The beach is open from 6 am to 11 pm, but swimming is only permitted during the beach season when lifeguards are on duty from 11 am to 7 pm, in designated swim areas. The beach season runs from the Friday before Memorial Day, through Labor Day.
Hartigan Beach offers beach goers a relaxing respite for the summer in Chicago. Many visitors refer to this beach by previous names or the names of adjacent parks and streets, including Albion, Columbia, North Shore or Pratt.
Swimming Distance: parallel to shore at boat line
This park site was long known as Albion Beach and Park for its location on Albion Street, where, atypically for Rogers Park, single-family residences lined the block approaching the lakeshore.
In September 1960, the Chicago City Council adopted a resolution requesting that the park district rename Albion Park in honor of 49th Ward Alderman David L. Hartigan (1906-1959), who had recently died.
A graduate of St. Ignatius and Northwestern Law School, Hartigan was an attorney in the City Treasurer's Office between 1943 and 1954, and served briefly as City Treasurer. After being elected alderman in 1955, Hartigan sat on the Committee on Forestry and Recreation, and was very active in creating additional parks and recreational space.
The Chicago Park District officially renamed the park Hartigan Beach and Park in 1965.
Hartigan Beach and Park is one of 18 street-end beaches acquired by the Chicago Park District from the City of Chicago in 1959. The city's Bureau of Parks and Recreation was operating 27 such beaches by 1937; some were in existence as early as 1921. Although lifeguards staffed these small municipal beaches, they had no changing rooms or other facilities.
In Rogers Park, the beaches meet the summertime recreational needs of the many residents who lived in the attractive brick apartment buildings built in the eastern portion of the community.