As early as 1960, residents of the growing northwest side Jefferson Park community expressed the need for a playground and softball field in their community. In 1965, the Chicago Park District began leasing four-and-a-half-acres of property in the neighborhood owned by the Board of Education. Playground equipment and a ball diamond were installed the following year. In early 1991, the Board of Education formally transferred the site to the park district, which promptly constructed a new soft surface playground. Installation of new trees and plantings followed in subsequent years. For nearly three decades, the site was known only as Park No. 285. In 1993, the park district officially designated the property Austin-Foster Park, a name commonly used by area residents. The name makes reference to the two adjacent streets, Austin Boulevard and Foster Avenue. Austin Boulevard recognizes Henry W. Austin (1828-1889), who purchased prairie land west of Chicago in 1865 and laid out the town of Austinville (later the city's Austin community) not long thereafter. Foster Avenue honors John H. Foster (1796-1874), a physician and landowner who arrived in Chicago around 1835. Foster served on both the Chicago and Illinois Boards of Education.