Douglas Park

  • 1401 S. Sacramento Dr.   Chicago, Illinois 60623 [View Map]
  • Fieldhouse Hours: , ,
  • Park Hours:
  • Park Supervisor: Angela Sallis
  • Park Phone: (773) 762-2842

Located in the North Lawndale community and parts of the area known as Pilsen, Douglas Park Cultural & Community Center totals 218 acres.  Douglas Park is a historic regional park with features that include 2 gymnasiums, an auditorium, computer lab, fitness center, a kitchen, grand ball room, and meeting rooms. Outdoors, the park offers tennis courts, a game day football stadium, outdoor pool, water spray features, basketball courts, an artificial turf soccer field, a pavilion, baseball fields, and a small golf putting range. In collaboration with the Chicago Bulls Basketball organization the children’s computer learning lab serves the children of the community. In partnership, with Ravinia, the park is host to a series of summer concerts and the annual Junta Hispana festival in July.

Young park-goers can play seasonal sports at the facility or take a creative writing class. On the cultural side, Douglas Park offers dance, arts, performing arts and theatre. In the summer, youth attend day camp, and specialty arts camps.

Adults participate in a range of activities, including working out at the fitness center, aerobics and conditioning. Families can also participate in the monthly “Bring the Family to the Table” free nutritional meal offered in partnership with the Greater Chicago Food Depository

In addition to programs, Douglas Park hosts fun special events for the whole family, such as Movies in the Park.

History

In 1869, the Illinois state legislature established the West Park Commission, which was responsible for three large parks and interlinking boulevards. Later that year, the commissioners named the southernmost park in honor of Stephen A. Douglas (1813-1861). Best remembered for his pre-Civil War presidential defeat by Abraham Lincoln despite superb oratorical skills, Douglas was a United States Senator who helped bring the Illinois Central Railroad to Chicago. In 1871, designer William Le Baron Jenney completed plans for the entire West Park System which included Douglas, Garfield, and Humboldt parks. Jenney's engineering expertise was especially helpful for transforming Douglas Park's poor natural site into parkland. He had sand and manure from the Chicago Stock Yards added to the marshy site. In the center of the landscape, Jenney created a picturesque lake. A small section of the park was formally opened in 1879. In 1895, members of several German turners' clubs petitioned for an outdoor gymnasium in Douglas Park. The following year, this resulted in the construction of one of Chicago's first public facilities with outdoor gymnasium, swimming pool, and natatorium.

By the turn of the century, the West Park Commission was riddled with political graft, and the three parks became dilapidated. As part of a reform effort in 1905, Jens Jensen was appointed as General Superintendent and Chief Landscape Architect for the entire West Park System. Jensen, now recognized as Dean of the Prairie style of landscape architecture, improved deteriorating sections of the parks and added new features. Among Jensen's improvements were a semi-circular entryway at Marshall Blvd., and a formal garden at the corner of Ogden Ave. and Sacremento Dr. By the time Jensen designed the garden, Ogden Avenue, a diagonal roadway with a major streetcar thoroughfare, had already been constructed. The road divided the park into two separate landscapes, creating a busy intersection at the juncture of Ogden and Sacramento Avenues. Jensen's solution was a long axial garden on the southeast side of the intersection, providing a buffer between Ogden Ave. and playfields to the south.

At the entrance to the garden, the area closest to the busy roadway intersection, Jensen placed a monumental garden shelter, known as Flower Hall, and a formal reflecting pool. The designer of the structure is unknown, however, it was possibly Jensen himself, or his friend, Prairie School architect Hugh Garden. East of the building, the garden becomes more naturalistic. Jensen included perennial beds, a lily pool, and unique Prairie-style benches. In 1928, the West Park Commission contructed a fieldhouse in Douglas Park. The structure was designed by architects Michaelsen and Rognstad, who were also responsible for other notable buildings including the Garfield Park Gold Dome Building, the Humboldt and LaFolette Park Fieldhouses, and the On Leong Chinese Merchant's Association Building in Chinatown. In 1934, Douglas Park became part of the Chicago Park District, when the city's 22 independent park commissions merged into a single citywide agency.

