A mother and daughter play in the sand at Margaret T. Burroughs beach.
A mother and daughter play in the sand at Margaret T. Burroughs beach.
Chicago Park District staff clean Margaret T. Burroughs beach to prep it for a busy summer day.
Chicago Park District staff clean Margaret T. Burroughs beach to prep it for a busy summer day.
Naima Harvey,10, left, and Amori Johnson hold up an image of Margaret Burroughs
Naima Harvey, left, and Amori Johnson hold up an image of Margaret Burroughs at the event renaming the beach in her honor.
Community members attend the event to rename 31st Street beach in honor or Margaret T. Burroughs.
Community members at Burroughs Beach Renaming event.
Congressman Rush speaks at the Margaret T. Burroughs Beach renaming event.
Congressman Rush at Burroughs Beach Renaming event.
Congressman Davis speaks at the Margaret T. Burroughs Beach renaming event.
Congressman Davis at Burroughs Beach Renaming event.

  Swimming Prohibited
Location:

3100 S. Jean-Baptiste Pointe DuSable Lake Shore Drive
Chicago, IL 60616

Located Within: Burnham (Daniel) Park
Features: Has Wi-Fi
Is Accessible
Note: Has an accessible path of travel (beach walk) to the shoreline.  Additionally, a beach wheelchair is available for free use with a valid ID.  Visit the lifeguard office at the beach house to check one out.

 

Swimming Prohibited

Swimming is only permitted when lifeguards are on duty from 11 am – 7pm.

Weather

Swimming is only permitted when lifeguards are on duty from 11 am – 7pm.

Updated : 05/24/2024 07:00 PM
Surf

Swimming is only permitted when lifeguards are on duty from 11 am – 7pm.

Updated: 05/24/2024 07:00 PM
Water Quality

No swim restrictions due to water quality.

CCE: 847
Updated : 05/24/2024 12:14 PM
Local weather information Updated : 05/24/2024 7:00 PM Data obtained from: Ohio Street Beach
  • Temperature 74° F/ 23.5° C
  • Humidity 62%
  • Wind: 3.7 MPH from E
Local surf information Updated: 05/24/2024 6:00 PM Data obtained from: Ohio Street Beach
  • Water Temperature: 64° F / 17.6° C
  • Wave Height: 0 ft 4 in / 0.09 m
  • Wave Period: 1.9 sec

Rules

  • Swim only when lifeguards are on duty.
  • Follow lifeguards’ instructions.
  • Only Coast Guard approved personal flotation devices (PFDs) are permitted. Person-children wearing PFDs should have adult present.
  • No smoking.
  • No alcohol.
  • No dogs on the beach.
  • Do not feed birds or wildlife.
  • Dispose of trash and recycling in appropriate containers.
  • Grill in designated areas only and dispose of coals in red barrels.
  • Keep accessible beach walks clear. No bicycling, skateboarding or rollerblading is permitted in these areas.
  • There is no paddle or board sport access to the Lake Michigan Water Trail at Margaret T. Burroughs Beach.   
  • No surfing or kiteboarding. Kiteboarding is ONLY permitted at Montrose Beach.

 

Hours

Facility Hours
Weekday Time slot Comment
Sunday: 11:00 am-7:00 pm
Monday: 11:00 am-7:00 pm
Tuesday: 11:00 am-7:00 pm
Wednesday: 11:00 am-7:00 pm
Thursday: 11:00 am-7:00 pm
Friday: 11:00 am-7:00 pm
Saturday: 11:00 am-7:00 pm

Hours Notes

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.

Description

Often referred to 31st Street Beach, Margaret T. Burroughs Beach offers visitors incredible views of the Chicago skyline from the south. Beach goers can find concessions and restrooms at the beach house.

Burroughs Beach sits next 31st Street Harbor, a new facility that offers 1,000 floating slips for 35-70-foot-long boats and space for boats up to 200 feet. Adjacent to the harbor, patrons can find an ADA-accessible playground, along with a “green roof” picnic area above an indoor parking garage that also functions as a winter boat storage area. A public fishing dock, community room, harbor store and offices are all available at this location.

