Located in the Auburn Gresham community, Foster Park totals 23.15 acres and features a fitness center, swimming pool, two gymnasiums, a youth wellness center, woodshop, and multi-purpose rooms. Outside, the park offers a soft surface playground, interactive water park, tennis courts, basketball courts, walking/running track, baseball diamonds, and softball diamonds. Many of these spaces are available for rental including our multi-purpose rooms and fields.
Park-goers can participate in the Park Kids after school program, seasonal sports, sewing, walking club and woodcraft. During the summer, youth can participate in the Chicago Park District’s popular six-week day camp.
In addition to programs, Foster Park hosts fun special events throughout the year for the entire family, such as holiday themed events.
Foster Park honors J. Frank Foster (1852-1926), long-time South Park System superintendent and a leader in park management throughout the United States. Having begun as engineer in the 1870s, Foster became superintendent in 1891 when the South Park Commission was preparing for the World's Columbian Exposition to open in Jackson Park two years later. Besides assisting with the fair and transforming its site back into parkland, Foster is credited with developing the nation's first neighborhood parks. Conceived as lovely green "breathing spaces" to provide recreation and social services in the city's most congested tenement districts, the first ten new south side parks opened in 1905. The revolutionary parks included the nation's first fieldhouses and offered public bathing; the city's earliest branch libraries; English lessons and other classes; inexpensive hot meals; health care; and a variety of recreational programs. Foster's concept was so successful that President Theodore Roosevelt declared it "the most important civic achievement in any American city." Shortly after Foster's death in 1926, the South Park Commission decided to name one of its newest projects in his honor. Located in the growing Auburn Gresham community, the site was envisioned as an impressive 30-acre park with many of the features originated by Foster. Unfortunately, the commissioners had to make 50 separate land purchases, and the park developed very slowly. By the early 1930s, Foster Park consisted only of an athletic field, tennis courts, and a comfort station. In 1934, the Great Depression necessitated the consolidation of the city's 22 individual park commissions. The newly-formed Chicago Park District improved Foster Park's landscape and constructed a small recreation building there. Over the years, demands for additional indoor facilities continued. In 1950 the park district constructed an attractive Art Moderne-style fieldhouse, which was designed by the prominent Chicago architectural firm Shaw, Metz & Dolio.
2nd Tuesday of the Month 11:15am