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Chicago Aluminum Can Recycling Locations

Locations of recyclers in Chicago who will pay cash for aluminum cans
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Gus & Sal's
1334 N Kostner Ave
Chicago, IL 60651, US
773-252-1989, 708-715-2738
M-F 6-3
S 6-12
Aluminum, newspaper, cardboard, office paper, junk mail, phone books, magazines, chipbaord
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North Park Village Resource Center
5801 N Pulaski Rd
Chicago, IL 60646, US
24 hr drop off
Aluminum, tin cans, glass, plastic,newspaper, cardboard, office paper, junk mail, phone books, magazines, chipbaord
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Northwest Paper Company
4519 W Patterson Ave
Chicago, IL 60641, US
M-F 5:30-1:30
Aluminum, steel cans, newspaper, cardboard, office paper, junk mail, magazines, chipboard
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Resource Center-Railyard
1325 E 70th St
Chicago, IL 60637, US
M-Su 9-3
Aluminum, tin cans, glass, newspaper, cardboard, office paper, junkmail, phone books, magazines, chipboard,
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Resource Center-Wrightwood
2600 N Lincoln Ave
Chicago, IL 60614, US
M-Su 7-7
Aluminum, tin cans, glass, newspaper, cardboard, office paper, junkmail, phone books, magazines, chipboard
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Uptown Recycling Station
4716 N Sheridan Rd
Chicago, IL 60640, US
Daily 8-3, closed Wed and Sun
Aluminum, tin cans, glass, newspaper, cardboard, office paper, junkmail, phone books, magazines, chipboard
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Evanston Recycling
South of Oakton, East of McCormick
Across from Home Depot
Evanston, Illinois, United States
Weekends only
F 12-7
Sat-Sun 8-5
Aluminum, tin cans, glass, plastic, newspaper, cardboard, office paper, junk mail, phone books, magazines, chipboard
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A.M. Cozzi Metals
4015 S Ashland Ave
Chicago, IL 60609, US
M-F 8-4, Sa 8-12
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Abco Metals
1020 W 94th St
Chicago, IL 60620, US
M-F 8-5, Sa 8-12
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Alco Salvage & Recycling
1012 S Fairfield Ave
Chicago, IL 60612, US
M-F 7-4:30, Sa 7-12
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American Metals
2420 W Cermak Rd
Chicago, IL 60608, US
M-F 7:30-5:30
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Archer Metal C&R Scrap
4619 S Knox Ave
Chicago, IL 60632, US
M-F 7-4
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Barry's Metal Shop
820 W Cermak Rd
Chicago, IL 60608, US
M-F 7-5, Sa 7:30-1
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Bricktown Metals
6449 W. Grand Ave
Chicago, Illinois 60639, United States
M-Sa 7-7
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Bucktown Recycling Station
1800 N Milwaukee Ave
Chicago, IL 60647, US
Su-F 8-5
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Chicago Scrap Iron and Metal
4555 W Grand Ave
Chicago, IL 60639, US
M-F 7-4:30, Sa 7-2
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Courtesy Metal
3717 S Albany Ave
Chicago, IL 60632, US
M-F 8-4, Sa 7-12
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General Iron Industries
1942 N Clifton Ave
Chicago, IL 60614, US
M-F 7-4, Sa 7-2
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General Metals
1800 N Kingsbury St
Chicago, IL 60614, US
M-F 7-4, Sa 7-2
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Grand Services
4630 W Armitage Ave
Chicago, IL 60639, US
M-F 10-4:30
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J & B Recycling
6301 S Bell Ave
Chicago, IL 60636, US
M-F 7-4:30, Sa 7-2, Su 9-12
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J & B Scrap Metal
2910 W Carroll Ave
Chicago, IL 60612, US
M-F 7-4:30, Sa 7-2
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J & S Metals
4700 W Belmont Ave
Chicago, IL 60641, US
M-F 7-7
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JR Metals and Recycling, Inc.
616 S Kolmar Ave
Chicago, IL 60624, US
M-F 7-5, S-S 7-3
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Serlin Iron & Metal
1810 N Kilbourn Ave
Chicago, IL 60639, US
M-F 630-330, Sa 6-12
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T&Z Metals Inc.
4009 W Parker Ave
Chicago, IL 60639, US
M-Sa 6AM - 7PM
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Universal Scrap Metal
2500 W Fulton St
Chicago, IL 60612, US
M-F 8-4
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Wright Recycling
5360 W 55th St
Chicago, IL 60638, US
M-Sa 9-1:30, 2-4:30
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Wright Recycling
6200 W Higgins Ave/il-72
Chicago, IL 60630, US
M-F 9-4:30, Sa 9-4
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Oakdale Park
965 W. 95th St.
Chicago, IL 60643
Oakdale Park takes its name from the surrounding neighborhood within Chicago's Washington Heights community. In the 19th century, oak groves stood throughout the area, inspiring the name Oakdale. The Oakdale neighborhood developed east of Halsted Street before World War II. When construction of single-family homes began west of Halsted during the war, the Oakdale name was applied to this area as well.

At the close of the World War II, the Chicago Park District initiated a Ten Year Plan to increase recreational opportunities in under-served and rapidly-growing areas of the city. Among the neighborhoods identified for park development was Oakdale, where housing construction was rapidly depleting vacant land. The park district purchased the 9.5-acre park site in 1947, and soon developed plans for the park. Park improvements were slow to materialize, however, due to the flurry of construction at other parks throughout the city. By 1955, Oakdale Park had an athletic field, playground equipment, and a comfort station, which was improved and expanded in 1959. During the 1960s, the park district asked local residents to choose between further expansion of the recreational building and a new swimming pool. Residents opted for the pool, constructed in 1969. A soft surface playground area and ornamental fencing were added in the 1990s.

