Skinner Park

  • 1331 W. Monroe St.   Chicago, Illinois 60607 [View Map]
  • Fieldhouse Hours: , ,
  • Park Hours:
  • Park Supervisor: Marques Johnson
  • Park Phone: (312) 746-5560

Located in the Near West Community Area, Skinner Park totals 7.32 acres and features a small fieldhouse. The Park also shares use of the adjacent Whitney Young High where there is access to a gymnasium and indoor swimming pool. Outside, the park offers a children’s playground, baseball fields, basketball courts, and an athletic field for football or soccer.

Park-goers can play seasonal sports, tennis or table games at the facility. After school 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, Skinner Park hosts fun special events throughout the year for the whole family, such as Family Nights, Pumpkin Patch, tot’s events and Movies in the Park.

Parking/Directions

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

History

In 1848, as the Illinois and Michigan Canal Trustees prepared sale maps for public land to generate revenue that would be used to build the canal, they set aside a 5 ½ acre parcel on what was then the West Side of Chicago to create a small park.  Originally named Jefferson Park, the City’s Bureau of Public Works soon improved the small square with lawn trees and a small lake as its centerpiece. Theodore Dreiser described the park in his famous novel, Sister Carrie.  In this influential work (which was considered immoral at the time) G.W. Hurstwood, a married man, waited for his mistress Carrie Meeber, while she "... found a rustic bench beneath the green leaves of a lilac bush....  At a little pond near by some cleanly dressed children were sailing white canvas boats.  In the shade of a green pagoda a bebuttoned officer of the law was resting, his arms folded."
 
During Chicago’s earliest history, the neighborhood surrounding Jefferson Park was one of Chicago’s most fashionable areas. After the Great Fire of 1871, however, the residential area began to decline, and the park also slowly deteriorated.  The City transferred the site to the West Park Commission in 1885, and the commission substantially improved the small park a few years later.  By the 1910s, many other west side parks had facilities specifically for children, and in 1915 a group of local residents petitioned for a children's playground, wading pool, natatorium, and outdoor gymnasium.  As this project would have required filling in the park's lake, the commissioners decided not pursue it at that time.
 
In 1934, when the West Park Commission was consolidated into the Chicago Park District, the park became known as the “the first Jefferson Park” because the park district also took possession of another site named Jefferson Park on the city’s Northwest side.  The first Jefferson Park remained unchanged until 1955, when it was renamed in honor of the adjacent Mark Skinner School.  One of Chicago’s earliest school inspectors, Mark Skinner (1836   1887) went on to serve as a U.S. attorney for Illinois, and a State Representative.  Soon after its renaming, the park’s lake was filled to make way for ball fields and a playground, to better serve adjacent what is now known as Skinner West Classical Elementary School.  In the mid 1970s, Whitney Young Magnet High School opened just southwest of the park.
 
Over the years, adjacent streets were greened over, and Skinner Park was expanded to slightly more than 7 acres in size.  Recent improvements include a new playground with a climbable created by Phil Schuster and Jennifer Gotowski and the Chicago Public Art Group.
 
Playground Art

Playground Art (1)

Location Notes: Playground

Descriptors: Outdoor, Playground Art

Skinner Diamond

Skinner Diamond

Location Notes: 1331 W. Monroe St.

Skinner Basketball

Skinner Basketball

Location Notes: 1331 W. Monroe St.

Skinner Fieldhouse

Skinner Fieldhouse

Hours: , ,

Skinner Football/Soccer

Skinner Football/Soccer

Location Notes: 1331 W. Monroe St.

Descriptors: Grass

Skinner Gymnasium at Whitney Young H.S.

Skinner Gymnasium at Whitney Young H.S.

Location Notes: 211 S. Loomis St.

Notes: at Whitney Young High School

Skinner Picnic Grove

Skinner Picnic Grove

Location Notes: 1331 W. Monroe St.

Skinner Playground

Skinner PlaygroundAccessible

Notes: Accessible

Descriptors: Rubberized Surface

Skinner Sandboxes

Skinner Sandboxes

Location Notes: 1331 W. Monroe St.

Skinner Water Feature

Skinner Water Feature

Location Notes: 1331 W. Monroe St.

Events

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 register now. Registration is on-going while spots are available. 