Parking/Directions

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

Douglas Park Mosaic

Douglas Park Mosaic (1)

Location Notes: Field house lobby

Descriptors: Indoor, Mosaic or Ceramic

Route 66

Route 66 (1)

Location Notes: Exterior of Maintenance Building

Descriptors: Outdoor, Mural

Whirling Divish

Whirling Divish (1)

Location Notes: Douglas Park Cultural Center

Descriptors: Outdoor, Sculpture, Temporary

You Are a Reflection of You

You Are a Reflection of You (1)

Location Notes: Exterior of Maintenance Building

Descriptors: Outdoor, Mosaic or Ceramic

Douglas Diamond Baseball

Douglas Diamond Baseball

Location Notes: 1401 S. Sacramento Dr.

Douglas Basketball

Douglas Basketball

Location Notes: 1401 S. Sacramento Dr.

Douglas Park - Espinosa

Douglas Park - Espinosa

Location: 1401 S. Sacramento

Hours: , ,

Phone: (773)663-1117

Descriptors: Food & Beverage

Douglas Park - Big Al's Smoke Stack

Douglas Park - Big Al's Smoke Stack

Location: 1401 S. Sacramento Ave.

Hours: , ,

Phone: (773) 449-0489

Descriptors: Food & Beverage

Douglas Park Cultural Center

Douglas Park Cultural Center

Location Notes: 1401 S. Sacramento Dr.

Douglas Fieldhouse

Douglas Fieldhouse

Location Notes: 1401 S. Sacramento Dr.

Hours: , ,

Douglas Fishing

Douglas Fishing

Location Notes: 1401 S. Sacramento Dr.

Douglas Fitness Center

Douglas Fitness CenterAccessible

Hours: , ,

Notes: Sign up for a membership

Descriptors: ADA Accessible Equipment

Douglas Nike Turf Field

Douglas Nike Turf Field

Location Notes: 1401 S. Sacramento Dr.

Descriptors: Artificial Turf

Douglas Soccer Fields

Douglas Soccer Fields

Location Notes: 1401 S. Sacramento Dr.

Descriptors: Artificial Turf

Douglas Park Formal Gardens

Douglas Park Formal Gardens

Location Notes: corner of Sacramento Ave. and Ogden Ave.

Notes: Formal Gardens

Douglas Golf Course

Douglas Golf Course

Location Notes: 1401 S. Sacramento Dr.

Phone: (866) 223-5564

Douglas Gymnasium

Douglas Gymnasium

Location Notes: 1401 S. Sacramento Dr.

Douglas Lagoon

Douglas Lagoon

Location Notes: 1401 S. Sacramento Ave.

Notes: Douglas Park Lagoon

Douglas Auditoriums & Clubrooms

Douglas Auditoriums & Clubrooms

Location Notes: 1401 S. Sacramento Dr.

Douglas Playground - E

Douglas Playground - EAccessible

Location: 1400 S. California Ave.

Descriptors: Engineered Wood Fiber Surface

Douglas Playground - SW

Douglas Playground - SWAccessible

Location: 1850 S. Albany Ave.

Descriptors: Engineered Wood Fiber Surface

Douglas Playground - W

Douglas Playground - WAccessible

Location: 1470 S. Albany Ave.

Descriptors: Engineered Wood Fiber Surface

Douglas Playground- SE

Douglas Playground- SEAccessible

Location: 1820 S. Farrar Dr.

Location Notes: Between Farrar Dr. & 18th St., southeast corner of California Ave.

Notes: Renovated Summer 2014- Chicago Plays! Renovation Program

Descriptors: Engineered Wood Fiber Surface

Douglas Park Golf Course

Douglas Park Golf Course

Location Notes: 1401 S. Sacramento Ave.

Notes: Douglas Park Golf Course

Douglas Park Pool

Douglas Park PoolAccessible (1)

Location Notes: 1401 S. Sacramento Dr.

Hours:

Phone: (773)762-2842

Descriptors: Outdoor, ADA Lift

Douglas Tennis Court

Douglas Tennis Court

Location Notes: 1401 S. Sacramento Dr.

Douglas Spray Pool

Douglas Spray Pool

Location Notes: 1401 S. Sacramento Dr.

 Douglas Wellness Center

Douglas Wellness Center

Location Notes: 1401 S. Sacramento Dr.

Events

AUG
20
DJ_Mike_P

DJ Mike P at Douglas

Location: Douglas Park, Chicago, IL  IL

Spring Programs

See our offerings in the Spring tab below.  Spring programs start the week of March 28 and run through the week of May 30.  Click on the program name links below to register now.  Registration is on-going while spots are available.

