Located in the Oakland Community, Kennicott Park totals 2.91 acres and features a field house, formerly the home of the Judd Elementary School. The field house offers a gymnasium, an art room, a fitness center, a kitchen, a dance studio and conference rooms. Outside, the park offers a small athletic field and playground that was renovated in Summer 2014 as part of the Chicago Plays! Program.
Many of these spaces are available for rental. Kennicott Park is the site for several community-based partnerships that provide programs for children and adults.
Park-goers come to Kennicott Park to play basketball and table games 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. Specialty camps are offered in the summer as well include cooking programs and doll camp.
In addition to programs, Kennicott Park hosts fun special events throughout the year for the whole family, such as Movies in the Park at nearby Gwendolyn Brooks Park, Halloween activities and other Night Out in the Parks events.
To view a few of the fabulous park programs, click on the multimedia tab!
Kennicott Park came into being in 1990 when the Board of Education transferred Judd Elementary School to the Chicago Park District. The park district now operates the former school building in partnership with other city agencies and non-profit organizations, providing a wide array of programs and services to the previously under-served Kenwood neighborhood.
Kenwood was founded in 1856 by Dr. Jonathan A. Kennicott (1824-1893), from whom the park takes its name. A native New Yorker, Kennicott graduated from Chicago's Rush Medical College in 1843 and practiced dentistry in Milwaukee for several years before returning to Chicago. Kennicott's estate, named Kenwood for his mother's birthplace in Scotland, stood on Dorchester Street at 48th Street. The fashionable Kenwood community soon became known as the "Lake Forest of the South Side."