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: Playground Art

Skinner Diamond

Skinner Diamond

Location Notes: 1331 W. Monroe St.

Descriptors: Softball

Skinner Basketball

Skinner Basketball

Location Notes: 1331 W. Monroe St.

Descriptors: Lighted

Skinner Park Community Garden

Skinner Park Community Garden

Location Notes: 1331 W. Monroe

Notes: Community Garden

Descriptors: Ornamental

Skinner Fieldhouse

Skinner Fieldhouse

Hours: , ,

Skinner Football/Soccer

Skinner Football/Soccer

Location Notes: 1331 W. Monroe St.

Descriptors: Junior

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

Location Notes: 1331 W. Monroe St.

Notes: Accessible

Skinner Sandboxes

Skinner Sandboxes

Location Notes: 1331 W. Monroe St.

Skinner Water Feature

Skinner Water Feature

Location Notes: 1331 W. Monroe St.

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 Tuesday, February 23, 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 Skinner 127452Activity_PackageOut of School Programs - After SchoolAt least 5 but less than 13Coed2015/09/08 20:00From September 8, 2015 to June 17, 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
$642.00
Name Number Type Category Ages Gender Dates Fee
Adult Swim at Skinner 136231OpenAquatics - Open18 and upCoed2016/01/05 03:00From January 4, 2016 to March 11, 2016
Each Monday from 9pm to 9:45pm
Each Wednesday from 9pm to 9:45pm
Each Friday from 9pm to 9:45pm
$0
Art & ABCs at Skinner 136418InstructionEarly Childhood - RecreationAt least 3 but less than 6Coed2016/01/06 17:30From January 6, 2016 to March 9, 2016
Each Wednesday from 11:30am to 12:15pm
$26.00
Basketball - Open at Skinner 136635OpenSports - BasketballAt least 13 but less than 18Coed2016/01/09 00:00From January 8, 2016 to March 12, 2016
Each Friday from 6pm to 7:30pm
Each Saturday from 2pm to 3:30pm
$0
Basketball at Skinner 136752InstructionSports - BasketballAt least 8 but less than 13Coed2016/01/05 22:00From January 5, 2016 to February 9, 2016
Each Tuesday from 4pm to 5pm
$0
Basketball at Skinner 136751InstructionSports - BasketballAt least 8 but less than 12Coed2016/01/06 22:30From January 6, 2016 to March 9, 2016
Each Wednesday from 4:30pm to 7pm
$0
Basketball at Skinner 136750InstructionSports - BasketballAt least 6 but less than 10Coed2016/01/09 18:00From January 9, 2016 to March 12, 2016
Each Saturday from Noon to 2pm
$41.00
Baton & Pom Pom at Skinner 136831InstructionSports - CheerleadingAt least 6 but less than 12Coed2016/01/04 22:15From January 4, 2016 to March 9, 2016
Each Monday from 4:15pm to 5:30pm
Each Wednesday from 4:15pm to 5:30pm
$41.00
Bitty Basketball at Skinner 136880InstructionSports - BasketballAt least 3 but less than 6Coed2016/01/09 15:00From January 9, 2016 to March 12, 2016
Each Saturday from 9am to 9:45am
$61.00
CPD Water Polo Club at Skinner 151348InstructionAquatics - Specialized13 and upCoed2016/01/05 01:00From January 4, 2016 to March 16, 2016
Each Monday from 7pm to 9pm
Each Wednesday from 7pm to 9pm
$75.00
CPD Water Polo League at Skinner 137116Individual_LeagueAquatics - Specialized15 and upCoed2016/01/06 01:00From January 5, 2016 to March 10, 2016
Each Tuesday from 7pm to 9:45pm
Each Thursday from 7pm to 9:45pm
$35.00
Family Swim at Skinner 137296OpenAquatics - OpenAnyCoed2016/01/09 19:00From January 9, 2016 to March 12, 2016
Each Saturday from 1pm to 2pm
$0
Indoor Soccer at Skinner 137708InstructionSports - SoccerAt least 3 but less than 6Coed2016/01/09 16:00From January 9, 2016 to March 12, 2016
