Burroughs (Margaret) Beach Park

  • 3100 S. Lake Shore Dr.   Chicago, Illinois 60616 [View Map]
  • Beach Hours:
  • Beach Supervisor: Keith Jones (Williams Park)
  • Beach Phone: (773) 363-2225

Located between 26th and 31st Streets on Chicago’s lakefront, Margaret T. Burroughs Beach and Park is a lovely part of Burnham Park.  The site has an accessible bathing beach, a new LEED certified beach house  with food concessions and restrooms.  Distance swimming is available parallel from pier to tower.  There is also a reconstructed lakefront revetment, trails and a shoreline that affords incredible vistas of Chicago’s skyline.  A commemorative boulder is dedicated to the victims of Chicago’s 1919 Race Riot which began in Lake Michigan near 27th Street.  In 2009, Students from York High School in Elmhurst donated this boulder which incorporates inspiring quotes by Dr. Martin Luther King.  Along the north side of the parkland, there is approximately five acres of the Burnham Centennial Prairie.  The park also offers a soft surface playground/water spray and stone climbing wall in the Edwin C. Berry playground.. 

Just south of the Margaret T. Burroughs Beach and Park is the 31st Street Harbor with 1000 floating slips.  The harbor area includes an ADA accessible playground, along with a green roof and picnic elements above an indoor parking garage that will also function as a winter boat storage area. A public fishing dock, along with community room, harbor store and offices is available.

History

. In 2015, a large coalition of public officials led a movement to name the 31st Street Beach and adjacent green space in honor of Margaret T. Burroughs. Thousands of citizens signed petitions in favor of this proposal. On August 12, 2015, the Chicago Park District Board of Commissioners officially renamed at 29.75-acre part of Burnham Park as Margaret T. Burroughs Beach and Park. Margaret T. Burroughs (1917 – 2010) was an accomplished artist, art advocate, poet, teacher, civic leader, historian, and founder of the DuSable Museum of African American History. Born in Louisiana, she moved to Chicago with her family during early years of the Great Migration. She attended Englewood High School, received a teaching certificate from the Chicago Teachers College. She went on to receive degrees from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and an honorary doctorate from Lewis University. In the late 1930s, Margaret spearheaded the creation of the South Side Community Art Center which was formally dedicated by first lady Eleanor Roosevelt in 1941. For decades, Margaret played a prominent role in Chicago’s African American art scene . Her art was featured in prominent museums and galleries throughout the nation, and she led various cultural initiatives such as serving as art director for the Negro Hall of Fame. In the early 1960s, Margaret and her husband Charles Burroughs founded one of the nation’s first museums of African American history out of their own home in Chicago’s Bronzeville neighborhood. The institution continued to grow, and in 1973 it moved into the historic Administration Building in Washington Park. In 1986, Mayor Harold Washington appointed Margaret to serve on the Chicago Park District Board of Commissioners. She made many contributions to Chicago’s parks, spearheading such initiatives such as creating cultural centers and naming parks for significant Chicago women. Margaret T. Burroughs Beach and Park is considered a feature within Burnham Park. First envisioned by renowned architect Daniel Burnham in his seminal 1909 Plan of Chicago, Burnham Park is a 609-acre lakefront green space located Grant and Jackson Parks. In the early 20th century, Chicago only had four municipal beaches. These beaches were far from the south side, so residents began using a sandy strip of land between 25th and 29th Streets as a bathing beach. In 1920, voters approved $20 million to build the extensive lakefront park. The site was completely made of landfill. The South Park Commission named the park in honor of Daniel H. Burnham in 1927. Burnham Park served as the site for Chicago’s second World’s Fair, A Century of Progress, which took place for two seasons in 1933 and 1934. After the fair, the newly consolidated Chicago Park District made additional plans for the park echoing Burnham’s original vision for the space. With federal funding through the Works Progress Administration (WPA), the park district began improvements in the mid-1930s, including additional landfill, playfields, walkways, tennis courts, basketball courts, and the 31st Street Beach and the old beach house. Over the years, the area needed improvements. At turn of the 21st century, the Army Corps of Engineers began to reconstruct the shoreline revetments in Burnham Park from 26th Street to 56th Street, allowing for the expansion lakefront green space and creation of the new harbor to the south.

Parking/Directions

Metered parking is available in nearby lots.  Get rates and additional information.

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

Margaret T. Burroughs Beach and Park

Margaret T. Burroughs Beach and Park

Location Notes: East 31st Street and Fort Dearborn Drive

Hours:

Notes: Distance swimming is available parallel from pier to tower.

