Located in the Chatham community, Cole Park totals 5.86 acres and features a multi-purpose clubroom. Outside, the park offers a playground, softball diamonds, basketball courts, horseshoe court. Many of these spaces are available for rental including our ball fields.
Park-goers can participate in Park Kids seasonal sports, Teen Club, Senior Club. After school programs are offered throughout the school year, and in the summer youth attend the Chicago Park District’s popular six-week day camp. Specialty camps are offered in the summer as well, and include dance and sports camp.
In addition to programs, Cole Park hosts fun special events throughout the year for the entire family including holiday-themed events.
The Chicago Park District purchased this property in 1961 at the request of local residents who saw a need for additional recreational space in their under-served Chatham community. Park improvements, including a field house, began almost immediately. In 1967, the park district named the site Cole Park for American pianist and singer Nat King Cole (1919-1965). Born Nathaniel Adams Coles in Montgomery, Alabama, Cole grew up in Chicago, where his father was pastor of the True Light Baptist Church, not far from the park site. Cole learned to play the piano early, and organized a 14-piece band while in high school. Cole went on to become one of America's most popular singers. His hits included "Straighten Up and Fly Right" (1944), "The Christmas Song" (1946), "Route 66" (1946), "Nature Boy" (1948), "Unforgettable" (1950), and "Mona Lisa" (1950). His 1956 album, Around Midnight, demonstrated his extraordinary talents as a jazz pianist. In 1957, Cole became the first African-American to host his own weekly network television show.
In 2009, the Cole Park Advisory Council began a major fund-raising campaign to support the development of a new playground for the park. The president of the Advisory Council Thomas Wortham IV (1980 – 2010), spearheaded the campaign. Sadly, the following year, Wortham was murdered during an attempted robbery in the neighborhood near the park. Wortham was a Chicago police officer who made great contributions to the park and surrounding community. After his tragic death, the Chicago Park District, Chicago Police Department, Fraternal Order of the Police, Cole Park Advisory Council, Friends of the Parks, Children’s Memorial Hospital, and Wortham family came together to fully fund the $300,000 playground. The Officer Thomas Wortham IV Playground was dedicated in Cole Park in October of 2011.
2nd Wednesday of the month