Located in the Douglas Community, Ellis Park totals 9.86 acres. Outdoor features include,tennis courts, athletic fields for football or soccer and soft-surface playground. Park-goers can visit nearby Anderson Park to sign up for camp or after school activities.
While there is no structured programming taking place at this location, we invite you to check out our great programs offered at nearby Anderson Park for recreation.
Ellis Park, takes its name from Samuel Ellis, who ran a tavern on 35th Street near the Vincennes Trail (now Avenue) in the 1830s. In 1855, Ellis subdivided his land holdings between 31st and 39th Streets, from Lake Michigan to South Park Boulevard (now Martin Luther King Drive), donating a wedge-shaped parcel to the city for use as a public park.
The area surrounding Ellis Park developed as the fashionable Oakland neighborhood, but by 1900 the wealthy had begun to move out, and their homes were being recycled as apartments and rooming houses. Ellis Park, too, had been carved up by adjacent residents who extended sidewalks from their homes and planted trees and shrubs on either side. A decaying bandstand added to the sense of disorder. In the early 1900s, the Special Park Commission reclaimed Ellis Park from encroaching property owners. Noted landscape architect and commission member Jens Jensen completely redesigned the 3-acre park. His 1906 plan included two ornamental fountains and a circular, tree-edged lawn. By 1940, the surrounding neighborhood had experienced further decline. The federal government responded by erecting the Ida B. Wells housing project. Across the street at Ellis Park, the Bureau of Parks and Recreation (successor to the Special Park Commission) installed two new wading pools which drew more than 14,000 children the first summer. The city transferred Ellis Park to the Chicago Park District in 1959. In 1964. several years later, the park district purchased additional property east, west, and north of the original park, tripling its size.. Following the demolition of the Ida B. Wells and Madden Park Homes, the programs at Ellis Park were relocated to Doolittle School in the Fall of 2010. Ellis Park is now an unstaffed location with future plans for a new fielhouse.
For directions using public transportation visit www.transitchicago.com.