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Brainerd Park
1246 W. 92nd St.
Chicago, IL 60620
During the decade between 1920 and 1930, the population of the fashionable Beverly community grew by nearly 80%. To meet the area's increasing recreational needs, the Ridge Park District, one of 22 independent park boards consolidated into the Chicago Park District in 1934, began to develop a new park in Beverly's Brainerd neighborhood. In 1932, the Ridge Park District attempted to purchase some Chicago Board of Education property in the neighborhood. The board of education was agreeable and the Ridge Park District quickly authorized the purchase of benches and a back-stop for the site, however, financial difficulties delayed the transaction. By the time the Chicago Park District was created in 1934, the Ridge Park District had made only an initial down payment on the property.

Three years later, in 1937, a delegation from the Brainerd Improvement Association approached the Chicago Park District commissioners, urging them to acquire and develop the park. The Chicago Park District finalized the land purchase the following year. The Chicago Park District quickly began improvements, installing outdoor athletic facilities and constructing a small fieldhouse. In the 1970s, a larger fieldhouse took the place of the original.

The Brainerd Park name derives from that of Mr. Brainerd, one of five founders of the Rock Island Railroad for whom Beverly area streets were named. Though Brainerd Street became 91st Street when the City of Chicago annexed the northern portion of Beverly in 1890, the neighborhood designation survived, and was passed on to this park.

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Foster Park
1440 W. 84th St.
Chicago, IL 60620
Foster Park honors J. Frank Foster (1852-1926), long-time South Park System superintendent and a leader in park management throughout the United States. Having begun as engineer in the 1870s, Foster became superintendent in 1891 when the South Park Commission was preparing for the World's Columbian Exposition to open in Jackson Park two years later. Besides assisting with the fair and transforming its site back into parkland, Foster is credited with developing the nation's first neighborhood parks. Conceived as lovely green "breathing spaces" to provide recreation and social services in the city's most congested tenement districts, the first ten new south side parks opened in 1905. The revolutionary parks included the nation's first fieldhouses and offered public bathing; the city's earliest branch libraries; English lessons and other classes; inexpensive hot meals; health care; and a variety of recreational programs. Foster's concept was so successful that President Theodore Roosevelt declared it "the most important civic achievement in any American city."

Shortly after Foster's death in 1926, the South Park Commission decided to name one of its newest projects in his honor. Located in the growing Auburn Gresham community, the site was envisioned as an impressive 30-acre park with many of the features originated by Foster. Unfortunately, the commissioners had to make 50 separate land purchases, and the park developed very slowly. By the early 1930s, Foster Park consisted only of an athletic field, tennis courts, and a comfort station.

In 1934, the Great Depression necessitated the consolidation of the city's 22 individual park commissions. The newly-formed Chicago Park District improved Foster Park's landscape and constructed a small recreation building there. Over the years, demands for additional indoor facilities continued. In 1950 the park district constructed an attractive Art Moderne-style fieldhouse, which was designed by the prominent Chicago architectural firm Shaw, Metz & Dolio.

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Jackson Park
6401 S. Stony Island Ave.
Chicago, IL 60637
After the state legislature created the South Park Commission in 1869, the renowned designers of New York's Central Park, Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux, were hired to lay out the 1055-acre park. Known originally as South Park, the landscape had eastern and western divisions connected by a grand boulevard named the Midway Plaisance. The eastern division became known as Lake Park; however, in 1880 the commission asked the public to suggest official names for both the eastern and western Divisions. Jackson and Washington were proposed, and the following year, Lake Park was renamed Jackson Park to honor Andrew Jackson (1767-1845), the seventh president of the United States.

In 1890, Chicago won the honor of hosting the World's Columbian Exposition, and Jackson Park was selected as its site. Olmsted and Chicago's famous architect and planner Daniel H. Burnham laid out the fairgrounds. A team of the nation's most significant architects and sculptors created the "White City" of plaster buildings and artworks. The monumental World's Fair opened to visitors on May 1, 1893. After it closed six months later, the site was transformed back into parkland. Jackson Park featured the first public golf course west of the Alleghenies, which opened in 1899. Today, two structures remain as impressive symbols of the World's Columbian Exposition. The "Golden Lady" sculpture is a smaller version of Daniel Chester French's Statue of the Republic which originally stood at the foot of the Court of Honor. The original Fine Arts Palace now houses Chicago's Museum of Science and Industry.

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Washington Park
5531 S. Martin Luther King Dr.
Chicago, IL 60637
In 1869, after several years of lobbying by prominent south-siders, the Illinois State Legislature established the South Park Commission. The newly appointed Board of Commissioners identified more than 1,000 acres of land just south of Chicago for a large park and boulevards that would connect it with downtown and the West Park System. Originally called South Park, the property was composed of eastern and western divisions, now Jackson and Washington Parks and the Midway Plaisance. The commissioners hired Frederick Law Olmsted, the "father of American landscape architecture," and his partner Calvert Vaux to create the original plan for South Park.

Olmsted and Vaux published their ambitious plan in 1871. The destruction of tax rolls and other documents in Chicago's Great Fire that year delayed construction. In 1872, the South Park Commission hired Horace W. S. Cleveland, who had previously worked for Olmsted, to oversee improvements to the park. Construction began on the western division, which was renamed in 1881 to honor George Washington (1732-1799), first president of the United States. One of the earliest improvements was the "South Open Green," a pastoral meadow with grazing sheep, also used as a ball field. Architect Daniel H. Burnham's firm designed several buildings in the park. These include the 1880 limestone round stables, the 1881 refectory, and the 1910 administrative headquarters for the South Park Commission. Today, the administrative building houses DuSable Museum of African-American History.

