Nat King Cole Park

  • 361 E. 85th St.   Chicago, Illinois 60619 [View Map]
  • Fieldhouse Hours: ,
  • Park Hours:
  • Park Supervisor: Gene Morgan
  • Park Phone: (312) 747-6063

Located in the Chatham community, Cole Park totals 4.69 acres and features a multi-purpose clubroom. Outside, the park offers a playground, softball diamonds, basketball courts, horseshoe court. Many of these spaces are available for rental including our ball fields.

Park-goers can participate in Park Kids seasonal sports, Teen Club, Senior Club. After school programs are offered throughout the school year, and in the summer youth attend the Chicago Park District’s popular six-week day camp. Specialty camps are offered in the summer as well, and include dance and sports camp.

In addition to programs, Cole Park hosts fun special events throughout the year for the entire family including the 3 on 3 Basketball Skills Tournament and holiday-themed events.

Parking/Directions

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

History

The Chicago Park District purchased this property in 1961 at the request of local residents who saw a need for additional recreational space in their under-served Chatham community.  Park improvements, including a field house, began almost immediately.  In 1967, the park district named the site Cole Park for American pianist and singer Nat King Cole (1919-1965).  Born Nathaniel Adams Coles in Montgomery, Alabama, Cole grew up in Chicago, where his father was pastor of the True Light Baptist Church, not far from the park site. Cole learned to play the piano early, and organized a 14-piece band while in high school.  Cole went on to become one of America's most popular singers.  His hits included "Straighten Up and Fly Right" (1944), "The Christmas Song" (1946), "Route 66" (1946), "Nature Boy" (1948), "Unforgettable" (1950), and "Mona Lisa" (1950).  His 1956 album, Around Midnight, demonstrated his extraordinary talents as a jazz pianist.  In 1957, Cole became the first African-American to host his own weekly network television show.

In 2009, the Cole Park Advisory Council began a major fund-raising campaign to support the development of a new playground for the park.  The president of the Advisory Council Thomas Wortham IV (1980 – 2010), spearheaded the campaign.  Sadly, the following year, Wortham was murdered during an attempted robbery in the neighborhood near the park.  Wortham was a Chicago police officer who made great contributions to the park and surrounding community.  After his tragic death, the Chicago Park District, Chicago Police Department, Fraternal Order of the Police, Cole Park Advisory Council, Friends of the Parks, Children’s Memorial Hospital, and Wortham family came together to fully fund the $300,000 playground.   The Officer Thomas Wortham IV Playground was dedicated in Cole Park in October of 2011.

 

Unforgettable

Unforgettable (2)

Location Notes: Playground knee walls

Descriptors: Outdoor, Playground Art

Nat King Cole Diamond Softball

Nat King Cole Diamond Softball

Location Notes: 361 E. 85th St.

Nat King Cole Basketball Court

Nat King Cole Basketball Court

Location Notes: 361 E. 85th St. Chicago IL 60619

Nat King Cole Fieldhouse

Nat King Cole Fieldhouse

Location Notes: 361 E. 85th St.

Hours: ,

Nat King Cole Football Field

Nat King Cole Football Field

Location Notes: 361 E. 85th St.

Descriptors: Grass

Nat King Cole Horeshoe Court

Nat King Cole Horeshoe Court

Location Notes: 361 E. 85th St.

Nat King Cole Clubroom

Nat King Cole Clubroom

Location Notes: 361 E. 85th St.

Nat King Cole Playground

Nat King Cole PlaygroundAccessible

Descriptors: Rubberized Surface

Nat King Cole Spray Pool

Nat King Cole Spray Pool

Location Notes: 361 E. 85th St.

Fall Programs

Most fall programs start the week of September 19 and run through the week of November 21. Click on the program name links below to view a program and register now. 

