Promontory Point in Burnham Park
Promontory Point in Burnham Park
McCormick Bird and Butterfly Sanctuary in Burnham Park
McCormick Bird and Butterfly Sanctuary in Burnham Park
12th Street Beach in Burnham Park
12th Street Beach in Burnham Park
Northerly Island in Burnahm Park
Northerly Island in Burnham Park
31st Street Harbor Playground Ariel View
Ariel View of the new 31st Street Harbor Playground!
Location:

1200-5700 S. Jean-Baptiste Pointe DuSable Lake Shore Drive
Chicago, IL 60615

Supervisor: Wanda Norris (Ellis Park)
Phone Numbers: Main (312) 742-5369 (permits only)

 

Hours

Park Hours
Weekday Time slot Comment
Sunday: 6:00 am-11:00 pm
Monday: 6:00 am-11:00 pm
Tuesday: 6:00 am-11:00 pm
Wednesday: 6:00 am-11:00 pm
Thursday: 6:00 am-11:00 pm
Friday: 6:00 am-11:00 pm
Saturday: 6:00 am-11:00 pm

Description

Burnham Park totals 653.63 acres and sits on Chicago’s Lakefront just south of Grant Park. The park was named for Chicago's famous architect and planner Daniel H. Burnham, who envisioned a south lakefront park with a series of manmade islands, linear boating harbor, beaches, meadows, and playfields, as published in his seminal The Plan of Chicago of 1909.

Today, Burnham Park features the naturalistic Promontory Point designed by Alfred Caldwell, multiple natural areas, and a popular skate park at 31st Street. Several beaches are located within Burnham Park at 12th St., 31st St. (Burroughs), 41st St. (Oakwood), and 57th St.

 

History

In the mid-1890s, Chicago's famous architect and planner Daniel H. Burnham began sketching a magnificent park and boulevard system that would link Jackson Park with downtown. As Chief of Construction for the World's Columbian Exposition of 1893, Burnham (1846- 1912) had transformed sandy, wind-swept, Jackson Park into the glistening White City. After the fair, Burnham began imagining a more beautiful, orderly, and functional Chicago. Burnham's vision, including a south lakefront park with a series of manmade islands, linear boating harbor, beaches, meadows, and play fields, was published in his seminal 1909 Plan of Chicago. The Plan included lakefront parkland and five islands off the lakeshore. Unfortunately, the five islands were not realized only Island No. 1 was constructed, now known as Northerly Island.

The South Park Commissioners began acquiring property for the new park in 1885, it took time to complete. There was land acquisition from private parties and drawn out disputes with the Illinois Central Railroad over riparian rights.  Pursuant to a City 1919 ordinance, the South Commissioners Park came in possession of approximately 60 acres of reclaimed land, the ordinance also granted the City’s 10 acre “East End Park”.  Additional property rights and government approvals were finally secured in 1920, and voters approved a $20 million bond issue to create the park.  The land creation by landfill took several years.  By the time, the park was named in honor of Daniel Burnham Park in 1927, only the northern part of the site had been filled.

During this period, the South Park Commissioners planned for a stadium on the lakefront.  In a letter dated, August 11, 1919 “The South Park Commissioners of Chicago invite you to enter a limited competition for the commission to prepare working plans and specifications for the construction of a stadium on the Lake Front”.  Their decision, as a committee, was announced December 1, 1919, having selected the plans drawn by Holabird and Roche as the best design submitted.  By virtue of this award, Holabird and Roche were employed to design Soldier Field.  The building is “U” shaped, of gray Benedict cast stone executed in early Greek style of architecture.  Soldier Field was formally dedicated on November 27, 1926.

Burnham Park became part of the Chicago Park District, in 1934 by virtue of the Park Consolidation Act. In 1933 and 1934, the Century of Progress, Chicago's second World's Fair took place in Burnham Park. In the mid-1930s, the newly created Chicago Park District used federal funds from the Works Progress Administration to complete landfill operations and improve Burnham Park, including the naturalistic Promontory Point landscape by renowned designer Alfred Caldwell.  In 1935, Mayor Edward J. Kelly began pursuing the idea of a permanent fair in Burnham Park. To facilitate this, the State passed a bill creating the Metropolitan Fair and Exposition Authority.

In 1939, the Chicago Park District Administration Building, located at the north end of Soldier Field was completed.  In 2001, Chicago Park District Administration offices were relocated to 541 N. Fairbanks Court, and the Park District Administration Building was razed, to make way for the rehabilitation of Soldier Field and the transformation of a beautifully landscaped Museum Campus.  

The legislation allowed the construction of Merrill C. Meigs Airport in 1946 and the McCormick Place convention hall in 1960. The original McCormick Place burned down in 1967, and despite opposition, a new facility opened in Burnham Park in 1971. In recent years, Mayor Richard M. Daley's vision for a greener, more beautiful Burnham Park has begun taking shape. Sixty acres of asphalt were transformed into a landscaped Museum Campus. Moreover, the former Meigs Field has been transformed into a 119 acre park with a natural area, known as Northerly Island where park patrons can enjoy a paved all-purpose trail. Birders catch glimpses of migrating birds in the fall and spring seasons, while anglers can find the perfect fishing spot. 

Advisory Council

Contact: Charzele Lawson,   President
Meeting Details:

3rd Monday of the month at 6:30pm

Parking/Directions

Metered parking is available in nearby lots.  Get rates and additional information.

For directions using public transportation visit www.transitchicago.com.

