Margaret Donahue Park [formerly know as #570] is a new 0.54 acre park developing in the Lake View neighborhood. Openlands acquired three parcels and conveyed them to the Chicago Park District.
The Chicago Cubs in partnership with the City of Chicago, The Trust for Public Land and CPD have designed and constructed the new park.
The new park includes a new playground, rubberized soft surfacing, spray feature, pathway improvements, lighting, seating, and landscaping. The playground is intended to be state of the art and meet or exceed ADA accessibility guidelines. The final scope and plan were determined in cooperation with the local community and Park Advisory Council.
Managed by Sheil Park.
In 2013, the Chicago Park District acquired land for the park from two Illinois corporations. The Chicago Park District has worked closely with the School Street Advisory Council, Alderman Thomas M. Tunney and the Chicago Cubs on the development of a new park in the Lakeview community. The $1.2 million park includes a major playground installation.
The advisory council formally requested that the new park be named in honor of Margaret Donahue (1892 – 1978), one of the first women executives in major league baseball. The Chicago Park District Board of Commissioners complied with the request, and the park was officially named in 2014. Born on a farm in Huntley, Illinois, she moved to Chicago at the age of 16 to find a job as a secretary. In 1919, with only one year of high school a year of secretarial training, and a brief position at a laundry, Donahue was hired as a stenographer by William Veeck, President of the Chicago Cubs (and father of longtime Cubs owner Bill Veeck). At the time, the only other woman who worked for the Cubs was the team’s bookkeeper. That woman soon left, and Donahue took over, performing as both secretary and bookkeeper. She quickly took over many responsibilities including ticket sales, stock transfers, providing press passes, and handling gate receipts for other Wrigley Field events such as Chicago Bears professional football games. Before long, she was traveling with the Cubs. In 1926, Veeck promoted Donahue to corporate secretary, an unprecedented role for a woman in the major leagues at that time. She brought many innovations to professional baseball such as season tickets, providing off-site ticket locations, and selling reduced priced tickets for children. When Donahue was promoted to vice president of the Chicago Cubs in 1950, she was the first woman in this role in the major league to have come up through the ranks. Donahue retired in 1958, prompting Phillip K. Wrigley to issue a proclamation describing her as a “nationally acknowledged authority on the intricacies of baseball rules and regulations.” When Donahue died in 1978, she was eulogized by Jack Brickhouse on WGN.