Buffalo Park is one of many park properties used only for passive recreation. This small tranquil park is set in the beautiful Ravenswood Manor community at California/Sunnyside/Manor.
By an overwhelming majority, residents of the Ravenswood Manor and Ravenswood Gardens neighborhoods voted to create their own independent park district in 1914. Although these were comfortable, middle-class neighborhoods, the Ravenswood Manor Gardens Park District had limited financial resources because it could collect no more than 3% of the assessed property valuation within its 1/4-mile territory.
The new park district could only afford to create very small parks which emphasized landscape improvements, rather than recreational facilities. In 1916, the Ravenswood Manor Gardens Park District began creating a .07-acre park on a triangular property between Sunnyside and California Avenues and Manor Drive. The following year, Charles J. Nilson, a local contractor and cement finisher was hired to create a fountain in the tiny new park. Because Nilson's circular fountain included three ornamental buffalo heads, the site soon became known as Buffalo Park. Buffalo Park became part of the Chicago Park District in 1934, when the Great Depression necessitated the consolidation of the city's 22 independent park agencies. In the late 1930s, park district improvements included a fanciful perennial garden which surrounded the fountain. Unfortunately, the fountain soon suffered from severe deterioration and by the early 1950s, both the fountain and garden had been removed.
Today, Buffalo Park is one of 46 park properties used only for passive recreation.
For directions using public transportation visit www.transitchicago.com.