This small playground is located in the North Center neighborhood (three blocks south of Belmont Avenue, 1 ½ blocks west of Ashland Avenue). While there is no structured programming taking place at this location, we invite you to check out our great programs offered nearby at Hamlin Park.
In 1973, the Chicago Park District began creating a small park in the North Center community, at the urging of the Lake View Citizen's Council. Using funds from the Illinois Department of Conservation's Open Space Lands Acquisition Program and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the park district purchased a vacant lot on West Nelson Street. Within a few years, the park district had improved the property with an asphalt-surfaced playground. Further upgrades came in 1989, with the installation of a tree-edged, soft-surface playground. In 2000, the Ravenswood/Lakeview Historical Society requested that this park be named in honor of William A. Wieboldt (1857-1954), founder of an extensive chain of neighborhood department stores. One of its flagship stores, located at the corner of Lincoln and Belmont Avenues, stood less than two blocks from the park site. It was in the Lincoln Belmont store that Wieboldt maintained his office for many years. Born near Cuxhaven, Germany, in 1857, Wieboldt came to Chicago at the age of 14. In 1883, Wieboldt and his wife, Anna Louisa Kruger, used $2,600 in savings to open a general store on Indiana Avenue (now Grand Avenue), near Ashland Avenue. This was the first establishment in what would become a 13-store chain covering the entire Chicago area. Using profits from his successful neighborhood stores, Wieboldt established a philanthropic foundation in 1921. His initial gift of $5 million was a considerable endowment at the time, and Chicago's charitable, civic, and educational organizations have reaped the benefits ever since.