Columbus Park

  • 500 S. Central Ave.   Chicago, Illinois 60644 [View Map]
  • Fieldhouse Hours: ,
  • Park Hours:
  • Park Supervisor: Jeanette Stovall
  • Park Phone: (773) 287-7641

It is located in the Austin Community, Columbus Park totals [135.12] acres. The field house features: a fitness center; 2 gymnasiums; 3 kitchens; meeting rooms; senior center and banquet room. Outside, the park offers a nature area, boundless children’s accessible playground with an interactive water feature, bicycle path, jogging path, pavilion and 9-hole golf course. In addition Columbus is a multi-faceted recreation park with an outdoor swimming pool, fishing lagoon, baseball fields, and athletic fields for football and soccer and basketball courts. The beautiful “Refectory” building sits on the park’s grounds and is a popular destination for weddings and special events.

Many of these spaces are available for rental such as parties and athletic tournaments. Patrons are especially fond of renting the beautiful Refectory Building for weddings and other formal parties.

Park-goers can play basketball, football or soccer at the facility. Afterschool programs are offered throughout the school year, and in the summer youth attend the Park District’s popular six-week day camp.

In addition to programs, Columbus Park hosts fun special events throughout the year for the whole family, such as Movies in the Park and concerts."

History

Columbus Park is considered the masterpiece of Jens Jensen, now known as dean of Prairie-style landscape architecture. The project, Jensen's only opportunity to create an entirely new large park in Chicago, represents the culmination of years of his conservation efforts and design experimentation.

Appointed as West Park Commission General Superintendent and Chief Landscape Architect in 1905, Jensen re-designed Humboldt, Garfield, and Douglas Parks and began creating small parks such as Eckhart and Dvorak. After losing political support in 1910, he shifted his role to consulting landscape architect. Two years later, the commissioners acquired 144 acres of farmland at the western boundary of Chicago. They named the new park for Christopher Columbus (c. 1451-1506), the famous Italian explorer who "discovered" America while in the service of Spain.

Jensen's vision for Columbus Park was inspired by the unimproved site's natural history and topography. Convinced that it was an ancient beach, Jensen designed a series of berms, like glacial ridges, encircling the flat interior part of the park. In the center area, following the traces of sand dune, he created a "prairie river" flowing from two brooks. Two natural-looking waterfalls, with ledges of stratified stonework, represent the source of the river. Throughout the park, Jensen included native plants.

Jensen also included programming elements emulating nature. Broad prairie-like meadows provide a golf course and ball fields. He designed an outdoor theatre, known as the "player's green," for plays and other performances. In the children's playground area, Jensen included his favorite feature, the council ring, a circular stone bench for storytelling and campfires.

In 1953, the nine acres at the park's southern boundary were destroyed to make way for the Eisenhower Expressway. Despite the loss of some land and other changes to the park at that time, Columbus Park still conveys Jensen's genius

 

Parking/Directions

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

Columbus Ships

Columbus Ships (1)

Location Notes: Refectory Great Hall

Columbus Baseball Diamonds

Columbus Baseball Diamonds

Location Notes: 500 S. Central Ave.

Columbus Diamond

Columbus Diamond

Location Notes: 500 S. Central Ave.

Softball Diamonds

Softball Diamonds

Columbus Basketball Court

Columbus Basketball Court

Location Notes: 500 S. Central Ave.

Columbus Bird Sanctuary

Columbus Bird Sanctuary

Location Notes: 500 S. Central Ave.

Notes: Columbus Bird Sanctuary

Columbus Fieldhouse

Columbus Fieldhouse

Location Notes: 500 S. Central Ave.

Hours: ,

Columbus Fishing Area

Columbus Fishing Area

Location Notes: 500 S. Central

Columbus Fitness Center

Columbus Fitness CenterAccessible

Hours: ,

Notes: Sign up for a membership

Columbus Gymnasium

Columbus Gymnasium

Location Notes: 500 S. Central Ave.

Notes: 1 Large, 1 Small

Columbus Park

Columbus Park

Location Notes: 500 S. Central Park Ave.

Notes: Columbus Park Lagoon

Clubrooms

Clubrooms

Columbus Club Room

Columbus Club Room

Location Notes: 500 S. Central Ave.

Columbus Picnic Grove

Columbus Picnic Grove

Location Notes: 500 S. Central Ave.

Columbus Playground

Columbus PlaygroundAccessible

Location Notes: 500 S. Central Ave.

Columbus Park Golf Course

Columbus Park Golf Course

Location Notes: 500 S. Central Ave.

Notes: Columbus Park Golf Course

Columbus Park Pool

Columbus Park PoolAccessible (1)

Location Notes: 500 S. Central Ave.