 

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 view a program and save it to your wish list.  Registration dates for our park are:

  • Online registration begins on Monday, April 4, 2016 at 9:00am.
  • In-person registration begins on Monday, April 11, 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 Douglas 123879Activity_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
$63.00
Park Kids (Spec Rec) - Fall Winter Spr at Douglas 123855Activity_PackageOut of School Programs - After SchoolAt least 6 but less than 18Coed2015/09/14 19:00From September 14, 2015 to June 3, 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
$78.00
Name Number Type Category Ages Gender Dates Fee
Acting at Douglas 139922InstructionCulture and Arts - TheaterAt least 6 but less than 17Coed2016/03/29 21:00From March 29, 2016 to June 3, 2016
Each Tuesday from 4pm to 5:30pm
Each Friday from 4pm to 5:30pm
$0
Arts & Crafts (Special Recreation) at Douglas 140016InstructionCulture and Arts - Decorative ArtsAt least 8 but less than 35Coed2016/03/31 21:30From March 31, 2016 to June 2, 2016
Each Thursday from 4:30pm to 5:30pm
$0
Arts & Crafts at Douglas 140029InstructionCulture and Arts - Decorative ArtsAt least 6 but less than 12Coed2016/03/28 20:30From March 28, 2016 to June 1, 2016
Each Monday from 3:30pm to 4:30pm
Each Wednesday from 3:30pm to 4:30pm
$0
Arts & Crafts Workshop - Family at Douglas 140094InstructionCulture and Arts - Decorative Arts6 and upCoed2016/03/28 23:30From March 28, 2016 to May 30, 2016
Each Monday from 6:30pm to 7:30pm
$12.00
Arts & Crafts Workshop - Family at Douglas 140093InstructionCulture and Arts - Decorative ArtsAnyCoed2016/03/30 23:30From March 30, 2016 to June 2, 2016
Each Wednesday from 6:30pm to 7:30pm
Each Thursday from 6:30pm to 7:30pm
$12.00
Basketball - Open at Douglas 140185OpenSports - BasketballAt least 13 but less than 19Coed2016/03/28 20:30From March 28, 2016 to June 3, 2016
Each Monday from 3:30pm to 4:30pm
Each Tuesday from 3:30pm to 4:30pm
Each Wednesday from 3:30pm to 4:30pm
Each Thursday from 3:30pm to 4:30pm
Each Friday from 3:30pm to 4:30pm
$0
Cardio Conditioning at Douglas 140378InstructionWellness - Fitness18 and upCoed2016/03/29 23:30From March 29, 2016 to June 2, 2016
Each Tuesday from 6:30pm to 7:30pm
Each Thursday from 6:30pm to 7:30pm
$22.00
Chair Exercise at Douglas 140390InstructionWellness - Fitness60 and upCoed2016/03/29 16:00From March 29, 2016 to June 2, 2016
Each Tuesday from 11am to Noon
Each Thursday from 11am to Noon
$0
Daily Living Skills (Special Rec) at Douglas 140463InstructionSpecial Interest - Educational/Self-HelpAt least 18 but less than 40Coed2016/03/28 20:00From March 28, 2016 to June 3, 2016
Each Monday from 3pm to 6pm
Each Tuesday from 3pm to 6pm
Each Wednesday from 3pm to 6pm
Each Thursday from 3pm to 6pm
Each Friday from 3pm to 6pm
$22.00
Daily Living Skills (Special Rec) at Douglas 154236InstructionSpecial Interest - Educational/Self-HelpAt least 8 but less than 40Coed2016/04/02 19:00From April 2, 2016 to June 4, 2016
Each Saturday from 2pm to 3pm
$0
Drama (Special Recreation) at Douglas 139919InstructionCulture and Arts - TheaterAt least 8 but less than 40Coed2016/03/29 20:00From March 29, 2016 to June 3, 2016
Each Tuesday from 3pm to 4pm
Each Friday from 3pm to 4pm
$0
Fun and Games (Special Rec) at Douglas 154237InstructionSpecial Interest - Fun & GamesAt least 8 but less than 40Coed2016/04/02 18:00From April 2, 2016 to June 4, 2016
Each Saturday from 1pm to 2pm
$0
Girl Scouts Partnership at Douglas 140718PartnershipGroupSpecial Interest - ClubsAt least 7 but less than 18Coed2016/04/01 22:30From April 1, 2016 to June 3, 2016
