Goudy Square, originally known as Union Square (and later Astor Square), came into the city's possession in 1847, when real estate developer H.O. Stone dedicated the site as parkland. Nearly fifty years later, in 1891, the City Council placed the park under the control of the Lincoln Park Board of Commissioners, but the board did not obtain actual title until 1926.
The Chicago Park District took jurisdiction in 1934, with the consolidation of the city's 22 independent park commissions. Though the park had never been formally renamed, it was by this time known as Goudy Park, in honor of William C. Goudy (1824-1893). Goudy, a highly-respected attorney, acted as counsel to the Lincoln Park Board and served as its president between 1887 and 1893.
In 1877, Goudy went before the U.S. Supreme Court to argue the watershed Munn v. Illinois case, which established the authority of states to limit rates charged by private industries acting in the public interest. In 1991, the Chicago Park District created a custom-designed playground for Goudy Square Park. It includes ornamental metal fencing, period light fixtures, brick paths, and a limestone and bronze drinking fountain with a turtle, frog and fish produced by Walter Arnold.