Washington Park

  • 5531 S. Martin Luther King Dr.   Chicago, Illinois 60637 [View Map]
  • Fieldhouse Hours: , ,
  • Park Hours: , ,
  • Park Supervisor: Janie M. Collins
  • Park Phone: (773) 256-1248

Located in the Washington Park/Woodlawn neighborhood, Washington Park totals 366.84 acres and features two gymnasiums, a photography lab, dance studio, racquetball court, fitness center,game room, and multi-purpose rooms. Green features of the park include a nature area, a Harvest Garden and an arboretum. Outside, the park offers a lagoon, aquatic center, three playgrounds, basketball/ tennis courts, baseball, football, soccer, cricket, and softball fields. Many of these spaces are available for rental including our gymnasiums, fields, and multi-purpose rooms. Additionally, Washington Park features the renowed Fountain of Time sculpture by Lorado Taft.

Park-goers can participate in the Park Kids after school program, seasonal sports, fitness, Teen Club, Junior Bears Football. On the cultural side, the park offers music and movement and dance. During the summer, youth can participate in the Chicago Park District’s popular six-week day camp.

In addition to programs, Washington Park hosts fun special events throughout the year for the entire family, such as Ashaki Black History Month Celebration and other holiday-themed events.

History

Designed by Frederick Law Olmsted & Calvert Vaux, Washington Park is one of Chicago’s most significant historic landscapes. Originally considered the “western division”—a 367-acre portion of the enormous 1055-acre South Park—it was connected to the park’s “eastern division” via a grand boulevard called the Midway Plaisance. In 1881, the South Park Commissioners named the western division in honor of George Wash­ington (1732–1799) first president of the United States. At the same time, they named the eastern division Jackson Park.

 

Olmsted and Vaux completed an ambitious plan for South Park in 1871. The plan included a magnificent South Open Green- an open meadow on which cows and sheep would roam to enhance the pastoral experience and keep the lawn trim. The meadow was not only enjoyed by flocks of Southdown sheep, but also park patrons who gathered for baseball, drills, and other athletics.  Renowned architects Burnham & Root designed two late nineteenth century buildings in the park—the stables and round house and the refectory which originally housed the offices for the South park Commissioners.  In 1910 Burnham’s firm designed a larger administrative headquarters which houses the Du Sable Museum of African American History.

 

In 1922 Lorado Taft (1860–1936), Chicago’s pre-eminent sculptor, created the Fountain of Time on the southeastern edge of Washington Park. Inspired by ”The Paradox of Time,” a poem by Henry Austin Dobson, Taft’s fountain is composed of an ominous cloaked Father-Time figure gazing at a wave-like procession of one hundred human figures across the water.

 

By the mid-1930s, the growing African-American community around Washington Park was in dire need of additional recreational facilities. The park district responded by building two competition-size swimming pools near the refectory. In the early 1990s, the park district rehabilitated the refectory and transformed the swimming area into a major aquatic center. Recent projects include lagoon improvements, the construction of a $700 thousand playground, the creation of an arboretum, and a $2 million restoration of the Fountain of Time.  Lagoon improvements were made in the early 2000s.

Parking/Directions

For directions using public transportation visit www.transitchicago.com.

Elegant Beauty

Elegant Beauty (1)

Location Notes: Adjacent to entryway of DuSable Museum of African American History

Descriptors: Outdoor, Sculpture

Fountain of Time

Fountain of Time (1)

Location Notes: West of S. Cottage Grove Avenue on axis with Midway Plaisance

Descriptors: Outdoor, Sculptural Fountain

George Washington Monument

George Washington Monument (1)

Location Notes: S. Martin Luther King Drive, north of Washington Park, north of E. 51st Street

Descriptors: Outdoor, Sculpture

Mosaic

Mosaic (1)

Location Notes: Field house lobby stairwell

Descriptors: Indoor, Mosaic or Ceramic

Peculiar People

Peculiar People (1)

Location Notes: Back wall of gymnasium stage

Descriptors: Indoor, Mural

Playground Art

Playground Art (1)

Location Notes: South of the Aquatic Center and east of S. Martin Luther King Drive