Each Friday from 5:30pm to 6:30pm
$0
Kiddie College at Douglas 140884InstructionEarly Childhood - RecreationAt least 3 but less than 6Coed2016/03/28 17:00From March 28, 2016 to June 3, 2016
Each Monday from Noon to 2:30pm
Each Wednesday from Noon to 2:30pm
Each Friday from Noon to 2:30pm
$10.00
Mighty Fit Kids at Douglas 141094InstructionWellness - FitnessAt least 3 but less than 5Coed2016/03/30 18:15From March 30, 2016 to June 1, 2016
Each Wednesday from 1:15pm to 2pm
$0
Park Kids - Spring Session at Douglas 141321InstructionOut of School Programs - After SchoolAt least 6 but less than 13Coed2016/03/28 19:00From March 28, 2016 to June 10, 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
$21.00
Park Kids (Spec Rec) - Spring Session at Douglas 141317InstructionOut of School Programs - After SchoolAt least 6 but less than 18Coed2016/03/28 20:00From March 28, 2016 to June 3, 2016
Each Monday from 3pm to 6pm
Each Tuesday from 3pm to 6pm
Each Wednesday from 3pm to 6pm
Each Thursday from 3pm to 6pm
Each Friday from 3pm to 6pm
$26.00
Play School at Douglas 141393InstructionEarly Childhood - RecreationAt least 3 but less than 6Coed2016/03/28 20:00From March 28, 2016 to June 3, 2016
Each Monday from 3pm to 6pm
Each Wednesday from 3pm to 6pm
Each Friday from 3pm to 6pm
$10.00
Seasonal Sports at Douglas 141599InstructionSports - Seasonal SportsAt least 6 but less than 12Coed2016/03/28 22:00From March 28, 2016 to June 3, 2016
Each Monday from 5pm to 6pm
Each Wednesday from 5pm to 6pm
Each Friday from 5pm to 6pm
$0
Seasonal Sports Club at Douglas 141654InstructionSports - Seasonal SportsAt least 13 but less than 17Coed2016/03/29 22:00From March 29, 2016 to June 2, 2016
Each Tuesday from 5pm to 6pm
Each Thursday from 5pm to 6pm
$0
Social Club (Special Recreation) at Douglas 141055InstructionSpecial Interest - ClubsAt least 8 but less than 40Coed2016/03/28 23:00From March 28, 2016 to June 3, 2016
Each Monday from 6pm to 7pm
Each Tuesday from 6pm to 7pm
Each Wednesday from 6pm to 7pm
Each Thursday from 6pm to 7pm
Each Friday from 6pm to 7pm
$5.00
Special Olympics Seasonal Sports at Douglas 141878InstructionSports - Seasonal SportsAt least 18 but less than 60Coed2016/03/28 18:00From March 28, 2016 to June 3, 2016
Each Monday from 1pm to 3pm
Each Tuesday from 1pm to 3pm
Each Wednesday from 1pm to 3pm
Each Thursday from 1pm to 3pm
Each Friday from 1pm to 3pm
$7.00
Special Olympics Seasonal Sports at Douglas 154235InstructionSports - Seasonal SportsAt least 8 but less than 40Coed2016/04/02 16:00From April 2, 2016 to June 4, 2016
Each Saturday from 11am to 1pm
$0
Yoga/Pilates at Douglas 142432InstructionWellness - Yoga18 and upCoed2016/03/28 23:15From March 28, 2016 to June 1, 2016
Each Monday from 6:15pm to 7:15pm
Each Wednesday from 6:15pm to 7:15pm
$22.00
Name Number Type Category Ages Gender Dates Fee
Adult Swim at Douglas 154333OpenAquatics - Open18 and upCoed2016/06/21 23:00From June 21, 2016 to August 25, 2016
Each Tuesday from 6pm to 7:15pm
Each Thursday from 6pm to 7:15pm
$0
Ailey Camp Chicago at Douglas 161002CampsCamps - Special InterestAt least 11 but less than 15Coed2016/07/05 13:30From July 5, 2016 to August 12, 2016
Each Monday from 8:30am to 3:30pm
Each Tuesday from 8:30am to 3:30pm
Each Wednesday from 8:30am to 3:30pm
Each Thursday from 8:30am to 3:30pm
Each Friday from 8:30am to 3:30pm
$0
Cultural Camp at Douglas 154563CampsCamps - Special 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
$245.00
Dance Camp at Douglas 154573CampsCamps - Special 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
$245.00