For questions regarding Chicago beaches, email beaches3@chicagoparkdistrict.com

 

CAPITAL PROJECT UPDATE:
Plans are underway for enhancements to Margaret Burroughs beach.  
LEARN MORE:  Watch the Framework Plan Community Meeting
SHARE YOUR INPUT:  Complete the Feedback Form

 

History

In 2015, a large coalition of public officials led a movement to name the 31st Street Beach and adjacent green space in honor of Margaret T. Burroughs. Thousands of citizens signed petitions in favor of this proposal. On August 12, 2015, the Chicago Park District Board of Commissioners officially renamed at 29.75-acre part of Burnham Park as Margaret T. Burroughs Beach and Park.

Margaret T. Burroughs (1917-2010) was an accomplished artist, art advocate, poet, teacher, civic leader, historian, and founder of the DuSable Museum of African American History. Born in Louisiana, she moved to Chicago with her family during early years of the Great Migration. She attended Englewood High School, received a teaching certificate from the Chicago Teachers College. She went on to receive degrees from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and an honorary doctorate from Lewis University.

In the late 1930s, Margaret spearheaded the creation of the South Side Community Art Center, which was formally dedicated by first lady Eleanor Roosevelt in 1941. For decades, Margaret played a prominent role in Chicago’s African American art scene. Her art was featured in prominent museums and galleries throughout the nation, and she led various cultural initiatives such as serving as art director for the Negro Hall of Fame.

In the early 1960s, Margaret and her husband Charles Burroughs founded one of the nation’s first museums of African American history out of their own home in Chicago’s Bronzeville neighborhood. The institution continued to grow, and in 1973 it moved into the historic Administration Building in Washington Park.

In 1986, Mayor Harold Washington appointed Margaret to serve on the Chicago Park District Board of Commissioners. She made many contributions to Chicago’s parks, spearheading such initiatives such as creating cultural centers and naming parks for significant Chicago women.

Margaret T. Burroughs Beach and Park is considered a feature within Burnham Park. First envisioned by renowned architect Daniel Burnham in his seminal 1909 Plan of Chicago, Burnham Park is a 609-acre lakefront green space located Grant and Jackson Parks.

In the early 20th century, Chicago only had four municipal beaches. These beaches were far from the south side, so residents began using a sandy strip of land between 25th and 29th Streets as a bathing beach. In 1920, voters approved $20 million to build the extensive lakefront park. The site was completely made of landfill.

The South Park Commission named the park in honor of Daniel H. Burnham in 1927. Burnham Park served as the site for Chicago’s second World’s Fair, A Century of Progress, which took place for two seasons in 1933 and 1934. After the fair, the newly consolidated Chicago Park District made additional plans for the park echoing Burnham’s original vision for the space.

With federal funding through the Works Progress Administration (WPA), the park district began improvements in the mid-1930s, including additional landfill, playfields, walkways, tennis courts, basketball courts, and the 31st Street Beach and the old beach house. Over the years, the area needed improvements. At turn of the 21st century, the Army Corps of Engineers began to reconstruct the shoreline revetments in Burnham Park from 26th Street to 56th Street, allowing for the expansion lakefront green space and creation of the new harbor to the south.

Parking/Directions

Parking
Pay & display parking lot
Get rates and additional information.

Public Transit

CTA Bus Routes:
3 King Drive
4 Cottage Grove
35 31st/35th

Map & Facilities

Margaret T. Burroughs Beach and Park - Pier 31 | Concession

3100 S. Jean-Baptiste Pointe DuSable Lake Shore Drive
Chicago, IL 60616
United States

:
(773) 875-8205
default image
Margaret T. Burroughs Beach and Park - Pier 31 | Concession

3100 S. Jean-Baptiste Pointe DuSable Lake Shore Drive
Chicago, IL 60616
United States

  • :
    (773) 875-8205
Show on Map