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
Paratriathlon Training at Burroughs Beach 180262InstructionSports - Track & FieldAnyCoed2017/05/16 20:30From May 16, 2017 to September 5, 2017
Each Tuesday from 3:30pm to 6pm
$0
Paratriathlon Training at Burroughs Beach 180261InstructionSports - Track & FieldAnyCoed2017/05/18 20:30From May 18, 2017 to September 7, 2017
Each Thursday from 3:30pm to 6pm
$0

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Description

Located between 26th and 31st Streets on Chicago’s lakefront, Margaret T. Burroughs Beach and Park is a lovely part of Burnham Park.  The site has an accessible bathing beach, a new LEED certified beach house  with food concessions and restrooms.  Distance swimming is available parallel from pier to tower.  There is also a reconstructed lakefront revetment, trails and a shoreline that affords incredible vistas of Chicago’s skyline.  A commemorative boulder is dedicated to the victims of Chicago’s 1919 Race Riot which began in Lake Michigan near 27th Street.  In 2009, Students from York High School in Elmhurst donated this boulder which incorporates inspiring quotes by Dr. Martin Luther King.  Along the north side of the parkland, there is approximately five acres of the Burnham Centennial Prairie.  The park also offers a soft surface playground/water spray and stone climbing wall in the Edwin C. Berry playground.. 

Just south of the Margaret T. Burroughs Beach and Park is the 31st Street Harbor with 1000 floating slips.  The harbor area includes an ADA accessible playground, along with a green roof and picnic elements above an indoor parking garage that will also function as a winter boat storage area. A public fishing dock, along with community room, harbor store and offices is available.

 

FACILITIES

FACILITY TYPE ADDRESS DESCRIPTOR QTY NOTES
Beach East 31st Street and Fort Dearborn Drive 0 Distance swimming is available parallel from pier to tower.
Concessions 31st Street Beach House, 3100 S. Lake Shore Dr. 0
. In 2015, a large coalition of public officials led a movement to name the 31st Street Beach and adjacent green space in honor of Margaret T. Burroughs. Thousands of citizens signed petitions in favor of this proposal. On August 12, 2015, the Chicago Park District Board of Commissioners officially renamed at 29.75-acre part of Burnham Park as Margaret T. Burroughs Beach and Park. Margaret T. Burroughs (1917 – 2010) was an accomplished artist, art advocate, poet, teacher, civic leader, historian, and founder of the DuSable Museum of African American History. Born in Louisiana, she moved to Chicago with her family during early years of the Great Migration. She attended Englewood High School, received a teaching certificate from the Chicago Teachers College. She went on to receive degrees from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and an honorary doctorate from Lewis University. In the late 1930s, Margaret spearheaded the creation of the South Side Community Art Center which was formally dedicated by first lady Eleanor Roosevelt in 1941. For decades, Margaret played a prominent role in Chicago’s African American art scene . Her art was featured in prominent museums and galleries throughout the nation, and she led various cultural initiatives such as serving as art director for the Negro Hall of Fame. In the early 1960s, Margaret and her husband Charles Burroughs founded one of the nation’s first museums of African American history out of their own home in Chicago’s Bronzeville neighborhood. The institution continued to grow, and in 1973 it moved into the historic Administration Building in Washington Park. In 1986, Mayor Harold Washington appointed Margaret to serve on the Chicago Park District Board of Commissioners. She made many contributions to Chicago’s parks, spearheading such initiatives such as creating cultural centers and naming parks for significant Chicago women. Margaret T. Burroughs Beach and Park is considered a feature within Burnham Park. First envisioned by renowned architect Daniel Burnham in his seminal 1909 Plan of Chicago, Burnham Park is a 609-acre lakefront green space located Grant and Jackson Parks. In the early 20th century, Chicago only had four municipal beaches. These beaches were far from the south side, so residents began using a sandy strip of land between 25th and 29th Streets as a bathing beach. In 1920, voters approved $20 million to build the extensive lakefront park. The site was completely made of landfill. The South Park Commission named the park in honor of Daniel H. Burnham in 1927. Burnham Park served as the site for Chicago’s second World’s Fair, A Century of Progress, which took place for two seasons in 1933 and 1934. After the fair, the newly consolidated Chicago Park District made additional plans for the park echoing Burnham’s original vision for the space. With federal funding through the Works Progress Administration (WPA), the park district began improvements in the mid-1930s, including additional landfill, playfields, walkways, tennis courts, basketball courts, and the 31st Street Beach and the old beach house. Over the years, the area needed improvements. At turn of the 21st century, the Army Corps of Engineers began to reconstruct the shoreline revetments in Burnham Park from 26th Street to 56th Street, allowing for the expansion lakefront green space and creation of the new harbor to the south.

Metered parking is available in nearby lots.  Get rates and additional information.

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