Hours:

Phone: (773)287-7641

Columbus Tennis Court

Columbus Tennis Court

Location Notes: 500 S. Central Ave.

Columbus Wade Pool

Columbus Wade Pool

Location Notes: 500 S. Central Ave.

Winter Programs

Winter programs start the week of January 4 and run through the week of March 7.  Click on the program name links below to register now.  Registration is on-going while spots are available.

 

Spring Programs

Spring programs start the week of March 28 and run through the week of May 30.  View programs online beginning Monday, February 8.  
Registration dates for our park are:
.

  • Online registration begins on Monday, February 22, 2016 at 9:00am.
  • In-person registration begins on Saturday, February 27, 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
Park Kids - Fall Winter Spring at Columbus 123878Activity_PackageOut of School Programs - After SchoolAt least 6 but less than 13Coed2015/09/08 19:00From September 8, 2015 to June 17, 2016
Each Monday from 2pm to 6pm
Each Tuesday from 2pm to 6pm
Each Wednesday from 2pm to 6pm
Each Thursday from 2pm to 6pm
Each Friday from 2pm to 6pm
$153.00
Name Number Type Category Ages Gender Dates Fee
Basketball - Open at Columbus 133867OpenSports - Basketball60 and upCoed2016/01/05 18:30From January 5, 2016 to March 10, 2016
Each Tuesday from 12:30pm to 2:30pm
Each Thursday from 12:30pm to 2:30pm
$0
Basketball Tournament at Columbus 133919TournamentSports - Basketball18 and upCoed2016/01/06 01:00From January 5, 2016 to March 10, 2016
Each Tuesday from 7pm to 8:30pm
Each Thursday from 7pm to 8:30pm
$105.00
Baton & Pom Pom at Columbus 134077InstructionSports - CheerleadingAt least 6 but less than 8Female2016/01/07 00:15From January 6, 2016 to March 10, 2016
Each Wednesday from 6:15pm to 7:30pm
Each Thursday from 6:15pm to 7:30pm
$11.00
Dance - Hip Hop at Columbus 134228InstructionCulture and Arts - DanceAt least 9 but less than 13Coed2016/01/05 00:15From January 4, 2016 to March 8, 2016
Each Monday from 6:15pm to 7:30pm
Each Tuesday from 6:15pm to 7:30pm
$11.00
Dance - Hip Hop at Columbus 134229InstructionCulture and Arts - DanceAt least 13 but less than 18Coed2016/01/06 00:45From January 5, 2016 to March 10, 2016
Each Tuesday from 6:45pm to 8:30pm
Each Thursday from 6:45pm to 8:30pm
$6.00
Kiddie College at Columbus 150218InstructionEarly Childhood - RecreationAt least 3 but less than 6Coed2016/01/04 18:30From January 4, 2016 to March 11, 2016
Each Monday from 12:30pm to 3pm
Each Tuesday from 12:30pm to 3pm
Each Wednesday from 12:30pm to 3pm
Each Thursday from 12:30pm to 3pm
Each Friday from 12:30pm to 3pm
$10.00
Line Dance at Columbus 134933InstructionCulture and Arts - Dance60 and upCoed2016/01/04 15:00From January 4, 2016 to March 9, 2016
Each Monday from 9am to 11:30am
Each Wednesday from 9am to 11:30am
$0
Low Impact Aerobics at Columbus 134949InstructionWellness - Aerobics18 and upCoed2016/01/05 00:45From January 4, 2016 to March 11, 2016
Each Monday from 6:45pm to 7:45pm
Each Wednesday from 6:45pm to 7:45pm
Each Friday from 6:45pm to 7:45pm
$11.00
Park Kids - Winter Session at Columbus 135170InstructionOut of School Programs - After SchoolAt least 6 but less than 13Coed2016/01/04 20:00From January 4, 2016 to March 18, 2016
Each Monday from 2pm to 6pm
Each Tuesday from 2pm to 6pm
Each Wednesday from 2pm to 6pm
Each Thursday from 2pm to 6pm
Each Friday from 2pm to 6pm
$51.00
Pool at Columbus 135277OpenSpecial Interest - Fun & Games60 and upCoed2016/01/04 14:00From January 4, 2016 to March 11, 2016
Each Monday from 8am to 2pm
Each Tuesday from 8am to 2pm
Each Wednesday from 8am to 2pm
Each Thursday from 8am to 2pm
Each Friday from 8am to 2pm
$0
Pre-Teen Club at Columbus 150219OpenSpecial Interest - ClubsAt least 9 but less than 12Coed2016/01/05 00:15From January 4, 2016 to March 10, 2016
Each Monday from 6:15pm to 7:15pm
Each Tuesday from 6:15pm to 7:15pm
Each Thursday from 6:15pm to 7:15pm
$10.00
Seasonal Sports at Columbus 135384InstructionSports - Seasonal SportsAt least 6 but less than 13Coed2016/01/05 00:30From January 4, 2016 to March 9, 2016
Each Monday from 6:30pm to 8:30pm
Each Wednesday from 6:30pm to 8:30pm
$0
Seasonal Sports at Columbus 135383InstructionSports - Seasonal SportsAt least 13 but less than 17Coed2016/01/08 00:30From January 7, 2016 to March 10, 2016
Each Tuesday from 6:30pm to 8:30pm
Each Thursday from 6:30pm to 8:30pm
$0
Senior Citizens Club at Columbus 135478OpenSpecial Interest - Clubs60 and upCoed2016/01/04 15:00From January 4, 2016 to March 11, 2016
Each Monday from 9am to 3pm
Each Tuesday from 9am to 3pm
Each Wednesday from 9am to 3pm
Each Thursday from 9am to 3pm
Each Friday from 9am to 3pm
$0
Teen Club at Columbus 135774OpenSpecial Interest - ClubsAt least 13 but less than 18Coed2016/01/05 00:30From January 4, 2016 to March 11, 2016
Each Monday from 6:30pm to 8:30pm
Each Tuesday from 6:30pm to 8:30pm
Each Wednesday from 6:30pm to 8:30pm
Each Thursday from 6:30pm to 8:30pm
Each Friday from 6:30pm to 8:30pm
$0
Walking Club at Columbus 150220OpenWellness - Walking60 and upCoed2016/01/05 13:30From January 5, 2016 to March 11, 2016
Each Tuesday from 7:30am to 8:30am
Each Thursday from 7:30am to 8:30am
Each Friday from 7:30am to 8:30am
$0
Windy City Hoops-Basketball at Columbus 136083Individual_LeagueSports - BasketballAt least 13 but less than 19Coed2016/01/09 00:00From January 8, 2016 to March 12, 2016
Each Friday from 6pm to 9pm
Each Saturday from 6pm to 9pm
$0