Map & Facilities

David Wallach Memorial Fountain

Burnham Wildlife Corridor - Burnham Nature Sanctuary

47th St. and Cornell Dr.
Chicago, IL 60615
United States

Destino | Artwork

5491 S. Jean-Baptiste Pointe DuSable Lake Shore Drive
Chicago, IL 60615
United States

Burnham Fitness Course

3900 S. Jean-Baptiste Pointe DuSable Lake Shore Drive
Chicago, IL 60653
United States

:

Margaret T. Burroughs Beach

3100 S. Jean-Baptiste Pointe DuSable Lake Shore Drive
Chicago, IL 60616
United States

:

Don't Feed the Seagulls | Artwork

31st Street Harbor Water Spray Feature

3155 S. Jean-Baptiste Pointe DuSable Lake Shore Drive
Chicago, IL 60615
United States

:

31st Street Harbor

3155 S. Jean-Baptiste Pointe DuSable Lake Shore Drive
Chicago, IL 60615
United States

:
(312) 225-6464

George Halas Memorial

American Doughboy | Monument

Gold Star Family Memorial

Balbo Monument

La Ronda Parakata | Artwork

Burnham 31st Street Skate Park

Looking Up | Artwork

Burnham Harbor

1559 S. Jean-Baptiste Pointe DuSable Lake Shore Drive
Chicago, IL 60615
United States

:
(312) 747-7009

Mermaid | Artwork

Burnham Park - Boat Drinks | Concession

600 E Waldron Dr
Chicago, IL 60605
United States

:
(312) 838-0544

Sankofa for the Earth | Artwork

Burnham Playground-4700 S. Jean-Baptiste Pointe DuSable Lake Shore Drive

4700 S. Jean-Baptiste Pointe DuSable Lake Shore Drive
Chicago, IL 60615
United States

Set in Stone | Artwork

Burnham Playground-5400 S. Jean-Baptiste Pointe DuSable Lake Shore Drive

5400 S. Jean-Baptiste Pointe DuSable Lake Shore Drive
Chicago, IL 60615
United States

Soldier Field Children's Garden

Burnham Playground-on Museum Campus

500 E. Mc Fetridge Dr.
Chicago, IL 60615
United States

Sounding Bronzeville | Artwork

Burnham Wildlife Corridor

Lakefront Trail
Chicago, IL 60616
United States

Special Olympics Memorial

Caracol | Artwork

Tribute to Freedom and Water Wall | Artwork

Chicago Firefighter and Paramedic Memorial

You Are Beautiful | Artwork

Cornell Garden Oasis

4850 S. Cornell Dr
Chicago, IL 60615
United States

Burnham Wildlife Corridor - Burnham Centennial Prairie

2616 South Shields Avenue
Chicago, IL 60616
United States

Looking Up
Looking Up | Artwork Show on Map
Burnham Fitness Course

3900 S. Jean-Baptiste Pointe DuSable Lake Shore Drive
Chicago, IL 60653
United States

Show on Map
default image
Burnham Wildlife Corridor

Lakefront Trail
Chicago, IL 60616
United States

Show on Map
Mermaid
Mermaid | Artwork Show on Map
default image
31st Street Harbor Water Spray Feature

3155 S. Jean-Baptiste Pointe DuSable Lake Shore Drive
Chicago, IL 60615
United States

Show on Map
A mother and daughter play in the sand at Margaret T. Burroughs beach.
Margaret T. Burroughs Beach

3100 S. Jean-Baptiste Pointe DuSable Lake Shore Drive
Chicago, IL 60616
United States

Show on Map
Caracol
Caracol | Artwork Show on Map
default image
31st Street Harbor

3155 S. Jean-Baptiste Pointe DuSable Lake Shore Drive
Chicago, IL 60615
United States

  • :
    (312) 225-6464
Show on Map
Cornell Garden Oasis
Cornell Garden Oasis

4850 S. Cornell Dr
Chicago, IL 60615
United States

Show on Map
Balbo Monument
Balbo Monument Show on Map
Destino
Destino | Artwork

5491 S. Jean-Baptiste Pointe DuSable Lake Shore Drive
Chicago, IL 60615
United States

Show on Map
default image
Burnham Harbor

1559 S. Jean-Baptiste Pointe DuSable Lake Shore Drive
Chicago, IL 60615
United States

  • :
    (312) 747-7009
Show on Map
default image
Burnham Park - Boat Drinks | Concession

600 E Waldron Dr
Chicago, IL 60605
United States

  • :
    (312) 838-0544
Show on Map
George Halas Memorial
George Halas Memorial Show on Map
default image
Burnham Playground-4700 S. Jean-Baptiste Pointe DuSable Lake Shore Drive

4700 S. Jean-Baptiste Pointe DuSable Lake Shore Drive
Chicago, IL 60615
United States

Show on Map
default image
Burnham Wildlife Corridor - Burnham Centennial Prairie

2616 South Shields Avenue
Chicago, IL 60616
United States

Show on Map
Burnham Playground-5400 S Lake Shore Dr
Burnham Playground-5400 S. Jean-Baptiste Pointe DuSable Lake Shore Drive

5400 S. Jean-Baptiste Pointe DuSable Lake Shore Drive
Chicago, IL 60615
United States

Show on Map
Burnham Wildlife Corridor - Burnham Nature Sanctuary

47th St. and Cornell Dr.
Chicago, IL 60615
United States

Show on Map
default image
Burnham Playground-on Museum Campus

500 E. Mc Fetridge Dr.
Chicago, IL 60615
United States

Show on Map