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Midway Plaisance Park
1130 Midway Plaisance North
Chicago, IL 60637
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Rainbow Park & Beach
3111 E. 77th St.
Chicago, IL 60649
Park Description
Located at 77th Street and the Lake, this new facility includes a large gym, three clubrooms and a fitness center. The outdoor environment consists of basketball, tennis and handball courts, three baseball diamonds, two playgrounds, a community garden and plenty of green space with an awe–inspiring view of Chicago’s skyline.

Named for the U.S. Army's 42nd Rainbow Division that fought gallantly in World War I, Rainbow Beach Park began as two separate municipal beaches. The first was established in 1908 by the Special Parks Commission, a city agency that studied open space needs and created parks, playgrounds, and beaches in densely- populated areas of Chicago. This small site at 79th Street and Lake Michigan was known as Rocky Ledge Beach. The name referred to the area's rocky terrain, and to the manmade limestone ledge that served as a shore promenade and provided protection from shoreline erosion. By 1912, the heavily-used beach had bathrooms and changing rooms. Illuminated by electric lights, the beach remained open until 9:30 p.m. for the benefit of working men and women.

In 1914, the city began efforts to expand the beach, and soon acquired land between 75th Street and Rocky Ledge Beach. The City Council officially named the new site Rainbow Beach in 1918. The smaller, adjacent Rocky Ledge Beach continued operating as a children's beach.

The two beaches were consolidated in 1959, when the Chicago Park District began leasing the site from the city. For many years the park lacked sufficient indoor recreational facilities, so in 1999 a large fieldhouse was constructed. Designed by David Woodhouse Architects, the fieldhouse takes full advantage of Rainbow Beach Park's breathtaking views of the lakefront and skyline.

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Ogden Park
6500 S. Racine Ave.
Chicago, IL 60636
Named for William B. Ogden (1805-1877), Chicago's first mayor, Ogden Park opened to the public in 1905. The site was one of ten revolutionary parks created to provide relief to Chicago's overcrowded tenement districts. The other nine were Sherman, Palmer, and Hamilton Parks and Armour, Russell, Davis, Cornell, and Mark White Squares. (Mark White Square is now known as McGuane Park.) Offering a variety of valuable recreational, educational, and social services to their surrounding communities, these ten properties soon influenced the development of other parks throughout the nation.

Nationally renowned landscape architects the Olmsted Brothers and architects Daniel H. Burnham and Co. created a unique design for each park. Ogden, however, shared traits with Sherman Park in terms of both size and design. Each site was 60 acres in size. Additionally, each had a beautiful landscape with a meandering waterway near a meadow of ballfields. Ogden Park's waterway was drained and filled in 1940. The classically-designed fieldhouse underwent a major remodeling in 1972. In 1998, the Chicago Park District created a major regional playground in Ogden Park. One of the city's most exciting places for children, the Ogden Park playground includes assembly and stage areas, play equipment, an interactive water feature, and a canopied carousel.

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Sherman Park
1301 W. 52nd St.
Chicago, IL 60609
Sherman Park was one of ten revolutionary Chicago parks which opened to the public in 1905. The city's population had grown from 300,00 in 1870 to 2 million by 1905, but less than 200 acres of new parkland had been created during that period. The noisy, overcrowded immigrant neighborhoods in the center of the city were far away from the existing parks. South Park Commission superintendent J. Frank Foster envisioned a new type of park that would provide social services as well as breathing spaces to these areas. Nationally renowned landscape architects the Olmsted Brothers and architects Daniel H. Burnham and Co. designed the whole system of new parks. In addition to Sherman Park, these were Ogden, Palmer, Bessemer, and Hamilton Parks, and Russell, Davis, Armour, Cornell and Mark White Squares. (Mark White Square is now known as McGuane Park.)

At 60 acres, Sherman Park was one of the largest of the parks. The Olmsted Brothers transformed its low and wet site into a beautiful landscape with a meandering waterway surrounding an island of ballfields. The classically-designed architecture, located at the north end of the park, includes the fieldhouse and gym and locker buildings united by trellis-like structures known as pergolas. This architectural commission was especially meaningful to Burnham because the park was named for his father-in-law, John B. Sherman (1825- 1902). The founder of Chicago's Union Stock Yards, Sherman served as a member of the South Park Commission for 25 years.

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Tarkington Park
3344 West 71st St.
Chicago, IL 60629
Tarkington Park is currently under construction and will reopen in Fall 2005. If you have any questions, please call the Chicago Park District's Southwest Region office at 312/747.6136.

Marquette Park pays tribute to Father Jacques Marquette (1637-1675), the famous French Jesuit missionary and explorer. At more than 300 acres in size, it is the largest of the revolutionary neighborhood parks created by the South Park Commission in the early 20th century. Superintendent J. Frank Foster conceived the new parks as beautifully landscaped "breathing spaces" that would provide educational and social services to the city's congested immigrant neighborhoods. Nationally renowned landscape architects the Olmsted Brothers created plans for the entire system of 14 new parks in 1903. The firm's impressive scheme for Marquette Park included a golf course on two islands surrounded by naturalistic lagoons; indoor and outdoor gymnasiums; swimming and wading pools; a children's playground; formal gardens; and a concert grove.

Although the first 10 neighborhood parks opened to the public in 1905, due to drainage problems and the site's large size, Marquette Park's improvements occurred slowly, often deviating from the original plan. Two of the park's earliest features were its 18-hole golf course and a nursery of nearly 90,000 trees and shrubs. The commissioners soon began converting existing frame houses and out-buildings on the site to park uses such as a warming shelter for skaters and a small fieldhouse. By 1917, the park included playing fields, a children's playground, tennis courts, propagating houses for the nursery, and a large, classically-designed golf shelter.

