- Portage Park (Chicago)
Infobox_nrhp | name =Portage Park
Flagstonegate at the southwestern entrance into Portage Park at the intersection of Irving Park Rd. and Central Ave
built = 1913
added = 1995
Chicago Park District
Portage Park is a 36 acre park in the Portage Park community area of
Chicago, Illinoison the National Register of Historic Places. The park stretches from Irving Park Road on the south to Berteau Avenue between Central and Long Avenues. The largest public park on Chicago's Northwest Side, it has many recreational facilities including 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. The park also has an Olympic-size pool featuring a large deck for sunning, misting sprays, as well as an interactive water play area with slide and diving boards in addition to a smaller heated pool. Plans are currently underway for the development of a new, 6,500-square-foot senior center at Portage Park.
Portage Park was not only the site that gave the area its name, it created the neighborhood by bringing together what had been several distinct communities that was populated by a slew of diverse ethnicities. The park came into being in 1913 when area residents formed an independent park board called the Old Portage Park District. The name of the new park district is a reference to the route that ran along what is today Irving Park Road that had once been used by Native Americans and
fur tradersto portagetheir canoesbetween the Des Plaines and Chicago Rivers.
The original plan for Portage Park was drawn up by American Park Builders Company who were also responsible for the initial construction that took place between 1913 and 1917. The park design included a naturalistic swimming lagoon, which opened to the public in July, 1916. A fieldhouse and gymnasium were added in the 1920s, designed by Clarence Hatzfeld, whose architectural firm of Hatzfeld and Knox would later design many of the Prairie and Craftsman-style
bungalowsin the nearby Villa Districtby historic St Wenceslaus. Portage Park quickly became the center of the community, providing athletics and team sports, cultural and club activities, festivities and special events for residents of Chicago's Northwest Side.
The park in Portage Park originally had a dirt bottom
pondthat blended into a cement bottom pool. The hill to the east of the pool that exists now, was the dirt that was removed when the pool was first created when the park was first established. The pond portion of the pool extended to the western edge of this 'hill'.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. WPAimprovements at Portage Park included additional plantings, stonework fountains and gateways, and a comfort station. WPAworkers also removed the original swimming lagoon and constructed a kidney-shaped concrete pool. The WPAwas very involved in the creation of the long gone Rock House at the south end of Portage Park. This Rock House had another small pond area that had goldfishand flower basins, with the water in it kept at a substantial depth to support the fish over winter. This goldfish pond was later filled as a result of the polio epidemicin the 1940s, although the flower planters to the north and east of the main entrance off Central at Irving Park Road will give an idea of just what this Rock House looked like. There were seats throughout the half circle structure of flagstone. Except for the overhead wooden canopy, every where you looked there was white flagstone - walls, seats, floor, support pillars. The Chicago Park Districthas WPAphotos of the structure. The park predates all of the buildings that surround it.
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 Spitzset new world's records. In 1998, the swimming pools and plaza area were rehabilitated while an interactive water play area was created for children.
** [http://www.chicagoparkdistrict.com/index.cfm/fuseaction/parks.detail/object_id/E75518E2-E6C5-4DB5-A955-39A6AEF400AD.cfm Portage Park]
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
Look at other dictionaries:
Portage Park, Chicago — Portage Park is located on the northwest side of Chicago, Illinois and is one of 77 officially designated Chicago community areas. Portage Park is bordered by the community areas of Jefferson Park and Forest Glen to the north, Dunning and the… … Wikipedia
Portage Park (Chicago) — 41° 57′ N 87° 46′ W / 41.95, 87.76 … Wikipédia en Français
Albany Park, Chicago — Albany Park Community area Community Area 14 Albany Park … Wikipedia
Irving Park, Chicago — For other uses, see Irving Park. Irving Park Community area Community Area 16 Irving Park … Wikipedia
Norwood Park, Chicago — For township, see Norwood Park Township, Cook County, Illinois. Norwood Park Community area Community Area 10 Norwood Park … Wikipedia
Jefferson Park, Chicago — Jefferson Park refers to one of Chicago s 77 well defined community areas as well as a neighborhood located on the city s Northwest Side. The territorial discrepancy between the two stems from the fact that the neighborhood of Jefferson Park… … Wikipedia
Chopin Park (Chicago) — Chopin Park Chopin Park is an 8 acre (32,000 m2) park located at 3420 North Long in the Portage Park community area of Chicago, Illinois. The park stretches from Roscoe Street on the south to Cornelia Avenue to the north between Linder and Long… … Wikipedia
North Park, Chicago — North Park Community area Community Area 13 North Park … Wikipedia
McKinley Park, Chicago — McKinley Park Community area Community Area 59 McKinley Park … Wikipedia
Morgan Park, Chicago — Morgan Park redirects here. For the neighborhood in Duluth, see Morgan Park, Duluth, Minnesota. Morgan Park Community area Community Area 75 Morgan Park … Wikipedia