Descriptors: Indoor, Playground Art

Spirit of DuSable Series

Spirit of DuSable Series (1)

Location Notes: North of DuSable Museum of African American History

Descriptors: Outdoor, Sculpture

Unconditional Love

Unconditional Love (1)

Location Notes: Adjacent to entryway of DuSable Museum of African American History

Descriptors: Outdoor, Sculpture

Drexel Fountain

Drexel Fountain (1)

Location Notes: Drexel Square, east of Washington Park

Descriptors: Outdoor, Sculptural Fountain

Washington Fountains, Monuments, Sculptures

Washington Fountains, Monuments, Sculptures

Location Notes: 5531 S. King Dr.

Notes: Fountain of Time Sculpture

Washington Baseball

Washington Baseball

Location Notes: 5531 S. King Dr.

Washington Basketball

Washington Basketball

Location Notes: 5531 S. King Dr.

Washington Park - Lille's Hot Dogs

Washington Park - Lille's Hot Dogs

Location: 4147 W. 58th St.

Hours: ,

Phone: (312)434-4727

Descriptors: Food & Beverage

Washington Cricket Slab

Washington Cricket Slab

Location Notes: 5531 S. King Dr.

Washington Fieldhouse

Washington Fieldhouse

Location Notes: 5531 S. King Dr.

Hours: , ,

Washington Fishing Area

Washington Fishing Area

Location Notes: 5531 S. King Dr.

Washington Fitness Center

Washington Fitness CenterAccessible

Hours: ,

Notes:

M-F, 8-8:45pm;

Sign up for a membership: Month, 3 Month, Year, Teen (Limited Hrs)

Descriptors: ADA Accessible Equipment

Washington Football/Soccer

Washington Football/Soccer

Location Notes: 5531 S. King Dr.

Descriptors: Grass

DuSable Museum Flower Garden

DuSable Museum Flower Garden

Location Notes: 740 65th Pl.

Notes: DuSable Museum Flower Gardens

Washington Gymnasium

Washington Gymnasium

Location Notes: 5531 S. King Dr.

Washington Lagoon

Washington Lagoon

Location Notes: 5531 S. Martin Luther King Dr.

Notes: Washington Park Lagoon

Washington Clubroom

Washington Clubroom

Location Notes: 5531 S. King Dr.

Washington Auditorium

Washington Auditorium

Location Notes: 5531 S. King Dr.

Washington Playground - E

Washington Playground - EAccessible

Location: 5450 S. Cottage Grove Ave.

Descriptors: Engineered Wood Fiber Surface

Washington Playground - NW

Washington Playground - NWAccessible

Location: 5250 S. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Dr.

Notes: Chicago Plays! Renovation, Spring 2016

Descriptors: Engineered Wood Fiber Surface

Washington Playground - S

Washington Playground - SAccessible

Location: 550 E. 60th St.

Descriptors: Engineered Wood Fiber Surface

Washington Playground - SW

Washington Playground - SWAccessible

Location: 5650 S. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Dr.

Descriptors: Rubberized Surface

Washington Rackquetball Court

Washington Rackquetball Court

Location Notes: 5531 S. King Dr. Chicago IL 60615

Washington Park Pool

Washington Park PoolAccessible (1)

Hours:

Phone: (773)288-0619

Descriptors: Outdoor, Water Slide, ADA Lift

6/26 - 8/6 Washington Park Pool Schedule

Notice Valid From: 6/2/2017 - 9/11/2017

6/16 - 6/18 Washington Park Pool Schedule

Notice Valid From: 6/2/2017 - 9/11/2017

8/7 - 8/27 Washington Park Pool Schedule

Notice Valid From: 6/2/2017 - 9/11/2017

7/4 Washington Park Pool Schedule

Notice Valid From: 6/2/2017 - 9/11/2017

6/19 - 6/25 Washington Park Pool Schedule

Notice Valid From: 6/2/2017 - 9/11/2017

8/28 - 9/3 Washington Park Pool Schedule

Notice Valid From: 6/2/2017 - 9/11/2017

9/4 Washington Park Pool Schedule

Notice Valid From: 6/2/2017 - 9/11/2017

Washington Tennis Court

Washington Tennis Court

Location Notes: 5531 S. King Dr. Chicago IL 60615

Washington Spray Pool

Washington Spray Pool

Location Notes: 5531 S. King Dr. Chicago IL 60615

Events

AUG
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Soundwalks_-_Midwest_Society_for_Acoust_Ecol

Soundwalks at Washington

Location: Washington Park, Chicago, IL  60637

Spring Programs

Most spring programs start the week of  April 3 and run through the week of June 5.  Click on the program name links below to view a program and register now.  Registration is on-going while spots are available.
 

