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Chicago Park District collection

Identifier: MSS0060

Scope and Contents

This collection was assembled by a neighborhood resident during her work on various advisory boards and citizen action groups in the Old Town Triangle neighborhood during the 1980s and 1990s. In the course of her work she received and retained Park District reports, correspondence, and files. This collection consists of her personal files from this period. Records include correspondence, newsletters, programs, maps, and many other materials from the 1930s to the 1990s.


  • 1930s-1994
  • Majority of material found within 1957-1994

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research use.

Biographical / Historical

Chicago was incorporated as a city in 1837. Though it adopted the motto "Urbs in Horto" (City in a Garden), the city had few official policies relating to the acquisition or stewardship of public open spaces prior to 1869. Dearborn Park (which no longer exists) is considered Chicago's first park and was established in 1839 on a portion of land occupied by Fort Dearborn. Most of the other parks that were established before 1869 resulted from the donation or sale of lands at reduced rates by real estate developers. In the late 1860s, citizens concerned about the lack of adequate parkland in their areas began lobbying for the creation of more open public space. As a result, three Acts of State Legislature were approved in 1869, which established three separate park systems: Lincoln Park, South Park, and West Park Commissions. Throughout the years, more park districts were created to meet the increasing needs of the citizens of Chicago. By 1934, Chicago had 22 park districts, which were combined to create the Chicago Park District as it exists today. Over the years, landscapers, architects, and citizens have strived to maintain one of the largest municipal park systems in the world. It includes 27 miles of shoreline, over 7,300 acres of park property, more than 250 facilities, including 9 of Chicago's leading museums and cultural institutions, plus Soldier Field Stadium.


1.5 Linear Feet (4 boxes)

Language of Materials



This collection is organized into six series: 1. Publications; 2. Administration; 3. Budget Files; 4. Events; 5. Parks; 6. Press and Public Notices.

Physical Location


Immediate Source of Acquisition

Accession 1996.16

Related Materials

Collection on Friends of the Parks

Guide to Chicago Park District collection
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English

Repository Details

Part of the DePaul Special Collections and Archives Repository

John T. Richardson Library
2350 N. Kenmore Ave.
Room 314
Chicago Illinois 60614