Located in the Uptown community (two blocks east of Sheridan Road, two blocks south of Wilson Avenue, and just west of Lake Shore drive), Clarendon Community Center Park sits on over eight acres of land. The fieldhouse contains a fitness center, a gymnasium, and several clubrooms available for rental. Outside features two junior baseball and two softball fields, a two-hoop basketball court, new dog-friendly area and a playground with an interactive water play area.
The park staff offers a variety of recreation opportunities, particularly for older children and adults. However, Tot Spot is available for toddlers. Youth can enjoy basketball, cheerleading, drop-in, Junior Bears football, karate, seasonal sports—and the popular six-week, summer day camp. Programs for teens include basketball, drop-in, seasonal sports—and Teen Leadership Club during the summer. Adults can partake in basketball, dodgeball, the fitness center, soccer, and volleyball. Kuumba Lynx is the Arts Partner In Residence, which provides the following programming at the park: Poetry, Graffiti Art, Hip Hop, and skateboarding. Special events at Clarendon Park include an annual Easter Egg Hunt plus an outdoor Movie in the Park.
Swimming programs are available at the nearby Uplift High School.
Clarendon Community Center takes its name from the adjoining avenue, honoring English statesman Edward Hyde (1609-1674), first Earl of Clarendon. Clarendon originated as a municipal beach. During the 19th century, Lake Michigan was rarely used for swimming because the heavily polluted Chicago River flowed into it. The new Sanitary Canal corrected the problem in 1900, and the Health Department began creating municipal beaches to provide the city's growing population with access to swimming as well as showers and changing facilities. In 1905, the city's Special Park Commission took over management of municipal beaches. Several years later, the commission began planning a state-of-the-art facility, visiting well-known municipal beaches throughout the nation such as Belle Isle Beach, Detroit; the New York City Beach at Coney Island; and the Atlantic City Bath Houses. In 1916, the city opened the Clarendon Municipal Beach, featuring an impressive brick building with two stately towers, separate open-air locker areas for men and women, and two smaller buildings housing a laundry and a children's playroom. Accommodating more than 9,000 swimmers and a promenade for thousands of spectators, the facility provided bathing suits, towels, and lockers for the charge of ten cents per adult. The beach remained popular until the late 1930s, when the Chicago Park District expanded Lincoln Park north to Foster Avenue, thereby eliminating Clarendon's lake frontage. At that time, the city converted the facility into a community center, adding gymnasiums, club rooms, a playground, and an athletic field. The Chicago Park District assumed ownership of the Clarendon Community Center in 1959. A major renovation project in 1972 resulted in the removal of the building's most distinguishing features such as its tile roof and towers. In recent years, the park district has made the building accessible to people with disabilities, and upgraded the ball fields and playground.
4th Wednesday of the month at 6:45p.m.
900 W Wilson Ave.
Chicago, IL 60640