Located in the Lakeview community (two blocks south of Irving Park Road, on Sheridan Road slightly west of where Clarendon Avenue and Broadway Street join together), Gill Park sits on 2.41 acres. The fieldhouse is air conditioned and contains a fitness center, indoor swimming pool, gymnasium, assembly hall (with portable stage), kitchen, and several clubrooms for rental. Outside, the park is equipped with a t-ball field and a playground.
Gill Park is one of the sites for the popular Park Kids after school program for youth—with special programming available on school holidays. Teens can make new friends in Teen Club, as tots can do in Play Group. On the cultural side, the park offers arts & crafts, drawing, and painting.
With Gill Park’s focus on fitness, there’s a large variety of aquatics programs—plus Pilates, yoga, walking club, and gymnastics. Sports include basketball, dodgeball, flag- and NERF-football, kickball, seasonal sports, soccer, softball,and volleyball. During the summer, there’s day camp, sports camp—plus baseball instruction/league.
Gill Park honors Lake View resident Joseph L. Gill (1886--1972), a Chicago Park District Commissioner, and local Democratic party leader. Gill served as 46th Ward Democratic Committeeman for more than 60 years. He was chairman of the Democratic County Central Committee from 1950 to 1953, and is said to have engineered Richard J. Daley's first nomination for mayor in 1955. Gill served the public in various capacities, including as controller of the Forest Preserve District beginning in 1919, as Illinois state representative from 1926 to 1930, and as clerk of the Municipal Court for most of the subsequent three decades. In 1960, Mayor Daley appointed Gill to the Chicago Park District Board of Commissioners. Gill was serving as park district vice president at the time of his death in 1972. Two years before, the park district had decided to establish a recreational facility on West Sheridan Road in the densely-populated Lake View neighborhood. By 1972, the site had been acquired with the help of funding from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, and plans had been developed for a multi-story fieldhouse with a swimming pool, a gymnasium, and an assembly hall. Neighbors refer to the impressive structure as the "highrise fieldhouse." The park district installed a new soft surface playground at Gill Park in 1991.