Summer Programs

The standard 6-week day camp runs June 26 through August 4.  Specialty camp dates vary.  Most other summer programs start the week of June 19 and run through the week of August 21.  View programs online & create your wishlist beginning  Monday, April 10.  Registration dates for our park are:

  • Online registration begins on Tuesday, April 25, 2017 at 9:00am.
  • In-person registration begins on Saturday, April 29, 2017.

Click on the program name links below for program descriptions, availability information and to register online now (if available).

Name Number Type Category Ages Gender Dates Fee
Junior Bear Football - Varsity at Washington 179740InstructionSports - FootballAt least 11 but less than 13Coed2017/04/07 22:00From April 7, 2017 to June 23, 2017
Each Friday from 5pm to 6:30pm
$10.00
Name Number Type Category Ages Gender Dates Fee
Adult Swim at Washington 195137OpenAquatics - Open18 and upCoed2017/06/19 16:00From June 19, 2017 to August 25, 2017
Each Monday from 11am to Noon
Each Tuesday from 11am to Noon
Each Wednesday from 11am to Noon
Each Thursday from 11am to Noon
Each Friday from 11am to Noon
$0
Aquatic Exercise II - Low Impact at Washington 195235InstructionAquatics - Fitness60 and upCoed2017/06/19 13:15From June 19, 2017 to August 21, 2017
Each Monday from 8:15am to 9:15am
$0
Aquatic Exercise II - Low Impact at Washington 195232InstructionAquatics - Fitness60 and upCoed2017/06/20 13:15From June 20, 2017 to August 22, 2017
Each Tuesday from 8:15am to 9:15am
$0
Aquatic Exercise II - Low Impact at Washington 195236InstructionAquatics - Fitness60 and upCoed2017/06/21 13:15From June 21, 2017 to August 23, 2017
Each Wednesday from 8:15am to 9:15am
$0
Aquatic Exercise II - Low Impact at Washington 195233InstructionAquatics - Fitness60 and upCoed2017/06/22 13:15From June 22, 2017 to August 24, 2017
Each Thursday from 8:15am to 9:15am
$0
Aquatic Exercise II - Low Impact at Washington 195234InstructionAquatics - Fitness60 and upCoed2017/06/23 13:15From June 23, 2017 to August 25, 2017
Each Friday from 8:15am to 9:15am
$0
Basketball - Open at Washington 195383OpenSports - Basketball18 and upCoed2017/06/22 23:00From June 22, 2017 to August 24, 2017
Each Thursday from 6pm to 8pm
$23.00
Boot Camp at Washington 195425InstructionWellness - Fitness18 and upCoed2017/06/20 23:30From June 20, 2017 to August 24, 2017
Each Tuesday from 6:30pm to 7:30pm
Each Thursday from 6:30pm to 7:30pm
$39.00
Day Camp (Special Recreation) at Washington 195583CampsCamps - General Interest6 and upCoed2017/06/26 14:30From June 26, 2017 to August 4, 2017
Each Monday from 9:30am to 3:30pm
Each Tuesday from 9:30am to 3:30pm
Each Wednesday from 9:30am to 3:30pm
Each Thursday from 9:30am to 3:30pm
Each Friday from 9:30am to 3:30pm
$152.00
Day Camp at Washington 195699CampsCamps - General InterestAt least 6 but less than 13Coed2017/06/26 15:00From June 26, 2017 to August 4, 2017
Each Monday from 10am to 4pm
Each Tuesday from 10am to 4pm
Each Wednesday from 10am to 4pm
Each Thursday from 10am to 4pm
Each Friday from 10am to 4pm
$265.00
Deaf & Hard-of-Hearing Basketball at Washington 195714InstructionSports - Basketball18 and upMale2017/06/24 14:00From June 24, 2017 to August 26, 2017
Each Saturday from 9am to Noon
$13.00
Early Bird Camp at Washington 195800CampsCamps - General InterestAt least 6 but less than 13Coed2017/06/26 13:00From June 26, 2017 to August 4, 2017
Each Monday from 8am to 10am
