Chicago Parks

Parks have always been a part of Chicago’s city planning. Explore their growth and development from six large parks begun around 1870 to over 500 today.

While Chicago’s lakefront parks are popular with residents and tourists alike, public green space abounds in many parts of the city. Take in lagoons, prairies, wetlands and woodlands across the urban landscape. Peek into field houses and refectories. Gaze at bridges, pergolas and fountains, from the utilitarian to the ornate. Observe how Chicagoans and visitors engage with the parks in all seasons by biking, ice skating, sledding, competing in archery, taking selfies, celebrating events and more.

Digital Collections

Collections that focus on Chicago’s parks include:
Chicago Park District Records: Photographs
Photographs from the Chicago Park District document how the city’s parks have grown, changed and been enjoyed for more than a century.
Millennium Park U.S. Equities Realty Collection
See a rail yard transform into a dynamic urban park.