Located in the Avalon neighborhood, Lorraine Dixon Park totals 6.72 acres and is a recreational destination enjoyed by park patrons and their families to picnic and enjoy nature. This site contains a playground with slides, swings and climbing equipment.
In the 1880s, Samuel E. Gross, a real estate speculator who has been considered the P.T. Barnum of working-class communities, began developing the Dauphin Park Subdivision. Donating a long strip of land to the city as parkland, Gross named the park, adjacent street, and entire developmentin honor of Dauphin County, Pennsylvania, derived from the title for the first born and heir to the throne of France. Although the Dauphin Park community was soon settled by Hungarian and Irish railroad workers, the parkland remained largely unimproved for many years. In 1913, the city's Special Park Commission finally began extensive work on the 5-acre strip, constructing a drainage system and filling and grading the land. Within the next few years, lawn, trees, and shrubs were planted, and tennis courts installed. By the 1940s, the city created a skating pond in the center of the parkway during wintertime. As many as 4,790 people skated there per season. In 1959, the city turned Dauphin Park over to the Chicago Park District along with more than 250 other properties. After adding a children's playground in the 1960s, the park district created a basketball court and made substantial landscape improvements a decade later. In 2005, the Chicago Park District renamend the park inhonor of Lorraine Dixon. Lorraine L. Dixon (1950- 2001) was an energetic Chicago alderman who committed her life to public service and transcended racial and gender barriers. After receiving a Bachelor’s of Science Degree from Chicago State University in 1972, Lorraine began working as an instructor at the Chicago Urban Skills Institute and went on to work in the City of Chicago’s Department of Human Services.She became the City’s Chief Zoning Administrator, and later, Chief of Staff for the City Council Committee on Energy. In 1990, Mayor Richard M. Daley appointed Ms. Dixon to fill the remainder of the late Alderman Caldwell’s term as alderman of the 8thWard. The following year, she won was elected for a second term, and also went to serve a third term.As Alderman, she was extremely involved in her community— leading clean-up campaigns and anti-crime marches and serving as Grand Marshal of the Annual Back-to-School Parade. In 1994, she was the first woman to head the City Council Committee on Budget and Government Operations. She also served as Chairman of the Subcommittee on MBE/WBE and Affirmative Action matters for the City Council, and had the distinction of becoming both the first woman and first African American to serve as President Pro Tempore of the City Council. Ms. Dixon was known for finding creative ways to increase opportunity and improve the quality of life for her constituents. She was active in numerous civic and political organizations including the Women’s Auxiliary of South Shore Hospital, United Negro College Fund, League of Black Women Voters and Cook County Young Democrats.
3rd Thursday of the month @ 6:00 PM