Located in the New City community area, often referred to as “Back of the Yards," Davis Square Park totals 8.88 acres.
The park's fieldhouse holds two gymnasiums, an auditorium, a kitchen, a fitness center and a boxing center. Outside, the park offers baseball fields, basketball courts, an athletic field for football or soccer, an artificial turf field, an outdoor swimming pool, a horseshoe area and a playground with an interactive water spray feature. The playground was renovated in Summer 2014 as part of Mayor Emanuel’s Chicago Plays! Program, and the baseball fields were also renovated in 2014 as part of the Cubs Charities Diamond Project.
Park-goers enjoy coming to Davis Square park for baseball, basketball and seasonal sports 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, Davis Square Park hosts fun special events throughout the year for the whole family, such as holiday parties and Movies in the Park.
Davis Square was one of ten innovative parks which opened in 1905 to provide social services as well as breathing spaces to Chicago's congested tenement districts.
Conceived by South Park Commission superintendent J. Frank Foster, these innovative parks included a new type of building, the fieldhouse, inspired by Chicago's renowned settlement houses. The fieldhouses included classrooms, club and assembly rooms, the earliest branches of the Chicago Public Library, cafeterias, gymnasiums, and locker and public bathing facilities.
Renowned architects D.H. Burnham and Co. designed the buildings and Olmsted Brothers landscape architects laid out the whole system of new parks. In addition to Davis Square, the first ten parks included Mark White, Russell, Armour, and Cornell Squares, and Ogden, Sherman, Palmer, Bessemer, and Hamilton Parks.
Included in Davis Square's classically-designed fieldhouse is a notable mural entitled Constructive Recreation: the Vital Force in Character Building. Painted by William Edouard Scott, an African-American muralist whose work received critical acclaim, it was originally displayed in another south side park.
Davis Square pays tribute to Dr. Nathan Smith Davis (1817- 1904), one of the most significant figures in Chicago's medical history. Dr. Davis served as the chairman of physiology and general pathology for Rush Medical College. He went on to Lind University, forerunner to the medical department of Northwestern University. He was a founder of Mercy Hospital, the Chicago Medical Society, and the American Medical Association. Dr. Davis was also a prolific writer of medical texts and for many years served as editor of the Northwestern Medical Journal.
4430 S. Marshfield Ave.
Chicago, IL 60609