  

 

Fall Programs

Fall programs start the week of September 19 and run through the week of November 21.  View programs online & create your wish list beginning Monday, August 1.  Registration dates for our park are:

  • Online registration begins on Tuesday, August 16, 2016 at 9:00am.
  • In-person registration begins on Saturday, August 20, 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
CPD Water Polo Club at Skinner 156329InstructionAquatics - SpecializedAt least 6 but less than 15Coed2016/06/20 23:30From June 20, 2016 to August 25, 2016
Each Monday from 6:30pm to 10pm
Each Tuesday from 6:30pm to 10pm
Each Wednesday from 6:30pm to 10pm
Each Thursday from 6:30pm to 10pm
$75.00
Day Camp at Skinner 156467CampsCamps - General 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
$252.00
Early Bird Camp at Skinner 156573CampsCamps - General InterestAt least 6 but less than 13Coed2016/07/05 13:00From July 5, 2016 to August 12, 2016
Each Monday from 8am to 10am
Each Tuesday from 8am to 10am
Each Wednesday from 8am to 10am
Each Thursday from 8am to 10am
Each Friday from 8am to 10am
$84.00
Extended Camp at Skinner 156660CampsCamps - General InterestAt least 6 but less than 13Coed2016/07/05 21:00From July 5, 2016 to August 12, 2016
Each Monday from 4pm to 6pm
Each Tuesday from 4pm to 6pm
Each Wednesday from 4pm to 6pm
Each Thursday from 4pm to 6pm
Each Friday from 4pm to 6pm
$84.00
Family Swim at Skinner Cancelled159898OpenAquatics - OpenAnyCoed2016/06/24 23:00From June 24, 2016 to August 26, 2016
Each Friday from 6pm to 8pm
$0
Inner City Baseball - Youth at Skinner 156911Individual_LeagueSports - BaseballAt least 9 but less than 13Coed2016/05/30 17:00From May 30, 2016 to August 12, 2016
Each Monday from Noon to 4pm
Each Wednesday from Noon to 4pm
Each Friday from 2pm to 3:30pm
$0
Learn to Swim at Skinner Cancelled157224InstructionAquatics - LessonsAt least 6 but less than 13Coed2016/06/20 21:00From June 20, 2016 to August 22, 2016
Each Monday from 4pm to 5pm
$30.00
Open Swim at Skinner Cancelled157356OpenAquatics - OpenAnyCoed2016/06/20 20:00From June 20, 2016 to August 26, 2016
Each Monday from 3pm to 4pm
Each Monday from 5pm to 6pm
Each Tuesday from 5pm to 6pm
Each Wednesday from 3pm to 4pm
Each Wednesday from 5pm to 6pm
Each Thursday from 5pm to 6pm
Each Friday from 3pm to 4pm
Each Friday from 5pm to 6pm
$0
Private Swim Lessons at Skinner 185115InstructionAquatics - Lessons6 and upCoed2016/07/15 19:00From July 15, 2016 to August 15, 2016
Each Monday from 2pm to 3pm
Each Friday from 2pm to 3pm
$75.00
Sports Camp at Skinner 158246CampsCamps - SportsAt least 6 but less than 13Coed2016/08/15 14:00From August 15, 2016 to August 26, 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
$114.00
Sports Camp at Skinner 158244CampsCamps - SportsAt least 3 but less than 6Coed2016/08/16 14:00From August 16, 2016 to August 25, 2016
Each Tuesday from 9am to Noon
Each Wednesday from 9am to Noon
Each Thursday from 9am to Noon
$72.00
Sports Camp at Skinner 158245CampsCamps - SportsAt least 3 but less than 6Coed2016/08/16 17:30From August 16, 2016 to August 25, 2016
Each Tuesday from 12:30pm to 3:30pm
Each Wednesday from 12:30pm to 3:30pm
Each Thursday from 12:30pm to 3:30pm
$72.00
Teen Camp at Skinner 158361CampsCamps - General InterestAt least 13 but less than 15Coed2016/07/05 13:00From July 5, 2016 to August 12, 2016
Each Monday from 8am to 5pm
Each Tuesday from 8am to 5pm
Each Wednesday from 8am to 5pm
Each Thursday from 8am to 5pm
Each Friday from 8am to 5pm
$281.00
Youth Swim at Skinner Cancelled159885OpenAquatics - OpenAt least 6 but less than 18Coed2016/06/20 21:00From June 21, 2016 to August 26, 2016
Each Tuesday from 4pm to 5pm
Each Wednesday from 4pm to 5pm
Each Thursday from 4pm to 5pm
Each Friday from 4pm to 5pm
From June 20, 2016 to July 1, 2016
Each Monday from 2pm to 3pm
Each Tuesday from 2pm to 3pm
Each Wednesday from 2pm to 3pm
Each Thursday from 2pm to 3pm
Each Friday from 2pm to 3pm
From August 15, 2016 to August 26, 2016
Each Monday from 2pm to 3pm
Each Tuesday from 2pm to 3pm
Each Wednesday from 2pm to 3pm
Each Thursday from 2pm to 3pm
Each Friday from 2pm to 3pm
$0
Youth Swim at Skinner Cancelled159885OpenAquatics - OpenAt least 6 but less than 18Coed2016/06/20 21:00From June 21, 2016 to August 26, 2016
Each Tuesday from 4pm to 5pm
Each Wednesday from 4pm to 5pm
Each Thursday from 4pm to 5pm
Each Friday from 4pm to 5pm
From June 20, 2016 to July 1, 2016
Each Monday from 2pm to 3pm
Each Tuesday from 2pm to 3pm
Each Wednesday from 2pm to 3pm
Each Thursday from 2pm to 3pm
Each Friday from 2pm to 3pm
From August 15, 2016 to August 26, 2016
Each Monday from 2pm to 3pm
Each Tuesday from 2pm to 3pm
Each Wednesday from 2pm to 3pm
Each Thursday from 2pm to 3pm
Each Friday from 2pm to 3pm
$0
Youth Swim at Skinner Cancelled159885OpenAquatics - OpenAt least 6 but less than 18Coed2016/06/20 21:00From June 21, 2016 to August 26, 2016
Each Tuesday from 4pm to 5pm
Each Wednesday from 4pm to 5pm
Each Thursday from 4pm to 5pm
Each Friday from 4pm to 5pm
From June 20, 2016 to July 1, 2016
Each Monday from 2pm to 3pm
Each Tuesday from 2pm to 3pm
Each Wednesday from 2pm to 3pm
Each Thursday from 2pm to 3pm
Each Friday from 2pm to 3pm
From August 15, 2016 to August 26, 2016
Each Monday from 2pm to 3pm
Each Tuesday from 2pm to 3pm
Each Wednesday from 2pm to 3pm
Each Thursday from 2pm to 3pm
Each Friday from 2pm to 3pm
$0

