Located on a ¾-acre lot, Beilfuss Playlot contains a playground and a multi-purpose field. It is located in the Humboldt Park neighborhood (two blocks east of Pulaski Road and 1 ½ blocks north of North Avenue).
While there is no structured programming taking place at this location, we invite you to check out our great programs offered at nearby Mozart Park.
In the early 1900s, Chicago's park commissions began building natatoria, facilities with showers, indoor swimming pools, and gyms, to provide public bathing and recreational opportunities to the city's increasingly crowded neighborhoods. By 1915, Mayor Carter H. Harrison II and the Special Park Commission had hit upon the idea of building natatoria adjacent to city pumping stations to take advantage of excess steam generated there. The Springfield Avenue natatorium, adjacent to the pumping station in the rapidly growing Humboldt Park neighborhood, was one of three such facilities under construction in that year. The others were the Roseland (later Griffith, in Block Park) and Central Park Avenue (Jackson) natatoria. On March 29, 1915, at the suggestion of Mayor Harrison, the Special Park Commission named the new Humboldt Park facility in honor of late ten-term Republican Alderman A.W. Beilfuss (1854-1914). A native of Germany and a printer by trade, Beilfuss was serving as Special Park Commission Chairman at the time of his death. Beilfuss Natatorium was so popular that by 1935, it drew more than 300,000 patrons. During World War II, boys at Beilfuss published a local-interest newspaper that was circulated to former patrons serving in the military around the world. During the same period, the city's Bureau of Parks and Recreation installed a playground adjacent to the natatorium, as well as an athletic field that was flooded for skating in winter. In 1959, the Chicago Park District began to lease the Beilfuss Natatorium and the adjacent parkland from the city. The park district replaced the original play equipment with a new soft surface playground in 1992. In 1998, the outmoded 1915 natatorium was razed. The natatorium site will soon be redeveloped to provide additional outdoor recreational opportunities.
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