In 1934, Marquette Park became part of the Chicago Park District when the city's 22 park commissions were consolidated into a single agency. Using federal relief funds, the park district soon converted the golf shelter into a more substantial fieldhouse, and built comfort stations, and a series of footbridges leading to the islands. Through public subscription in 1935, an Art Deco-style monument commemorating Lithuanian-American aviators Darius and Girenas was installed in Marquette Park.

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McKinley Park
2210 W. Pershing Rd.
Chicago, IL 60609
In 1902, one year after the assassination of William McKinley (1843-1901), 25th president of the United States, the South Park Commission opened an experimental park, named in his honor, that proved to be nationally important. At the time, Chicago's existing parks were far away from the filthy, noisy, overcrowded tenement neighborhoods in the center of the city. Superintendent J. Frank Foster envisioned a new type of park that would provide social services as well as breathing spaces in these areas. To test the idea, in 1900 the park commission began acquiring property near the Union Stockyards. Composed of open prairie and cabbage patches, the site had previously been the Brighton Park Race Track.

The experimental McKinley Park originally offered ballfields, playgrounds, a swimming lagoon, and a building with changing rooms and bathrooms. More than 10,000 people attended the park's dedication on June 13, 1902. The effort was so successful that the following year the South Park Commission began creating a whole system of new neighborhood parks for the south side. Opened to the public in 1905, the first ten were: Sherman, Ogden, Palmer, Bessemer, and Hamilton Parks, and Mark White, Russell, Davis, Armour, and Cornell Squares. These innovative neighborhood parks influenced the development of other parks throughout the United States.

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Archer Park
4901 S. Kilbourn Ave.
Chicago, IL 60632
Archer Park takes its name from the surrounding Archer Heights community. The community and its main artery, Archer Avenue, are named for Col. William Beatty Archer (1793-1870), a commissioner for the Illinois and Michigan Canal, which paralleled the road in the 1800s. Archer, an abolitionist as well as a civil engineer, nominated Abraham Lincon for vice president in 1856. The Chicago Park District created Archer Park in the late 1940s to provide green space in an area then experiencing significant industrial development. The new park was part of a ten-year, district-wide program to increase recreational opportunities in underserved neighborhoods in post-World War II Chicago. Archer Park provided solely outdoor recreational facilities until 1970, when the park district constructed a small fieldhouse.

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Vittum Park
5010 W. 50th St.
Chicago, IL 60638
The Chicago Park District began creating Vittum Park in 1947 as part of the Ten Year Park Development Plan. During the post-World War II period, Chicago's booming population was severely underserved in terms of parkland and facilities. The plan identified areas in critical need of new parks as well as existing parks with inadequate recreational facilities. As part of the expansion effort, the park district acquired a 13-acre property in the Garfield Ridge area. In 1961, the park district transferred a small area of the park, less than one acre in size, to the Board of Education, allowing for the construction of Frank Baum Elementary School. Despite the adjacent school, Vittum Park did not have sufficient indoor facilities until the park district constructed its fieldhouse in 1981.

The park honors Harriet Elizabeth Vittum (1872 -1953), an important social reformer heralded as the "First Lady of the needy." In 1904, Vittum began volunteering at the Northwestern University Settlement House, one of Chicago's innovative community centers that provided housing and services to underprivileged neighborhoods. Three years later, Vittum became the facility's administrator. Remaining involved with the settlement house for forty years, she established nutrition clinics, educational programs, and children's summer camps. Vittum received a 1948 Distinguished Service Award from the Chicago Recreation Commission that cited her as "an illustrious pioneer in the settlement... [and a] courageous practitioner of social welfare."

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LeClaire Courts/Hearst Community
5120 W. 44th St.
Chicago, IL 60638
The Chicago Park District planned and developed LeClaire-Hearst Park in conjunction with the Chicago Housing Authority's construction of the nearby LeClaire Courts public housing project. The park district first purchased land for the park in 1948, and acquired additional property from C.H.A. in 1968 and from the Board of Education in 1991. In 1974, the park was officially designated LeClaire Courts - Hearst Community Park for the neighboring communities. The park district expanded the park with Board of Education land in 1991.

LeClaire Courts, which opened in 1950, was Chicago's first attempt at integrated, lowrise public housing. The complex takes its name from Antoine Le Claire, a fur trader and government interpreter who came to Chicago with John Kinzie (1763-1828) in 1809. LeClaire Street, which terminates at the south edge of the park, also bears his name. Hearst is the single-family residential community south of 45th Street. Its name derives from that of philanthropist Phoebe Apperson Hearst (1842-191), mother of newspaper publisher and businessman William Randolph Hearst (1863-1951).

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Hale Park
6258 W. 62nd St.
Chicago, IL 60638
Address: 6258 W. 62nd St.
Zip: 60638
Phone: 773/229.1032
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Addams Park
1301 W. 14th St.
Chicago, IL 1301 W. 14th St.
In the late 1940s, Addams Park's Near West Side neighborhood was decaying and congested. The Chicago Park District established the much-needed park in 1946, part of a ten-year plan to increase recreational opportunities in under-served neighborhoods after World War II. Land acquisition proved problematic, however, and demolition of the site's dilapidated buildings did not begin until 1952. The park district installed a swimming pool in 1967. Operated jointly with Medill Elementary School, the park provides a broad range of activities for the children of the adjacent Abbott Homes public housing project.

