Located in the East Rogers Park community, Loyola Beach hosts many recreation programs as well as a nearly 2/3-mile walking trail along the beautiful beach and Lake Michigan.
No distance swimming is available, see Leone Beach for info on nearest distance swimming.
Loyola Park was the sole park created by the North Shore Park District, one of 22 independent park boards consolidated into the Chicago Park District in 1934.
Unlike most of these park boards, the North Shore Park District, formed in 1900, was at first interested only in enhancing the area through boulevard improvements along Sheridan Road, Pratt Boulevard and Ashland Avenue. By 1905, however, public pressure had prompted the district to consider park development.
The North Shore Park District spent several years mulling its options. In 1909, at the urging of the Rogers Park Woman's Club, they determined to concentrate resources on purchasing land for a single beachfront park and boating basin known as North Shore Park. Shortly thereafter, noted landscape architect and engineer O.C. Simonds developed plans for a pier at the site, but these were never realized.
By 1917, the North Shore Park District had acquired more than nine acres of lakeshore property. A small field house, built in 1923, provided game and club rooms. Playfields were flooded for ice skating in winter; in 1929, the local American Legion post erected a shelter house for skaters.
The Chicago Park District took over in 1934. Several years later, local residents asked that North Shore Park be renamed. The Chicago Park District agreed, and held a contest to choose a new name.
Neighborhood residents favored the name Loyola Park, for nearby Loyola University. The Jesuits began to develop the university in 1906, when they purchased a 20-acre site between Devon and Loyola Avenues. During the 1930s, Loyola raised its neighborhood profile substantially by constructing a number of dramatic Art Deco buildings, including the Madonna della Strada Chapel.
Around 1950, the Chicago Park District more than doubled the size of Loyola Park and built a new field house with an adjacent grandstand. Another half-acre was added in 1971, bringing the size of Loyola Park to more than 21.5 acres.