Each Tuesday from 8am to 10am
Each Wednesday from 8am to 10am
Each Thursday from 8am to 10am
Each Friday from 8am to 10am
$88.00
Eco Explorers at Washington 195811CampsCamps - Special InterestAt least 9 but less than 13Female2017/07/10 15:00From July 10, 2017 to July 14, 2017
Each Monday from 10am to 2pm
Each Tuesday from 10am to 2pm
Each Wednesday from 10am to 2pm
Each Thursday from 10am to 2pm
Each Friday from 10am to 2pm
$0
Eco Explorers at Washington 195812CampsCamps - Special InterestAt least 9 but less than 13Male2017/07/10 15:00From July 10, 2017 to July 14, 2017
Each Monday from 10am to 2pm
Each Tuesday from 10am to 2pm
Each Wednesday from 10am to 2pm
Each Thursday from 10am to 2pm
Each Friday from 10am to 2pm
$0
Extended Camp at Washington 195884CampsCamps - General InterestAt least 6 but less than 13Coed2017/06/26 21:00From June 26, 2017 to August 4, 2017
Each Monday from 4pm to 5pm
Each Tuesday from 4pm to 5pm
Each Wednesday from 4pm to 5pm
Each Thursday from 4pm to 5pm
Each Friday from 4pm to 5pm
$44.00
Family Swim at Washington 195940OpenAquatics - OpenAnyCoed2017/06/19 17:30From June 19, 2017 to August 27, 2017
Each Sunday from 12:30pm to 3pm
Each Monday from 9:30am to 10:45am
Each Tuesday from 6pm to 7pm
Each Tuesday from 9:30am to 10:45am
Each Wednesday from 9:30am to 10:45am
Each Thursday from 9:30am to 10:45am
Each Thursday from 6pm to 7pm
Each Friday from 9:30am to 10:45am
Each Saturday from 12:30pm to 3pm
$0
Football Camp at Washington 195982CampsCamps - SportsAt least 8 but less than 14Coed2017/06/20 22:00From June 20, 2017 to August 25, 2017
Each Tuesday from 5pm to 7pm
Each Wednesday from 5pm to 7pm
Each Thursday from 5pm to 7pm
Each Friday from 5pm to 7pm
$0
Inner City Baseball - RBI Jr. at Washington 196239Individual_LeagueSports - BaseballAt least 13 but less than 16Coed2017/05/22 19:00From May 22, 2017 to August 2, 2017
Each Monday from 2pm to 6pm
Each Wednesday from 2pm to 6pm
$0
Inner City Baseball - RBI SR. at Washington 201855Individual_LeagueSports - BaseballAt least 16 but less than 18Male2017/06/06 20:00From June 6, 2017 to July 13, 2017
Each Tuesday from 3pm to 8pm
Each Thursday from 6pm to 11pm
$0
Inner City Baseball - Youth at Washington 196258Individual_LeagueSports - BaseballAt least 9 but less than 13Coed2017/05/23 19:00From May 23, 2017 to August 3, 2017
Each Tuesday from 2pm to 6pm
Each Thursday from 2pm to 6pm
$0
Lap Swim at Washington 196340OpenAquatics - Open18 and upCoed2017/06/19 12:00From June 19, 2017 to August 25, 2017
Each Monday from 7am to 8am
Each Tuesday from 7am to 8am
Each Wednesday from 7am to 8am
Each Thursday from 7am to 8am
Each Friday from 7am to 8am
$40.00
Learn to Swim at Washington 196599InstructionAquatics - LessonsAt least 6 but less than 13Coed2017/06/24 16:00From June 24, 2017 to August 26, 2017
Each Saturday from 11am to Noon
$30.00
Low Impact Aerobics at Washington 196638InstructionWellness - Aerobics18 and upCoed2017/06/20 00:15From June 19, 2017 to August 21, 2017
Each Monday from 7:15pm to 8:15pm
$15.00
Low Impact Aerobics at Washington 196639InstructionWellness - Aerobics18 and upCoed2017/06/22 00:15From June 21, 2017 to August 23, 2017
Each Wednesday from 7:15pm to 8:15pm
$15.00
Open Swim Female at Washington 196718OpenAquatics - OpenAnyFemale2017/06/19 20:30From June 19, 2017 to August 27, 2017
Each Sunday from 3:30pm to 4:30pm
Each Monday from 3:30pm to 4:30pm
Each Tuesday from 3:30pm to 4:30pm