The park's name honors Jane Addams (1860-1935), the world-renowned social reformer who devoted her life to serving the economic and social needs of the Near West Side's disadvantaged immigrant community. Addams' base of operations was her Hull House on nearby Halsted Street, one of North America's first settlement houses. In addition to her work in Chicago, Addams actively promoted national legal reforms, including tenement-house regulation, factory inspection, and workers' compensation. Addams was awarded the 1931 Nobel Peace Prize for her efforts.

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Douglas Park Cultural & Community Center
1401 S. Sacramento Ave.
Chicago, IL 60623
In 1869, the Illinois state legislature established the West Park Commission, which was responsible for three large parks and interlinking boulevards. Later that year, the commissioners named the southernmost park in honor of Stephen A. Douglas (1813-1861). Best remembered for his pre-Civil War presidential defeat by Abraham Lincoln despite superb oratorical skills, Douglas was a United States Senator who helped bring the Illinois Central Railroad to Chicago. In 1871, designer William Le Baron Jenney completed plans for the entire West Park System which included Douglas, Garfield, and Humboldt parks. Jenney's engineering expertise was especially helpful for transforming Douglas Park's poor natural site into parkland. He had sand and manure from the Chicago Stock Yards added to the marshy site. In the center of the landscape, Jenney created a picturesque lake. A small section of the park was formally opened in 1879. In 1895, members of several German turners' clubs petitioned for an outdoor gymnasium in Douglas Park. The following year, this resulted in the construction of one of Chicago's first public facilities with outdoor gymnasium, swimming pool, and natatorium.

By the turn of the century, the West Park Commission was riddled with political graft, and the three parks became dilapidated. As part of a reform effort in 1905, Jens Jensen was appointed as General Superintendent and Chief Landscape Architect for the entire West Park System. Jensen, now recognized as Dean of the Prairie style of landscape architecture, improved deteriorating sections of the parks and added new features. Among Jensen's improvements were a semi-circular entryway at Marshall Blvd., and a formal garden at the corner of Ogden Ave. and Sacremento Dr. By the time Jensen designed the garden, Ogden Avenue, a diagonal roadway with a major streetcar thoroughfare, had already been constructed. The road divided the park into two separate landscapes, creating a busy intersection at the juncture of Ogden and Sacramento Avenues. Jensen's solution was a long axial garden on the southeast side of the intersection, providing a buffer between Ogden Ave. and playfields to the south.

At the entrance to the garden, the area closest to the busy roadway intersection, Jensen placed a monumental garden shelter, known as Flower Hall, and a formal reflecting pool. The designer of the structure is unknown, however, it was possibly Jensen himself, or his friend, Prairie School architect Hugh Garden. East of the building, the garden becomes more naturalistic. Jensen included perennial beds, a lily pool, and unique Prairie-style benches. In 1928, the West Park Commission contructed a fieldhouse in Douglas Park. The structure was designed by architects Michaelsen and Rognstad, who were also responsible for other notable buildings including the Garfield Park Gold Dome Building, the Humboldt and LaFolette Park Fieldhouses, and the On Leong Chinese Merchant's Association Building in Chinatown. In 1934, Douglas Park became part of the Chicago Park District, when the city's 22 independent park commissions merged into a single citywide agency.

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Garfield Park
100 N. Central Park Ave.
Chicago, IL 60624
In 1869, the Illinois state legislature established the West Park Commission, which was responsible for three large parks and interlinking boulevards. The centerpiece of the system, the 185-acre Central Park, was renamed to honor President James A. Garfield (1831- 1881) after his assassination in 1881. Plans for the entire ensemble of Humboldt, Garfield and Douglas Park had been completed ten years earlier, by William Le Baron Jenney, best known today as the father of the skyscraper. As ambitious plans could not be realized all at once, Garfield Park developed in stages, beginning with the east lagoon.

Jens Jensen, a Danish immigrant who had begun as a laborer for the West Park System in the 1880s, worked his way up to Superintendent of Humboldt Park a decade later. At that time, the West Park System was entrenched in political graft. In 1900, the commissioners fired Jensen because of his efforts to fight the corruption. Five years later, during major political reforms, new commissioners appointed him General Superintendent and Chief Landscape Architect. Deteriorating and unfinished sections of the parks allowed Jensen to experiment with his evolving Prairie style. For instance, when he took over, each of the three parks had a small, poorly maintained conservatory. Rather than repairing these structures, which each displayed similar collections, Jensen decided to replace them with a single centralized facility. Designed in conjuction with an engineering firm, Hitchings and Company, Jensen conceived the Garfield Park Conservatory as a work of landscape gardening under glass. Considered revolutionary when it opened to the public in 1908, the form of the building emulated a "great Midwestern haystack," while inside the rooms were wonderful compositions of water, rock, and plants.

In 1928, the West Park Commission contructed the "Gold Dome Building" in Garfield Park to provide a new administrative headquarters for the West Park Commission. a fieldhouse in Humboldt Park. The structure was designed by architects Michaelsen and Rognstad, who were also responsible for other notable buildings including the Humboldt, Douglas and LaFolette Park Fieldhouses, and the On Leong Chinese Merchant's Association Building in Chinatown. In 1934, Garfield Park became part of the Chicago Park District, when the city's 22 independent park commissions merged into a single citywide agency. At that time, the adminstrative offices were no longer needed and the "Gold Dome" building became Garfield Park's fieldhouse.

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Columbus Park
500 S. Central Ave.
Chicago, IL 60644
Columbus Park is considered the masterpiece of Jens Jensen, now known as dean of Prairie-style landscape architecture. The project, Jensen's only opportunity to create an entirely new large park in Chicago, represents the culmination of years of his conservation efforts and design experimentation.

