This small playground is located in the Armour Square Community. The park is 0.43 acres and it includes a covered sitting area, a playground and xaingqi (Chinese Chess) tables. The playground was renovated in 2015 as part of the Chicago Plays! Program.
While no structured programs are offered at this location, we invite you to visit nearby Haines Park and enjoy the gymnasium, fitness center and scheduled activities.
Around 1912, when rents began to climb in Chicago's original Chinese settlement on South Clark Street, the Armour Square neighborhood quickly became the second home to the city's Chinese population. The On Leong tong ("benevolent association") helped to relocate community residents by arranging long-term leases for its members around 22nd Street (Cermak Road) and Wentworth Avenue.
The new China Town has provided a gateway for Chinese immigrants to the midwest ever since. Construction of the Dan Ryan and Stevenson Expressways in the 1950s left scars on China Town and other parts of the Armour Square neighborhood. To compensate for razing two small parks to make room for the highways, the city began developing a strip of vacant land alongside the Stevenson as a new park for China Town.
After Neighborhood Redevelopment Assistance, Inc., purchased and donated the property to the city in the mid-1970s, the site was improved with trees, a small pool, a playground, a sandbox, and permanent game tables. The Chicago Park District began leasing the park in 1975, and took full ownership in 1977. Recent improvements include a soft surface playground.
In 1977, the park was officially named the Sun Yat Sen Children's Park in honor of Sun Yat Sen (1866-1925), a Chinese revolutionary and statesman. Known as the father of modern China, Sun was born in southern China's Kwangtung province and educated in Western schools in Hawaii and Hong Kong.
As a young man, Sun became disillusioned with the ruling Ch'ing dynasty, and began plotting a Chinese revolution in the late 1800s. Sun played a pivotal role in overthrowing the Manchus in 1911, and served as China's first provisional president in 1911-1912.
As the leader of the Kuomintang (Nationalist Party), he also acted as the nation's de facto ruler from 1923 to 1925. In 1977, the District 300 of Lions International and the Republic of China donated a bust of Sun Yat Sen that further underscores his efforts to bring freedom and democracy to China.