Day Camp (Special Recreation) at Douglas 154576CampsCamps - General InterestAt least 8 but less than 45Coed2016/07/05 15:00From July 4, 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
$145.00
Drop-in Camp at Douglas 154692CampsCamps - General InterestAt least 6 but less than 13Coed2016/08/15 14:00From August 15, 2016 to August 19, 2016
Each Monday from 9am to 5pm
Each Tuesday from 9am to 5pm
Each Wednesday from 9am to 5pm
Each Thursday from 9am to 5pm
Each Friday from 9am to 5pm
$52.00
Family Swim at Douglas 154764OpenAquatics - OpenAnyCoed2016/06/20 22:30From June 20, 2016 to August 28, 2016
Each Sunday from 5:30pm to 7:15pm
Each Monday from 6pm to 7:15pm
Each Wednesday from 6pm to 7:15pm
Each Friday from 6pm to 7:15pm
Each Saturday from 5:30pm to 7:15pm
$0
Learn to Swim at Douglas 154999InstructionAquatics - Lessons18 and upCoed2016/06/26 16:00From June 26, 2016 to August 28, 2016
Each Sunday from 11am to Noon
$30.00
Learn to Swim at Douglas 154997InstructionAquatics - LessonsAt least 6 but less than 13Coed2016/06/26 17:15From June 26, 2016 to August 28, 2016
Each Sunday from 12:15pm to 1:15pm
$30.00
Learn to Swim at Douglas 154998InstructionAquatics - Lessons18 and upCoed2016/06/25 16:00From June 25, 2016 to August 27, 2016
Each Saturday from 11am to Noon
$30.00
Learn to Swim at Douglas 154996InstructionAquatics - LessonsAt least 6 but less than 13Coed2016/06/25 17:15From June 25, 2016 to August 27, 2016
Each Saturday from 12:15pm to 1:15pm
$30.00
Play Camp at Douglas 155216CampsCamps - General InterestAt least 3 but less than 6Coed2016/07/05 14:00From July 4, 2016 to August 12, 2016
Each Monday from 9am to 12:30pm
Each Tuesday from 9am to 12:30pm
Each Wednesday from 9am to 12:30pm
Each Thursday from 9am to 12:30pm
Each Friday from 9am to 12:30pm
$128.00
Play Camp at Douglas 155215CampsCamps - General InterestAt least 3 but less than 6Coed2016/07/05 18:00From July 4, 2016 to August 12, 2016
Each Monday from 1pm to 4:30pm
Each Tuesday from 1pm to 4:30pm
Each Wednesday from 1pm to 4:30pm
Each Thursday from 1pm to 4:30pm
Each Friday from 1pm to 4:30pm
$128.00
Sports Camp at Douglas 155613CampsCamps - SportsAt 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
$245.00
TEAM Sports at Douglas 155663InstructionAquatics - SpecializedAt least 6 but less than 18Coed2016/06/20 22:00From June 20, 2016 to August 26, 2016
Each Monday from 5pm to 5:45pm
Each Tuesday from 5pm to 5:45pm
Each Wednesday from 5pm to 5:45pm
Each Thursday from 5pm to 5:45pm
Each Friday from 5pm to 5:45pm
$28.00
Teen Swim Female at Douglas 155733OpenAquatics - OpenAt least 13 but less than 18Female2016/06/20 21:15From June 20, 2016 to August 28, 2016
Each Sunday from 4:15pm to 5:15pm
Each Monday from 4pm to 4:45pm
Each Tuesday from 4pm to 4:45pm
Each Wednesday from 4pm to 4:45pm
Each Thursday from 4pm to 4:45pm
Each Friday from 4pm to 4:45pm
Each Saturday from 4:15pm to 5:15pm
$0
Teen Swim Male at Douglas 155736OpenAquatics - OpenAt least 13 but less than 18Male2016/06/20 20:00From June 20, 2016 to August 28, 2016
Each Sunday from 3pm to 4pm
Each Monday from 3pm to 3:45pm
Each Tuesday from 3pm to 3:45pm
Each Wednesday from 3pm to 3:45pm
Each Thursday from 3pm to 3:45pm
Each Friday from 3pm to 3:45pm
Each Saturday from 3pm to 4pm
$0
Youth Swim at Douglas 155883OpenAquatics - OpenAt least 6 but less than 13Coed2016/06/20 18:30From June 20, 2016 to August 28, 2016
Each Sunday from 1:30pm to 2:45pm
Each Monday from 11am to 12:45pm
Each Tuesday from 11am to 12:45pm
Each Wednesday from 11am to 12:45pm
Each Thursday from 11am to 12:45pm
Each Friday from 11am to 12:45pm
Each Saturday from 1:30pm to 2:45pm
$0