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
Cardio Global Rhythms at Cole Cancelled165503InstructionWellness - Fitness18 and upCoed2016/09/24 15:30From September 24, 2016 to December 10, 2016
Each Saturday from 10:30am to 11:15am
$22.00
Chess at Cole 165578OpenSpecial Interest - Fun & Games18 and upCoed2016/09/19 18:00From September 19, 2016 to November 25, 2016
Each Monday from 1pm to 3pm
Each Wednesday from 1pm to 3pm
Each Friday from 1pm to 3pm
$0
Conditioning at Cole 167272InstructionWellness - Fitness18 and upCoed2016/09/20 00:15From September 19, 2016 to November 23, 2016
Each Monday from 7:15pm to 8:15pm
Each Wednesday from 7:15pm to 8:15pm
$22.00
Conditioning at Cole Cancelled185554InstructionWellness - Fitness18 and upCoed2016/09/22 00:15From September 21, 2016 to November 23, 2016
Each Wednesday from 7:15pm to 8:15pm
$22.00
Seasonal Sports at Cole 167736InstructionSports - Seasonal SportsAt least 6 but less than 10Coed2016/09/19 21:15From September 19, 2016 to November 25, 2016
Each Monday from 4:15pm to 5:15pm
Each Tuesday from 4:15pm to 5:15pm
Each Wednesday from 4:15pm to 5:15pm
Each Thursday from 4:15pm to 5:15pm
Each Friday from 4:15pm to 5:15pm
$10.00
Seasonal Sports at Cole 167735InstructionSports - Seasonal SportsAt least 10 but less than 13Coed2016/09/19 22:30From September 19, 2016 to November 25, 2016
Each Monday from 5:30pm to 6:30pm
Each Tuesday from 5:30pm to 6:30pm
Each Wednesday from 5:30pm to 6:30pm
Each Thursday from 5:30pm to 6:30pm
Each Friday from 5:30pm to 6:30pm
$10.00
Teen Club at Cole 168280OpenSpecial Interest - ClubsAt least 13 but less than 18Coed2016/09/20 23:00From September 20, 2016 to November 24, 2016
Each Tuesday from 6pm to 8pm
Each Thursday from 6pm to 8pm
$0
Yoga at Cole Cancelled169101InstructionWellness - Yoga6 and upCoed2016/09/22 00:15From September 21, 2016 to November 23, 2016
Each Wednesday from 7:15pm to 8:15pm
$22.00
Yoga at Cole Cancelled167342InstructionWellness - Yoga6 and upCoed2016/09/24 14:30From September 24, 2016 to November 26, 2016
Each Saturday from 9:30am to 10:15am
$22.00

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Description

Located in the Chatham community, Cole Park totals 4.69 acres and features a multi-purpose clubroom. Outside, the park offers a playground, softball diamonds, basketball courts, horseshoe court. Many of these spaces are available for rental including our ball fields.

Park-goers can participate in Park Kids seasonal sports, Teen Club, Senior Club. After school programs are offered throughout the school year, and in the summer youth attend the Chicago Park District’s popular six-week day camp. Specialty camps are offered in the summer as well, and include dance and sports camp.

In addition to programs, Cole Park hosts fun special events throughout the year for the entire family including the 3 on 3 Basketball Skills Tournament and holiday-themed events.

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

The Chicago Park District purchased this property in 1961 at the request of local residents who saw a need for additional recreational space in their under-served Chatham community.  Park improvements, including a field house, began almost immediately.  In 1967, the park district named the site Cole Park for American pianist and singer Nat King Cole (1919-1965).  Born Nathaniel Adams Coles in Montgomery, Alabama, Cole grew up in Chicago, where his father was pastor of the True Light Baptist Church, not far from the park site. Cole learned to play the piano early, and organized a 14-piece band while in high school.  Cole went on to become one of America's most popular singers.  His hits included "Straighten Up and Fly Right" (1944), "The Christmas Song" (1946), "Route 66" (1946), "Nature Boy" (1948), "Unforgettable" (1950), and "Mona Lisa" (1950).  His 1956 album, Around Midnight, demonstrated his extraordinary talents as a jazz pianist.  In 1957, Cole became the first African-American to host his own weekly network television show.

In 2009, the Cole Park Advisory Council began a major fund-raising campaign to support the development of a new playground for the park.  The president of the Advisory Council Thomas Wortham IV (1980 – 2010), spearheaded the campaign.  Sadly, the following year, Wortham was murdered during an attempted robbery in the neighborhood near the park.  Wortham was a Chicago police officer who made great contributions to the park and surrounding community.  After his tragic death, the Chicago Park District, Chicago Police Department, Fraternal Order of the Police, Cole Park Advisory Council, Friends of the Parks, Children’s Memorial Hospital, and Wortham family came together to fully fund the $300,000 playground.   The Officer Thomas Wortham IV Playground was dedicated in Cole Park in October of 2011.