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Description

Located in the Near West Community Area, Skinner Park totals 7.32 acres and features a small fieldhouse. The Park also shares use of the adjacent Whitney Young High where there is access to a gymnasium and indoor swimming pool. Outside, the park offers a children’s playground, baseball fields, basketball courts, and an athletic field for football or soccer.

Park-goers can play seasonal sports, tennis or table games at the facility. After school 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, Skinner Park hosts fun special events throughout the year for the whole family, such as Family Nights, Pumpkin Patch, tot’s events and Movies in the Park.

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

In 1848, as the Illinois and Michigan Canal Trustees prepared sale maps for public land to generate revenue that would be used to build the canal, they set aside a 5 ½ acre parcel on what was then the West Side of Chicago to create a small park.  Originally named Jefferson Park, the City’s Bureau of Public Works soon improved the small square with lawn trees and a small lake as its centerpiece. Theodore Dreiser described the park in his famous novel, Sister Carrie.  In this influential work (which was considered immoral at the time) G.W. Hurstwood, a married man, waited for his mistress Carrie Meeber, while she "... found a rustic bench beneath the green leaves of a lilac bush....  At a little pond near by some cleanly dressed children were sailing white canvas boats.  In the shade of a green pagoda a bebuttoned officer of the law was resting, his arms folded."
 
During Chicago’s earliest history, the neighborhood surrounding Jefferson Park was one of Chicago’s most fashionable areas. After the Great Fire of 1871, however, the residential area began to decline, and the park also slowly deteriorated.  The City transferred the site to the West Park Commission in 1885, and the commission substantially improved the small park a few years later.  By the 1910s, many other west side parks had facilities specifically for children, and in 1915 a group of local residents petitioned for a children's playground, wading pool, natatorium, and outdoor gymnasium.  As this project would have required filling in the park's lake, the commissioners decided not pursue it at that time.
 
In 1934, when the West Park Commission was consolidated into the Chicago Park District, the park became known as the “the first Jefferson Park” because the park district also took possession of another site named Jefferson Park on the city’s Northwest side.  The first Jefferson Park remained unchanged until 1955, when it was renamed in honor of the adjacent Mark Skinner School.  One of Chicago’s earliest school inspectors, Mark Skinner (1836   1887) went on to serve as a U.S. attorney for Illinois, and a State Representative.  Soon after its renaming, the park’s lake was filled to make way for ball fields and a playground, to better serve adjacent what is now known as Skinner West Classical Elementary School.  In the mid 1970s, Whitney Young Magnet High School opened just southwest of the park.
 
Over the years, adjacent streets were greened over, and Skinner Park was expanded to slightly more than 7 acres in size.  Recent improvements include a new playground with a climbable created by Phil Schuster and Jennifer Gotowski and the Chicago Public Art Group.