Bertha Honore Palmer Park is located in the West Town Community. The park features a playground, swings and community garden. The playground was renovated in Summer 2014 as part of Mayor Emanuel’s Chicago Plays! Program. It is an active community park.
While there is no structured programming taking place at this location, we invite you to check out our great programs offered at nearby Commercial Park.
In September of 2014, a new playground was dedicated at Bertha Palmer Park. The project was part of Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s Chicago Plays! playground redevelopment program. Earlier in the fall, when the playground was under construction, members of the nearby Commercial Club Advisory Council had proposed naming this site in honor of Bertha Honoré Palmer.
Bertha Honoré Palmer (1849 – 1918) was an important Chicago philanthropist, civic leader, and proponent of women’s rights. The daughter of a successful businessman and real estate investor, Bertha Honoré was born in Louisville, Kentucky. At the age of six, she moved with her family to Chicago. After she attended finishing school in Washington D.C., she returned to Chicago and soon married self-made millionaire Potter Palmer, who started a dry goods store that became known as Marshall Field and Company. The couple opened the fashionable Palmer House Hotel, which operated only briefly before its’ destruction by the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. The Palmers quickly rebuilt the hotel as well as their personal fortune.
Bertha Honoré Palmer played a leading role in women’s clubs, cultural organizations, and civic groups that influenced the development of Chicago in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. These include the Chicago Woman’s Club, the Society of Decorative Arts, Fortnightly Club and the Chicago Civic Federation. She often used her influential role in society to advance women’s causes. As President of the Board of Lady Managers for the World’s Columbian Exposition of 1893, she made sure that the Word’s Fair highlighted a broad and diverse representation of women’s achievement.
Bertha and Potter Palmer were avid art enthusiasts and collectors. They lent put some of their most priceless Impressionist paintings to provide the public access to them in the Exposition’s Fine Arts Building. The Palmers also bequeathed a substantial collection of world-class artworks to the Art Institute of Chicago.
For directions using public transportation visit www.transitchicago.com.