Appointed as West Park Commission General Superintendent and Chief Landscape Architect in 1905, Jensen re-designed Humboldt, Garfield, and Douglas Parks and began creating small parks such as Eckhart and Dvorak. After losing political support in 1910, he shifted his role to consulting landscape architect. Two years later, the commissioners acquired 144 acres of farmland at the western boundary of Chicago. They named the new park for Christopher Columbus (c. 1451-1506), the famous Italian explorer who "discovered" America while in the service of Spain.

Jensen's vision for Columbus Park was inspired by the unimproved site's natural history and topography. Convinced that it was an ancient beach, Jensen designed a series of berms, like glacial ridges, encircling the flat interior part of the park. In the center area, following the traces of sand dune, he created a "prairie river" flowing from two brooks. Two natural-looking waterfalls, with ledges of stratified stonework, represent the source of the river. Throughout the park, Jensen included native plants.

Jensen also included programming elements emulating nature. Broad prairie-like meadows provide a golf course and ball fields. He designed an outdoor theatre, known as the "player's green," for plays and other performances. In the children's playground area, Jensen included his favorite feature, the council ring, a circular stone bench for storytelling and campfires.

In 1953, the nine acres at the park's southern boundary were destroyed to make way for the Eisenhower Expressway. Despite the loss of some land and other changes to the park at that time, Columbus Park still conveys Jensen's genius.

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Humboldt Park
1400 N. Sacramento Ave.
Chicago, IL 60622
In 1869, shortly after the creation of the West Park System, neighborhood residents requested that the northernmost park be named in honor of Baron Freidrich Heinrich Alexander Von Humboldt (1759-1859), the famous German scientist and explorer. Two years later, completed plans for the entire ensemble of Humboldt, Garfield, and Douglas parks and connecting boulevards were completed by William Le Baron Jenney, who is best known today as the father of the skyscraper. Having studied engineering in Paris during the construction of that city's grand park and boulevard system in the 1850s, Jenney was influenced by French design. The construction of Humboldt Park was slow, however, and the original plan was followed only for the park's northeastern section.

Jens Jensen, a Danish immigrant who had begun as a laborer, worked his way up to Superintendent of Humboldt Park in the mid-1890s. Unfortunately, the West Park System was entrenched in political graft at the time. The commissioners fired Jensen in 1900 because of his efforts to fight the corruption. Five years later, during major political reforms, new commissioners appointed him General Superintendent and Chief Landscape Architect. Deteriorating and unfinished areas of Humboldt Park allowed Jensen to experiment with his evolving Prairie style. For instance, Jensen extended the park's existing lagoon into a long meandering "prairie river." Inspired by the natural rivers he saw on trips to the countryside, Jensen designed hidden water sources that supplied two rocky brooks that fed the waterway. Nearby he created a circular rose garden and an adjacent naturalistic perennial garden. Jensen designated an area diagonally across from the rose garden as a a music court for dances, concerts and other special events. He commissioned Prairie School architects Schmidt, Garden, and Martin to design an impressive boat house and refectory building which still stands at one end of the historic music court.

In 1928, the West Park Commission contructed a fieldhouse in Humboldt Park. The structure was designed by architects Michaelsen and Rognstad, who were also responsible for other notable buildings including the Garfield Park Gold Dome Building, the Douglas and LaFolette Park Fieldhouses, and the On Leong Chinese Merchant's Association Building in Chinatown. In 1934, Humboldt Park became part of the Chicago Park District, when the city's 22 independent park commissions merged into a single citywide agency.

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La Follette Park
1333 N. Laramie Ave
Chicago, IL 60651
Address: 1333 N. Laramie Ave
Zip: 60651
Phone: 312-742-PLAY
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Riis Park
6100 W. Fullerton Ave.
Chicago, IL 60639
Teddy Roosevelt once said that Jacob A. Riis came nearer than anyone to being "the ideal American." Riis (1849-1914), a photojournalist and reformer, drew national attention to the plight of the inner-city poor through his expose, How the Other Half Lives. Riis advocated the creation of small playgrounds to provide "breathing spaces" for densely-populated urban neighborhoods. His 1898 speech at Chicago's Hull House inspired local reformers to petition for city playgrounds.

By the time the Northwest Park District created Riis Park in 1916, the playground movement Riis had helped to inspire had in turn fueled park-building across the nation. The park district designed Riis Park to provide a broad range of recreational amenities for its developing middle class neighborhood. The park remained essentially undeveloped until 1928, however, when the park district installed a ski jump and golf course, and commissioned locally-prominent architect Walter W. Alschlager to design a fieldhouse.

In 1934, Riis Park came under the jurisdiction of the Chicago Park District, which used Works Progress Administration funding for further improvements. Riis Park developed in two distinct halves separated by a steep glacial ridge, a remnant of the shoreline of Lake Chicago. To the east stood the Georgian-revival fieldhouse, surrounded by various other athletic facilities. Respected landscape architect Alfred Caldwell designed the western portion of the park. Caldwell's plan, fully implemented by 1940, incorporated naturalistic plantings; a stone-edged lagoon; shady, enclosed areas; and a broad, sunny meadow.

The ice rink can be reached at (773) 826-1054.

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Portage Park
4100 N. Long Ave.
Chicago, IL 60641
Portage Park warmly welcomes patrons with a decorative gateway entrance at the corner of Irving Park Road and Central Avenue and an expanse of lush landscaping. Many Chicago residents choose Portage Park for their wedding ceremonies and special outdoor occasions because of its natural, scenic beauty.

The 36.5-acre park is much more than a pretty picture—it’s the site for hundreds of valuable sports, early childhood recreation and cultural programs, as well as fantastic family special events.

