The 1869 creation of Chicago's West Park System spurred rapid development in the Humboldt Park community. Only two years later, industry moved west from the city due to the devastation caused by the Great Chicago Fire. New Chicago and North Western Railroad car shops soon covered the southwestern corner of the Humboldt Park community, and railroad workers built inexpensive homes nearby. A century later, the economic importance of the railroad had faded, and the surrounding area was suffering decline. In 1971, the Chicago Park District teamed with the Board of Education and the Public Building Commission to create a new school/park complex. The office of Mies Van Der Rohe, architect of Chicago's IBM Building and Illinois Center, was commissioned to design the new high school and adjacent recreational building. The park district soon improved the surrounding property with basketball and tennis courts, a straight-away running track, and facilities for various track and field events. Although the park district transferred ownership of the property to the Board of Education in 1991, the agencies have continued joint operations at the site ever since. Both Orr Park and the adjacent high school honor Rezin Orr, founder of a railway employees union that served the neighborhood's early residents. Orr's accomplishments were first recognized in 1919, when the previous neighborhood high school (since demolished) was named in his honor.