Photos & Videos

Reviews

Description

It is located in the Austin Community, Columbus Park totals [135.12] acres. The field house features: a fitness center; 2 gymnasiums; 3 kitchens; meeting rooms; senior center and banquet room. Outside, the park offers a nature area, boundless children’s accessible playground with an interactive water feature, bicycle path, jogging path, pavilion and 9-hole golf course. In addition Columbus is a multi-faceted recreation park with an outdoor swimming pool, fishing lagoon, baseball fields, and athletic fields for football and soccer and basketball courts. The beautiful “Refectory” building sits on the park’s grounds and is a popular destination for weddings and special events.

Many of these spaces are available for rental such as parties and athletic tournaments. Patrons are especially fond of renting the beautiful Refectory Building for weddings and other formal parties.

Park-goers can play basketball, football or soccer at the facility. Afterschool programs are offered throughout the school year, and in the summer youth attend the Park District’s popular six-week day camp.

In addition to programs, Columbus Park hosts fun special events throughout the year for the whole family, such as Movies in the Park and concerts."

Columbus Park is considered the masterpiece of Jens Jensen, now known as dean of Prairie-style landscape architecture. The project, Jensen's only opportunity to create an entirely new large park in Chicago, represents the culmination of years of his conservation efforts and design experimentation.

Appointed as West Park Commission General Superintendent and Chief Landscape Architect in 1905, Jensen re-designed Humboldt, Garfield, and Douglas Parks and began creating small parks such as Eckhart and Dvorak. After losing political support in 1910, he shifted his role to consulting landscape architect. Two years later, the commissioners acquired 144 acres of farmland at the western boundary of Chicago. They named the new park for Christopher Columbus (c. 1451-1506), the famous Italian explorer who "discovered" America while in the service of Spain.

Jensen's vision for Columbus Park was inspired by the unimproved site's natural history and topography. Convinced that it was an ancient beach, Jensen designed a series of berms, like glacial ridges, encircling the flat interior part of the park. In the center area, following the traces of sand dune, he created a "prairie river" flowing from two brooks. Two natural-looking waterfalls, with ledges of stratified stonework, represent the source of the river. Throughout the park, Jensen included native plants.

Jensen also included programming elements emulating nature. Broad prairie-like meadows provide a golf course and ball fields. He designed an outdoor theatre, known as the "player's green," for plays and other performances. In the children's playground area, Jensen included his favorite feature, the council ring, a circular stone bench for storytelling and campfires.

In 1953, the nine acres at the park's southern boundary were destroyed to make way for the Eisenhower Expressway. Despite the loss of some land and other changes to the park at that time, Columbus Park still conveys Jensen's genius

 

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