In the heat of summer, Portage Park is the place to keep cool. Its Olympic-size pool features a large deck for sunning, misting sprays, an interactive water play area with slide and diving boards. The park also contains a smaller heated pool.

Portage Park offers something for every kind of play—six tennis courts, two playgrounds, a slab for in-line skating, a bike path, a nature walk, five baseball fields, two combination football/soccer fields and two fieldhouses—one housing a gymnasium and the other a cultural arts building.

For youth, programming includes an exemplary after-school program, woodcraft, recreational tumbling and gymnastics, floor and roller hockey, music and a wide range of sports each season. The park is also unique in offering a sign language class.

Adults can get involved with a walking or senior club, stay fit with an aerobics or conditioning class, or explore their creative side with lessons in piano, concert band or woodworking.

Portage Park was recently selected by the Department of Aging for the development of a new, 6,500-square-foot senior center to be completed in 2003.

Portage Park was created in 1913 by the Old Portage Park District, an independent park board formed by local citizens to enhance property values and improve their northwest side neighborhood. The name of the new park district, and that of its first and largest park, makes reference to several nearby routes used by Native Americans and fur traders to portage their canoes between the DesPlaines and Chicago Rivers.

The American Park Builders Company prepared the original plan for Portage Park and completed initial construction between 1913 and 1917. The park design included a naturalistic swimming lagoon, which opened to the public in July, 1916. By the 1920s, the new park was thriving. Noted architect Clarence Hatzfeld designed a handsome prairie-style fieldhouse in 1922, followed by an attractive brick gymnasium in 1928. Portage Park quickly became the center of the community, providing athletics and team sports, cultural and club activities, festivities and special events.

In 1934, the city's 22 independent park commissions were consolidated into the Chicago Park District, and the new agency soon secured federal funds through the Works Progress Administration. WPA improvements at Portage Park included additional plantings, whimsical stonework fountains and gateways, and a comfort station. WPA workers also removed the original swimming lagoon and constructed a kidney-shaped concrete pool. In 1959, the park district replaced the concrete pool with an Olympic-sized pool in preparation for hosting the Pan American Games. In 1972, Portage Park hosted the U.S. Olympic swimming trials, where Gold Medalist Mark Spitz set new world's records. In 1998, the swimming pools and plaza area were rehabilitated and an interactive water play area was created for children. The 1922 fieldhouse is now being used as a cultural center, offering art crafts, drama, music, and senior citizens programs.

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Norwood Park
5801 N. Natoma Ave.
Chicago, IL 60631
The 14-acre Norwood Park boasts the only outdoor swimming pool on the North Side with a water slide, becoming the destination for summer day camps and young swimmers in the neighborhood. The park is also home to a new fitness center, equipped with state-of-the-art circuit weight machines, free weights and cardiovascular machines. A 1/5-mile oval, gravel running track with lights surrounds the baseball diamonds, and four tennis courts sit south of the park fieldhouse.

On the sports side, young residents play flag football, floor hockey, outdoor soccer, track & field and tumbling. On the cultural side, Norwood Park offers acting classes, piano and tap and ballet. Adults participate in a range of activities, including aerobics and basketball leagues. Parents gather at Norwood Park with their preschoolers for moms, pops & tots, music, fun with food and fun and games.

Norwood Park staff members never miss an opportunity to celebrate with families. The park hosts some of the most entertaining special events, including an annual Valentine's dance and ice cream social, a Shamrock Shuffle family run, an Easter egg hunt and magic show, outdoor movies, bike events, senior fitness training, Halloween parties and a yearly Dinner with Santa in December.


Norwood Park, located in the community area of the same name, dates to the 1920s. Thirty years earlier, the City of Chicago had annexed Norwood Park Village, already a community of substantial homes. When residential development surged after 1910, citizens created a local park district to serve the area. Established in 1920, the Norwood Park District was one of 22 park commissions consolidated into the Chicago Park District in 1934. The Norwood Park District purchased 14 acres for its first park in 1921. Site drainage began in 1922, and bath house and swimming pool construction shortly thereafter. In 1928, the park district added a fieldhouse with a 500-seat assembly hall. The community, the park district, and the park itself all take their names from Norwood, an 1867 novel by clergyman and abolitionist Henry Ward Beecher (1813-1887). The moniker "Park" was added to the community name because Norwood was already the name of an Illinois post office.

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Oriole Park
5430 N. Olcott Ave.
Chicago, IL 60656
Situated just south of Bryn Mawr Avenue and west of Harlem Avenue on the northwest side of the city, Oriole Park covers more than 18 acres of land and provides numerous programs year-round for every age resident.

Outdoor amenities include two senior and four junior-sized baseball fields, one softball field and two combination soccer/football fields. In addition to two playgrounds, a sandbox and interactive spray pool, the park features three tennis courts, two regular and one junior basketball standard and a paved path for walking, running, biking or inline skating.

With all of its space both indoors and out, Oriole Park hosts fantastic special events, such as an annual fall Pumpkin Patch and a Daddy-Daughter Valentine’s Dance. Students enrolled in programs become the stars of gym showcases, where they show off the skills they’ve learned over the past season.

For its youngest park patrons, Oriole Park offers preschool, storytime and crafts, moms, pops and tots, tot music and t-ball. Adults can participate in walking, piano lessons and co-rec volleyball. Teenagers play basketball or get moving with roller hockey.

Oriole Park is used most by youth ages 6-12, who may gain skills in basketball, recreational tumbling, team gymnastics, floor hockey, volleyball, indoor tennis and track and field. The park also offers a seasonal sports class that provides practice and preparation for specific regional and citywide athletic tournaments. Tap, jazz dance, piano lessons and fun with food classes are all offered at Oriole Park.