Each Saturday from 10am to 10:45am
$61.00
Inner City Basketball at Skinner 137745Individual_LeagueSports - BasketballAt least 9 but less than 12Coed2016/02/02 23:00From February 2, 2016 to March 8, 2016
Each Tuesday from 5pm to 6:30pm
$0
Learn to Swim at Skinner 151346InstructionAquatics - Lessons18 and upCoed2016/01/09 01:00From January 8, 2016 to March 11, 2016
Each Friday from 7pm to 8pm
$28.00
Learn to Swim at Skinner 138010InstructionAquatics - LessonsAt least 6 but less than 13Coed2016/01/09 01:00From January 8, 2016 to March 11, 2016
Each Friday from 7pm to 8pm
$28.00
Learn to Swim at Skinner 151345InstructionAquatics - LessonsAt least 6 but less than 13Coed2016/01/09 17:00From January 9, 2016 to March 12, 2016
Each Saturday from 11am to Noon
$28.00
Learn to Swim at Skinner 138015InstructionAquatics - LessonsAt least 6 but less than 13Coed2016/01/09 18:00From January 9, 2016 to March 12, 2016
Each Saturday from Noon to 1pm
$28.00
Line Dance at Skinner 138050InstructionCulture and Arts - Dance60 and upCoed2016/01/08 21:30From January 8, 2016 to March 11, 2016
Each Friday from 3:30pm to 4:45pm
$0
Open Swim at Skinner 138286OpenAquatics - OpenAnyCoed2016/01/09 20:00From January 9, 2016 to March 12, 2016
Each Friday from 8pm to 9pm
Each Saturday from 2pm to 2:45pm
$0
Park Kids - Winter Session at Skinner 138413InstructionOut of School Programs - After SchoolAt least 5 but less than 13Coed2016/01/04 21:00From January 4, 2016 to March 18, 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
$214.00
Soccer at Skinner 138935InstructionSports - SoccerAt least 8 but less than 13Coed2016/02/16 22:00From February 16, 2016 to March 10, 2016
Each Tuesday from 4pm to 5pm
Each Thursday from 4pm to 5pm
$0
T-Ball at Skinner 139051InstructionSports - BaseballAt least 3 but less than 5Coed2016/01/08 00:00From January 7, 2016 to March 10, 2016
Each Thursday from 6pm to 6:45pm
Except the following dates:
Thursday, February 11, 2016
$61.00
TEAM Sports at Skinner 151362InstructionAquatics - SpecializedAt least 6 but less than 18Coed2016/01/05 01:00From January 4, 2016 to March 23, 2016
Each Monday from 7pm to 8pm
Each Wednesday from 7pm to 8pm
$28.00
Tennis at Skinner 139234InstructionSports - TennisAt least 3 but less than 6Coed2016/01/09 17:00From January 9, 2016 to March 12, 2016
Each Saturday from 11am to 11:45am
$61.00
Tiny Tot Swim - Level I at Skinner 139368InstructionAquatics - LessonsAt least but less than 3y 1m Coed2016/01/09 15:00From January 9, 2016 to March 12, 2016
Each Saturday from 9am to 10am
$32.00
Tiny Tot Swim - Level II at Skinner 151347InstructionAquatics - LessonsAt least 3 but less than 6Coed2016/01/09 16:00From January 9, 2016 to March 12, 2016
Each Saturday from 10am to 11am
$32.00
Tiny Tot Tumbling at Skinner 139473InstructionGymnastics - TumblingAt least 3 but less than 5Coed2016/01/05 00:00From January 4, 2016 to March 7, 2016
Each Monday from 6pm to 6:45pm
$61.00
Volleyball at Skinner 139656InstructionSports - VolleyballAt least 8 but less than 13Coed2016/01/05 23:00From January 5, 2016 to February 11, 2016
Each Tuesday from 5pm to 6pm
Each Thursday from 5pm to 6pm
$0
Yoga at Skinner 139797InstructionWellness - Yoga18 and upCoed2016/01/05 01:00From January 4, 2016 to March 7, 2016
Each Monday from 7pm to 7:45pm
$26.00

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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.