Nichols Park

  • 1355 E. 53rd St.   Chicago, Illinois 60615 [View Map]
  • Fieldhouse Hours: ,
  • Park Hours:
  • Park Supervisor: Ayanna Peters
  • Park Phone: (312) 747-2703

Located at 1355 E. 53rd St. in the Hyde Park community, Nichols Park totals 10.39 acres and features a gymnasium and a multi-purpose room. Green features of the park include a community flower garden, community vegetable gardens, and Wildflower Meadow. Outside, the park offers two playgrounds, a baseball diamond, walking path, and a sandbox. Many of these spaces are available for rental including our gymnasium and multi-purpose room.

Park-goers can participate in the Park Kids after school program, seasonal sports, preschool activities, bitty basketball, tiny tot dance, and low impact aerobics. During the summer, youth can participate in the Park District’s popular six-week day camp. Specialty camps are offered in the summer as well, and include Sports Camp.

In addition to programs, Nichols Park hosts fun special events throughout the year for the entire family including our Pumpkin Patch, Winterfest and May Fest.

History

In 1963, the Chicago Park district acquired more than six acres of land in the deteriorating Hyde Park neighborhood from the city's Department of Urban Renewal. The park district soon improved the site with a reflecting pool, tennis courts, walkways, and asphalt-surfaced play areas for tots and older children. In 1970, Italian-American artist Cosmo Campoli created a fanciful bronze sculpture called "Bird of Peace" which enlivens the park's central lawn. Though the park district expanded the park a bit during the following decade, several acres of cleared land immediately to the south remained undeveloped for years. In the mid-1980s, the Hyde Park Development Corporation recommended that the vacant property be used for stores and upscale townhouses. Many neighborhood residents instead favored expanding Nichols Park. After lobbying for the project for several years, the community convinced the City Council to approve the expansion. The park district's 1991 acquisition of the property brought Nichols Park to more than ten acres, and the new park land soon had a formal garden, a fountain, and a grassy courtyard. The park honors artist and urban planner John Fountain Nichols (1912-1980), a life-long resident of Hyde Park. A student of the Art Institute of Chicago, Nichols participated in the Federal Artists' Project during the Great Depression. (One of his many murals can be found at the north side Lane Technical High School.) After returning to his studies and earning a BFA during World War II, he taught art in south side public schools, later becoming an architectural draftsman. During the 1950s and 1960s, Nichols worked for the Department of Urban Renewal, developing plans to rehabilitate his Hyde Park neighborhood. After his retirement in the 1970s, Nichols continued to participate in arts-related events at Murray School, which sits adjacent to the park.

Parking/Directions

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

Bird of Peace

Bird of Peace (1)

Location Notes: South of E. 53rd Street; field house

Descriptors: Outdoor, Sculpture

Heron

Heron (1)

Location Notes: Center + NW @ tennis court

Descriptors: Outdoor, Sculpture, Temporary

North Fountain

North Fountain (1)

Location Notes: Formal Garden near field house

Descriptors: Outdoor, Fountain

Ol’ Blue

Ol’ Blue (1)

Location Notes: SE of tennis court

Descriptors: Outdoor, Sculpture, Temporary

South Fountain

South Fountain (1)

Location Notes: East of S. Kimbark Avenue and north of E. 55th Street

Descriptors: Outdoor, Sculptural Fountain

Wolf

Wolf (1)

Location Notes: Center + NW @ tennis court

Descriptors: Outdoor, Sculpture, Temporary

Nichols Park Community Garden

Nichols Park Community Garden

Location Notes: 1300 E. 55th St.

Notes: Community Garden

Nichols Gymnasium

Nichols Gymnasium

Location Notes: 1355 E. 53rd st

Nichols Clubrooms

Nichols Clubrooms

Location Notes: 1355 E. 53rd st

Nichols Playground - E

Nichols Playground - EAccessible

Location: 5414 S. Kenwood Ave.

Descriptors: Engineered Wood Fiber Surface

Nichols Playground - W

Nichols Playground - WAccessible

Location: 5483 S. Kimbark Ave.

Descriptors: Engineered Wood Fiber Surface

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 Tuesday, August 16, 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
Day Camp at Nichols 156444CampsCamps - General InterestAt least 6 but less than 13Coed2016/07/05 15:00From July 5, 2016 to August 12, 2016
Each Monday from 10am to 4pm
Each Tuesday from 10am to 4pm
Each Wednesday from 10am to 4pm
Each Thursday from 10am to 4pm
Each Friday from 10am to 4pm
$321.00
Early Bird Camp at Nichols 156557CampsCamps - General InterestAt least 6 but less than 13Coed2016/07/05 13:00From July 5, 2016 to August 12, 2016
Each Monday from 8am to 10am
Each Tuesday from 8am to 10am
Each Wednesday from 8am to 10am
Each Thursday from 8am to 10am
Each Friday from 8am to 10am
$104.00
Extended Camp at Nichols 156644CampsCamps - General InterestAt least 6 but less than 13Coed2016/07/05 21:00From July 5, 2016 to August 12, 2016
Each Monday from 4pm to 6pm
Each Tuesday from 4pm to 6pm
Each Wednesday from 4pm to 6pm
Each Thursday from 4pm to 6pm
Each Friday from 4pm to 6pm
$104.00

Documents

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Description

Located at 1355 E. 53rd St. in the Hyde Park community, Nichols Park totals 10.39 acres and features a gymnasium and a multi-purpose room. Green features of the park include a community flower garden, community vegetable gardens, and Wildflower Meadow. Outside, the park offers two playgrounds, a baseball diamond, walking path, and a sandbox. Many of these spaces are available for rental including our gymnasium and multi-purpose room.

Park-goers can participate in the Park Kids after school program, seasonal sports, preschool activities, bitty basketball, tiny tot dance, and low impact aerobics. During the summer, youth can participate in the Park District’s popular six-week day camp. Specialty camps are offered in the summer as well, and include Sports Camp.

In addition to programs, Nichols Park hosts fun special events throughout the year for the entire family including our Pumpkin Patch, Winterfest and May Fest.

In 1963, the Chicago Park district acquired more than six acres of land in the deteriorating Hyde Park neighborhood from the city's Department of Urban Renewal. The park district soon improved the site with a reflecting pool, tennis courts, walkways, and asphalt-surfaced play areas for tots and older children. In 1970, Italian-American artist Cosmo Campoli created a fanciful bronze sculpture called "Bird of Peace" which enlivens the park's central lawn. Though the park district expanded the park a bit during the following decade, several acres of cleared land immediately to the south remained undeveloped for years. In the mid-1980s, the Hyde Park Development Corporation recommended that the vacant property be used for stores and upscale townhouses. Many neighborhood residents instead favored expanding Nichols Park. After lobbying for the project for several years, the community convinced the City Council to approve the expansion. The park district's 1991 acquisition of the property brought Nichols Park to more than ten acres, and the new park land soon had a formal garden, a fountain, and a grassy courtyard. The park honors artist and urban planner John Fountain Nichols (1912-1980), a life-long resident of Hyde Park. A student of the Art Institute of Chicago, Nichols participated in the Federal Artists' Project during the Great Depression. (One of his many murals can be found at the north side Lane Technical High School.) After returning to his studies and earning a BFA during World War II, he taught art in south side public schools, later becoming an architectural draftsman. During the 1950s and 1960s, Nichols worked for the Department of Urban Renewal, developing plans to rehabilitate his Hyde Park neighborhood. After his retirement in the 1970s, Nichols continued to participate in arts-related events at Murray School, which sits adjacent to the park.

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