Located in the Greater Grand Crossing Community Area, Auburn Park totals 5.35 acres and is a tranquil oasis in the heart of the city. This park offers a lagoon, a waterfall and benches. In this green space, popular activities park patrons and their families participate in are fishing and picnics.
Created as part of a speculative real estate development, Auburn Park lies within an area once known as Cummorn. Much of the property in this area was owned by William B. Ogden, Chicago's first mayor and early real estate promoter. A marshy area, the land originally drained seven miles southeast into the Calumet River. The first railroad line was constructed in 1852, and by the early 1870s, three other railroads ran through the community. Railroad workers began building homes in the area, and in 1872, the Auburn settlement was platted. The area was purchased in the 1870s by Eggleston, Mallette, and Brownell real estate speculators, who subdivided, drained, and began developing the land. Within several years, a second group of real estate developers, Sanford McKnight, Henry Mather and Alfred Manning, purchased the property. Sometime between the 1870s and 1890s, one of the two groups of developers created Auburn Park, an 8-acre landscape with a meandering lagoon, a remnant of the site's original wetlands. The park helped to establish the area as an attractive and desirable community. In 1887, the Auburn Park Subdivision created this private park. In 1889, the Auburn community was annexed with Chicago. The following year, the city began maintaining the park, although it was still privately owned. Local residents wanted the site to become a public park. Between 1911 and 1913, the Auburn Park Improvement Association acquired and transferred the park to the city. The deed included covenants requiring that the land will forever be used as a park; the park and lagoon will always be maintained; and the name Auburn Park will never be changed. Considered the "beauty spot of Auburn," the park has long provided a calm refuge from the "weary" city. Auburn Park was transferred from the City to the Chicago Park District in 1957 pursuant to the Chicago Park and City Exchange of Functions Act. The Chicago Department of Transportation restored the parks historic bridges in the late 1990s.