Each Wednesday from 3:30pm to 4:30pm
Each Thursday from 3:30pm to 4:30pm
Each Friday from 3:30pm to 4:30pm
Each Saturday from 3:30pm to 4:30pm
$0
Open Swim Male at Washington 196721OpenAquatics - OpenAnyMale2017/06/19 21:45From June 19, 2017 to August 27, 2017
Each Sunday from 4:45pm to 5:45pm
Each Monday from 4:45pm to 5:45pm
Each Tuesday from 4:45pm to 5:45pm
Each Wednesday from 4:45pm to 5:45pm
Each Thursday from 4:45pm to 5:45pm
Each Friday from 4:45pm to 5:45pm
Each Saturday from 4:45pm to 5:45pm
$0
Sports Mentoring Camp at Dulles School 221021CampsCamps - SportsAt least 8 but less than 11Coed2017/06/26 14:00From June 26, 2017 to August 4, 2017
Each Monday from 9am to Noon
Each Tuesday from 9am to Noon
Each Wednesday from 9am to Noon
Each Thursday from 9am to Noon
Each Friday from 9am to Noon
$0
Sports Mentoring Camp at Dulles School 221022CampsCamps - SportsAt least 11 but less than 14Coed2017/06/26 17:00From June 26, 2017 to August 4, 2017
Each Monday from Noon to 3pm
Each Tuesday from Noon to 3pm
Each Wednesday from Noon to 3pm
Each Thursday from Noon to 3pm
Each Friday from Noon to 3pm
$0
Table Tennis at Washington 197132InstructionSports - Table Tennis18 and upCoed2017/06/19 17:00From June 19, 2017 to August 27, 2017
Each Sunday from Noon to 4pm
Each Monday from 5:30pm to 8pm
Each Wednesday from 5:30pm to 8pm
Each Friday from 5:30pm to 8pm
$23.00
TEAM Sports at Washington 197191InstructionAquatics - SpecializedAt least 6 but less than 18Coed2017/06/16 16:00From June 16, 2017 to September 4, 2017
Each Monday from 11am to 12:15pm
Each Tuesday from 11am to 12:15pm
Each Wednesday from 11am to 12:15pm
Each Thursday from 11am to 12:15pm
Each Friday from 11am to 12:15pm
$35.00
Teen Fit Box at Washington 197220InstructionWellness - FitnessAt least 13 but less than 18Coed2017/06/19 21:00From June 19, 2017 to August 21, 2017
Each Monday from 4pm to 4:45pm
$0
Teen Fit Box at Washington 197221InstructionWellness - FitnessAt least 13 but less than 18Coed2017/06/21 21:00From June 21, 2017 to August 23, 2017
Each Wednesday from 4pm to 4:45pm
$0
Teen Fit Box Camp at Washington 221012CampsCamps - Special InterestAt least 13 but less than 18Coed2017/08/28 22:00From August 28, 2017 to August 30, 2017
Each Monday from 5pm to 7pm
Each Tuesday from 5pm to 7pm
Each Wednesday from 5pm to 7pm
$0
Teen Sports League - Basketball at Washington 197268Individual_LeagueSports - BasketballAt least 13 but less than 16Coed2017/07/06 21:00From July 6, 2017 to August 10, 2017
Each Tuesday from 4pm to 8pm
Each Thursday from 4pm to 8pm
$0
Teen Sports League - Basketball at Washington 197267Individual_LeagueSports - BasketballAt least 16 but less than 19Coed2017/07/05 21:00From July 5, 2017 to August 11, 2017
Each Wednesday from 4pm to 8pm
Each Friday from 4pm to 8pm
$0
Yoga at Washington 197663InstructionWellness - Yoga18 and upCoed2017/06/19 22:00From June 19, 2017 to August 21, 2017
Each Monday from 5pm to 6pm
$15.00
Yoga at Washington 197664InstructionWellness - Yoga18 and upCoed2017/06/21 22:00From June 21, 2017 to August 23, 2017
Each Wednesday from 5pm to 6pm
$15.00
Yoga/Pilates at Washington 197677InstructionWellness - Yoga18 and upCoed2017/06/19 23:00From June 19, 2017 to August 21, 2017
Each Monday from 6pm to 7pm
$15.00
Yoga/Pilates at Washington 197678InstructionWellness - Yoga18 and upCoed2017/06/21 23:00From June 21, 2017 to August 23, 2017
Each Wednesday from 6pm to 7pm
$15.00

