The 9.75-acre Olympia Park located west of Harlem Avenue in the Edison Park community offers an immense range of programming for residents. Making the most of its gymnasium and two club rooms, Olympia Park provides instruction in basketball, volleyball, indoor soccer, and floor hockey for youth. Outdoors, the park features two senior and one junior baseball field, as well as a combination soccer / football field, four basketball standards, three tennis courts, a playground, and water spray feature.
For those interested in art, there are classes in painting,drawing, and arts & crafts. Olympia Park begins instruction for children as young as 18 months old, with its moms, pops and tots and parent/child art classes. For ages 3-5, the park offers the following developmental programs: fitness fun, preschool, storytime and crafts, seasonal tot t-ball and tot soccer. Teens gather at the park for basketball. Adults can join the popular basketball and volleyball leagues. Seniors participate in their own walking and fitness classes.
Olympia Park takes its name from Olympia Avenue, the street on its northwestern border, which in turn makes reference to the ancient Greek site of the first Olympics. During the 1910s and 1920s, the population of the surrounding Edison Park neighborhood increased from 300 to over 5,000 residents, although stretches of farmland still separated the fine homes. Local residents established the Edison Park District in 1913 to provide recreational opportunities for the developing community. Twelve years later, the Edison Park District purchased a 10-acre tract of open land to create a much-anticipated athletic field. The local athletic association pushed for rapid improvements, even offering to help with fund-raising efforts. The park district quickly responded by grading the site, laying out a baseball field, and erecting a grandstand. In 1934, the Great Depression forced consolidation of Chicago's 22 independent park boards into the unified Chicago Park District. By 1940, the Chicago Park District had improved Olympia Park with a children's playground, tennis courts, and an athletic field that was flooded for ice skating in winter. The park also became known for its 14 beautiful flower beds. During the 1950s, the Chicago Park District constructed a small recreation building in the park. This was remodeled and expanded around 1970. In 1980, a meeting room in the Olympia Park fieldhouse was named in honor of local resident Fred Norton, who was instrumental in lobbying for the fieldhouse expansion.