from 1pm to 3pm
Each Tuesday from 1pm to 3pm
Each Wednesday from 1pm to 3pm
Each Thursday from 1pm to 3pm
Each Friday from 1pm to 3pm
$27.00

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Description

Located near the intersection of Irving Park Road and Narragansett Avenue in the Dunning community, Merrimac Park sits on approximately 9 acres and features a fieldhouse with a gymnasium, 5 clubrooms, and a kitchen. Outdoors, the park offers 2 small walking trails, 3 softball fields, playground, and spray pool.

The park staff offers a wide range of sports and fitness programming for community residents of all levels and age groups. We invite you to check out our woodshop, where youth, adults and seniors enjoy learning to use scroll and band saws to create a variety of wood projects.

Merrimac Park is noted for its annual Breakfast with the Easter Bunny and Downhill Derby, featuring small race cars crafted by youth under the supervision of the park’s woodshop instructor.The park is also the site of one of the local social clubs for seniors.

Soon after World War II, the Chicago Park District began a major initiative to create new parks for the first time in many years. In 1948, a citizens' advisory committee for new parks recommended a number of potential sites. Among them was a 9-acre picnic and dance ground in the rapidly growing Dunning neighborhood. Known as Kolze's Electric Grove, the site dated to the 1890s, when hotel owner Henry Kolze decided to create an attraction for riders of newly-reaching streetcar lines. Purchasing wooded land near his inn, Kolze strung large gas lamps, offered a nightly orchestra, and beer at a nickel a glass. In 1950, the park district condemned Kolze's Electric Grove, and demolished the site's dance shelter, concession stands, raffle tables, and cafeteria. Retaining many of the older trees, the park district transformed the site into parkland between 1951 and 1956, installing an athletic field, a children's playground, and tennis and basketball courts. At that time, the original clapboard dining hall and tavern structure was converted for use as a fieldhouse. In 1969, the park district replaced the structure with a modern brick fieldhouse. In the early 1950s, when the park district naming committee began its proposal for this site, there was a controversy about whether the Kolze's Grove name should be retained. Although some favored the continuation of the name, an informal park district survey revealed that the old hotel and picnic grove had gained an "unsavory reputation" over the years. Merrimac Park was selected as a preferable alternative. Derived from the Native American word for sturgeon, the name Merrimac had become closely associated with this neighborhood. The park was located just west of Merrimac Avenue and the Merrimac Gardens subdivision, and the local community organization was known as the Merrimac Gardens Association.

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