Oriole Park takes its name from the surrounding subdivision in the Norwood Park community. As late as 1930, it was a sparsely-settled, semi-rural area. Lying a mile from the Northwestern Railway's Norwood Park station, the neighborhood began to fill with single-family homes in the 1920s, when newly-affordable automobiles allowed middle-class families to move further out.

Oriole Park was created by the Edison Park District, one of 22 independent park boards consolidated into the Chicago Park District in 1934. Several years before the consolidation, a committee of the 77th Avenue Improvement Club urged the Edison Park District to create a playground along Oriole Avenue. The local park district purchased the land in mid-1931. By late the following year, the city had vacated an adjacent alley, bringing the park to 2.29 acres. The Edison Park District considered constructing a softball field on the property, but made few improvements to the swampy site. Still, local children used the new park enough to prompt a neighboring farmer to ask that a fence be erected to prevent stray baseballs from ruining his crops.

Not long after the 1934 transfer to the Chicago Park District, a softball diamond and a playground were installed at Oriole Park. After World War II, the park district added more than 16 acres to the park in anticipation of increased population expected because of construction of the Northwest Highway. For a time, the park district and the Chicago Board of Education provided joint programming at the park and the adjacent Oriole Park School. This co-operative relationship ended in the early 1970s, when a large fieldhouse was constructed in the park. During the 1990s, the park received a new soft surface playground and an interactive waterplay area.

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Lincoln Park
2045 Lincoln Park West
Chicago, IL 60610
Lincoln Park began as a small public cemetery on the northernmost boundary of Chicago where victims of cholera and small pox were buried in shallow lakeside graves. Aware of the public health threat, citizens began demanding the cemetery's conversion to parkland in the 1850s. In 1860, the city reserved a 60-acre unused section as Lake Park. Shortly after the assassination of Abraham Lincoln (1809-65), 16th President of the United States, the park was renamed in his honor. The city allocated $10,000 for improvements, and nurseryman Swain Nelson created and implemented the park's first plan. An early donation of mute swans marked the beginnings of the Lincoln Park Zoo.

Citizens argued for the removal of the remaining burial ground. This contributed to a larger parks movement, and in 1869, the state legislature created three park districts: the South, West, and Lincoln Park Commissions, each responsible for the parks and boulevards in its region. Under the direction of the Lincoln Park Commission, bodies were exhumed and relocated to other cemeteries, and the park was expanded south to North Avenue and north to Diversey Parkway. Severe winter storms in 1885 resulted in the construction of a breakwater system which included the first of many landfill projects extending Lincoln Park's boundaries.

The independent park commissions were consolidated into the Chicago Park District in 1934, and Lincoln Park was expanded north to Foster Avenue. A final expansion in the 1950s brought the park to its current size of 1,208 acres. Throughout Lincoln Park's history, renowned artists, landscape designers, and architects contributed to its development. These included sculptor Augustus-Saint Gaudens, landscape designers Ossian Cole Simonds and Alfred Caldwell, and architects Joseph Lyman Silsbee and Dwight H. Perkins.

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River Park
5100 N. Francisco Ave.
Chicago, IL 60625
Located at the convergence of the Chicago River and canal, River Park offers a rich wildlife habitat, excellent fishing and a canoe launch, in addition to seasonal environmental programs such as the Junior Earth Team, Urban Campers and Under Illinois Skies.

River Park boasts a swimming pool and an interactive water playground in the summer months. The artificial turf soccer field and running track, as well as the new soft-surface playground, draw visitors from around the city. The park also features seven tennis courts and two baseball fields.

The park’s advisory council, made up of local residents, meets regularly and participates in park events, such as gym showcases and holiday celebrations. Numerous children head to River Park for its strong Park Kids after-school program. Several programs are held in the park’s large auditorium, which is also available for permit by private groups.

Basketball and indoor soccer are two popular programs for both youth and teens. Teens get together for a leadership club, and preschoolers play in programs such as Fun with Food, recreational tumbling and Moms, Pops and Tots. Adult programming at River Park includes volleyball and woodcraft.

At 30 acres, River Park is the largest of the six parks established by the River Park District, one of 22 independent park commissions consolidated into the Chicago Park District in 1934. Northwest side residents created the River Park District in 1917 to provide recreational opportunities and increase property values in the territory along the Chicago River's North Branch and the North Shore Channel. Almost immediately after its creation, the River Park District began to purchase land north of Argyle Avenue, where the river and the channel separate. Although land acquisition was not completed until 1922, the site opened to the public on July 4, 1920, when the park district dedicated a new flag pole there to neighborhood children.

Formal improvements began two years later, with the remodeling of an existing building for fieldhouse use. In 1926, landscape architect and River Park District board member Jacob L. Crane, Jr. developed a plan for River Park. Crane's plan covered nearly 40 acres of land, including approximately ten acres northwest of the fork. (This ten-acre plot was never actually developed as parkland, and now belongs to North Park College.) In 1927, the Chicago Landscape Company implemented a modified version of Crane's plan that included beautiful greenspaces, a foot bridge over the North Branch dam and waterfall, children's playgrounds, athletic fields, and pathways for walking, bicycling, and horseback riding. Chicago architect Clarence Hatzfeld designed an impressive brick fieldhouse with a three-story central section and a long wing on either end. Constructed in 1929 to replace the original structure, the fieldhouse included a 300-seat assembly hall and a fully-equipped kitchen.

The Chicago Park District installed a new swimming pool in 1948, and a new bath house in 1970. During the fall of 1999, the City of Chicago began constructing a boat launch and river walk along the south side of the North Branch, which the park district will operate once completed.

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LaBaugh Woods
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Forest Glen