Photos & Videos

Reviews

Description

Located in the Washington Park/Woodlawn neighborhood, Washington Park totals 366.84 acres and features two gymnasiums, a photography lab, dance studio, racquetball court, fitness center,game room, and multi-purpose rooms. Green features of the park include a nature area, a Harvest Garden and an arboretum. Outside, the park offers a lagoon, aquatic center, three playgrounds, basketball/ tennis courts, baseball, football, soccer, cricket, and softball fields. Many of these spaces are available for rental including our gymnasiums, fields, and multi-purpose rooms. Additionally, Washington Park features the renowed Fountain of Time sculpture by Lorado Taft.

Park-goers can participate in the Park Kids after school program, seasonal sports, fitness, Teen Club, Junior Bears Football. On the cultural side, the park offers music and movement and dance. During the summer, youth can participate in the Chicago Park District’s popular six-week day camp.

In addition to programs, Washington Park hosts fun special events throughout the year for the entire family, such as Ashaki Black History Month Celebration and other holiday-themed events.

Designed by Frederick Law Olmsted & Calvert Vaux, Washington Park is one of Chicago’s most significant historic landscapes. Originally considered the “western division”—a 367-acre portion of the enormous 1055-acre South Park—it was connected to the park’s “eastern division” via a grand boulevard called the Midway Plaisance. In 1881, the South Park Commissioners named the western division in honor of George Wash­ington (1732–1799) first president of the United States. At the same time, they named the eastern division Jackson Park.

 

Olmsted and Vaux completed an ambitious plan for South Park in 1871. The plan included a magnificent South Open Green- an open meadow on which cows and sheep would roam to enhance the pastoral experience and keep the lawn trim. The meadow was not only enjoyed by flocks of Southdown sheep, but also park patrons who gathered for baseball, drills, and other athletics.  Renowned architects Burnham & Root designed two late nineteenth century buildings in the park—the stables and round house and the refectory which originally housed the offices for the South park Commissioners.  In 1910 Burnham’s firm designed a larger administrative headquarters which houses the Du Sable Museum of African American History.

 

In 1922 Lorado Taft (1860–1936), Chicago’s pre-eminent sculptor, created the Fountain of Time on the southeastern edge of Washington Park. Inspired by ”The Paradox of Time,” a poem by Henry Austin Dobson, Taft’s fountain is composed of an ominous cloaked Father-Time figure gazing at a wave-like procession of one hundred human figures across the water.

 

By the mid-1930s, the growing African-American community around Washington Park was in dire need of additional recreational facilities. The park district responded by building two competition-size swimming pools near the refectory. In the early 1990s, the park district rehabilitated the refectory and transformed the swimming area into a major aquatic center. Recent projects include lagoon improvements, the construction of a $700 thousand playground, the creation of an arboretum, and a $2 million restoration of the Fountain of Time.  Lagoon improvements were made in the early 2000s.

For directions using public transportation visit www.transitchicago.com.