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Description

Located in the North Lawndale community and parts of the area known as Pilsen, Douglas Park Cultural & Community Center totals 218 acres.  Douglas Park is a historic regional park with features that include 2 gymnasiums, an auditorium, computer lab, fitness center, a kitchen, grand ball room, and meeting rooms. Outdoors, the park offers tennis courts, a game day football stadium, outdoor pool, water spray features, basketball courts, an artificial turf soccer field, a pavilion, baseball fields, and a small golf putting range. In collaboration with the Chicago Bulls Basketball organization the children’s computer learning lab serves the children of the community. In partnership, with Ravinia, the park is host to a series of summer concerts and the annual Junta Hispana festival in July.

Young park-goers can play seasonal sports at the facility or take a creative writing class. On the cultural side, Douglas Park offers dance, arts, performing arts and theatre. In the summer, youth attend day camp, and specialty arts camps.

Adults participate in a range of activities, including working out at the fitness center, aerobics and conditioning. Families can also participate in the monthly “Bring the Family to the Table” free nutritional meal offered in partnership with the Greater Chicago Food Depository

In addition to programs, Douglas Park hosts fun special events for the whole family, such as Movies in the Park.

In 1869, the Illinois state legislature established the West Park Commission, which was responsible for three large parks and interlinking boulevards. Later that year, the commissioners named the southernmost park in honor of Stephen A. Douglas (1813-1861). Best remembered for his pre-Civil War presidential defeat by Abraham Lincoln despite superb oratorical skills, Douglas was a United States Senator who helped bring the Illinois Central Railroad to Chicago. In 1871, designer William Le Baron Jenney completed plans for the entire West Park System which included Douglas, Garfield, and Humboldt parks. Jenney's engineering expertise was especially helpful for transforming Douglas Park's poor natural site into parkland. He had sand and manure from the Chicago Stock Yards added to the marshy site. In the center of the landscape, Jenney created a picturesque lake. A small section of the park was formally opened in 1879. In 1895, members of several German turners' clubs petitioned for an outdoor gymnasium in Douglas Park. The following year, this resulted in the construction of one of Chicago's first public facilities with outdoor gymnasium, swimming pool, and natatorium.

By the turn of the century, the West Park Commission was riddled with political graft, and the three parks became dilapidated. As part of a reform effort in 1905, Jens Jensen was appointed as General Superintendent and Chief Landscape Architect for the entire West Park System. Jensen, now recognized as Dean of the Prairie style of landscape architecture, improved deteriorating sections of the parks and added new features. Among Jensen's improvements were a semi-circular entryway at Marshall Blvd., and a formal garden at the corner of Ogden Ave. and Sacremento Dr. By the time Jensen designed the garden, Ogden Avenue, a diagonal roadway with a major streetcar thoroughfare, had already been constructed. The road divided the park into two separate landscapes, creating a busy intersection at the juncture of Ogden and Sacramento Avenues. Jensen's solution was a long axial garden on the southeast side of the intersection, providing a buffer between Ogden Ave. and playfields to the south.

At the entrance to the garden, the area closest to the busy roadway intersection, Jensen placed a monumental garden shelter, known as Flower Hall, and a formal reflecting pool. The designer of the structure is unknown, however, it was possibly Jensen himself, or his friend, Prairie School architect Hugh Garden. East of the building, the garden becomes more naturalistic. Jensen included perennial beds, a lily pool, and unique Prairie-style benches. In 1928, the West Park Commission contructed a fieldhouse in Douglas Park. The structure was designed by architects Michaelsen and Rognstad, who were also responsible for other notable buildings including the Garfield Park Gold Dome Building, the Humboldt and LaFolette Park Fieldhouses, and the On Leong Chinese Merchant's Association Building in Chinatown. In 1934, Douglas Park became part of the Chicago Park District, when the city's 22 independent park commissions merged into a single citywide agency.

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