Located in the Armour Square Community Area, Armour Square Park totals 8.98 acres. Many Chicagoans know Armour Square as the park across the street from the Chicago White Sox stadium. The fieldhouse features a fitness center, two gymnasiums and an auditorium, along with meeting rooms.
Outside, the park offers junior and senior baseball fields, an athletic field for football and soccer, tennis courts, a playground and an outdoor pool. The playground was renovated in Fall 2013 as part of the Chicago Plays! playground initiative. Many of these spaces are available for rental.
Park-goers come to Armour Square for baseball or volleyball or to exercise in the fitness center. After school programs are offered throughout the school year, and in the summer youth attend the Park District’s popular six-week day camp. In addition to programs, Armour Square Park hosts fun special events throughout the year for the whole family, such as egg hunts, holiday parties and Movies in the Park.
The South Park Commissioners acquired the land for this park in 1904. In 1906, the year after Armour Square opened to the public, President Theodore Roosevelt described the square and nine other related properties as "the most notable civic achievement in any American city." The South Park Commission created the ten new innovative parks to improve the difficult living conditions in Chicago's congested tenement districts. Nationally renowned landscape architects the Olmsted Brothers and architects Daniel H. Burnham and Co. designed the entire system. The South Park Commission was one of 22 independent park commissions consolidated into the Chicago Park District in 1934.
The first ten included five squares smaller than ten acres in size, and five parks larger than ten acres. In addition to Armour Square, these were Mark White, Russell, Davis and Cornell Squares, and Ogden, Sherman, Palmer, Bessemer and Hamilton Parks. These properties soon influenced the development of other parks throughout the nation.
Armour Square was named to honor Philip D. Armour (1832-1901), Chicago's "captain of industry." Owner and operator of the largest meat-packing company in the world, Armour donated a large amount of his fortune to charitable and educational institutions. These included a settlement house, the Armour Mission, and a school known as the Armour Institute of Technology, later renamed the Illinois Institute of Technology.