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Lincoln Park
Lincoln Park during the winter.
Type Urban park
Location Chicago
41°57′N 87°38′W / 41.95°N 87.64°W / 41.95; -87.64 (Lincoln Park)Coordinates: 41°57′N 87°38′W / 41.95°N 87.64°W / 41.95; -87.64 (Lincoln Park)
Size 1,200 acres (490 ha)
1.875 sq mi (4.86 km2)
Opened 1843

Lincoln Park is a 1,200 acre (4.9 km², 1.875 mi²) park along Chicago, Illinois' lakefront facing Lake Michigan.

The park stretches from North Avenue (1600 N) on the south to Foster (5200 N),[1] just north of the Lake Shore Drive terminus at North Hollywood Avenue. It is Chicago's largest public park. Its recreational facilities include 15 baseball areas, 6 basketball courts, 2 softball courts, 35 tennis courts, 163 volley ball courts, field houses, and a golf course. It includes a number of harbours with boating facilities, as well as public beaches. There are landscaped gardens, a zoo, the Lincoln Park Conservatory, the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, and a theater on the lake with regular outdoor performances during the summer.



A concert in Lincoln Park circa 1907.

Added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1994,[2] Lincoln Park began its existence as City Cemetery in 1843. This was subdivided into a Potter's Field, Catholic cemetery, Jewish cemetery, and the general City Cemetery. These cemeteries were the only cemeteries in the Chicago area until 1859. In 1852, David Kennison, who is said to have been born in 1736, died and was buried in City Cemetery. Another notable burial in the cemetery was Chicago Mayor James Curtiss, whose body was lost when the cemetery was turned into a park.

In 1864, the city council decided to turn the 120-acre (0.49 km2) cemetery into a park. To this day, the Couch mausoleum can still be seen as the most visible example of the history as a cemetery, standing amidst trees, behind the Chicago History Museum. Ira Couch, who is interred in the tomb, was one of Chicago's earliest innkeepers, opening the Tremont House in 1835. Couch is not the only person to still be interred in Lincoln Park. Partially due to the destruction of the Chicago Fire on tombstones, it was difficult to remove many of the remains. As recently as 1998, construction in the park has revealed more bodies left over from the nineteenth century.[3]

Another large and important group of graves relocated from the site of today's Lincoln Park was that of approximately 4,000 Confederate prisoners of war who died at Camp Douglas (located south of downtown Chicago near the stockyards). The prisoners held there in 1862-65 died largely as a result of the terrible conditions of hunger, disease and privation existing at that notorious Federal prison. Today their gravesite may be found at Oak Woods Cemetery in the southern part of Chicago. A one acre (4,000 m²) mass grave and a monument erected by Southerners and Chicago friends in 1895 immortalizes these Southerners whose remains were interred in the North, originally buried at the site of today's Lincoln Park and removed after the American Civil War. Author George Levy believes that many of the confederate prisoners are still to be found in what is currently baseball fields, the former site of the potter's field.[4]

Another aspect of the park were the Young Lords Lincoln Park neighborhood sit ins and take-overs of institutions, protesting the displacement of Latinos by Mayor Daley's urban renewal policies.It was also the violent events that took place during the 1968 Democratic National Convention. These events transpired around the convention center, Grant Park, Old Town, and the park adjacent (on Clark Street) called Lincoln Park.

I pointed out that it was in the best interests of the City to have us in Lincoln Park ten miles (16 km) away from the Convention hall. I said we had no intention of marching on the Convention hall, that I didn't particularly think that politics in America could be changed by marches and rallies, that what we were presenting was an alternative life style, and we hoped that people of Chicago would come up, and mingle in Lincoln Park and see what we were about.
Abbie Hoffman, from the Chicago 7 trial


See also: Lincoln Park Zoo

Lincoln Park is, perhaps, best known for the Lincoln Park Zoo, a free zoo which is open year-round. Two sections of Lincoln Park Zoo have been set aside for children. The first is the Pritzker Family Children's Zoo. The Children's Zoo contains an indoor structure for children to play in. The second area of the zoo for children in the Farm-in-the-Zoo, presented by John Deere. This small farm contains pigs, cows, horses and other animals which can be found on farms. Children can feed and pet the animals. In addition, the cows are milked in public for children to see.

Near the southern end of Lincoln Park Zoo, one can rent a paddle boat for a spin around the Lincoln Park Lagoon. The Lagoon is surrounded by trees and offers a relaxing time (and, of course, paddling exercise). Kayakers and canoers also take to the lagoon and one can often see scullers as well.


A statue of Shakespeare decorated for winter.
Photochrom of the Grant Memorial ca. 1901

Lincoln Park is known for its statuary. Walking through the zoo and into the park, one sees many of Chicago's great works of art. Just as there is a statue of Abraham Lincoln in Grant Park, there is a memorial to Ulysses S. Grant in Lincoln Park overlooking Cannon Drive at the south end of the zoo. The sculpture was created in 1891 by Louis Rebisso. There is also a statue of Lincoln in Lincoln Park, the Standing Lincoln (1887), by Augustus Saint-Gaudens, the same sculptor who created the Sitting Lincoln in Grant Park. A standing Lincoln can be seen behind the Chicago History Museum. The only other person who is immortalized by statues in both Grant and Lincoln Parks is Alexander Hamilton, the Lincoln Park statue sculpted by John Angel. John Gelert's Hans Christian Andersen (1896) on Stockton Drive provides a tribute to the Danish storyteller. The Eugene Field Memorial (1922) designed by Edward McCartan remembers the Chicago Daily News columnist and poet who wrote "Little Boy Blue" and "Winken, Blinken, and Nod." William Ordway Partridge's statue of William Shakespeare (1894) provides a third great story-teller in Lincoln Park. This seated Shakespeare provides a lap for children to climb onto. A bust of Sir Georg Solti, the former conductor of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra was also situated just west of the zoo until its relocation to Grant Park in October, 2006. Statues of the German poets Johann Wolfgang von Goethe and Friedrich Schiller can also be found in Lincoln park. The large Goethe statue is located near Diversey and Stockton. The smaller Schiller statue is located near the western entrance to the zoo. At Addison Street stands a 40-foot (12 m) totem pole depicting Kwanusila the Thunderbird. Finally, a statue of John Peter Altgeld (1915), the nineteenth-century Illinois Governor who pardoned the Haymarket Square rioters, can be seen just south of Diversey. This statue was created by Gutzon Borglum and unveiled on September 6, 1915. Borglum went on to become the sculptor of the Mount Rushmore Monument.

Recreational Areas

Lincoln Park has many specialized spaces for recreational activities. Lincoln Park contains playgrounds, a golf course, tennis courts, boating facilities, playing fields for football, baseball, soccer, and areas for horseback riding.


North Pond

The North Pond, located just north of Fullerton avenue by the Lincoln Park Conservatory is a small pond that has become an important wildlife area. Historically the site was a dune, then a dumping ground, and recently converted into a pond with a littoral shelf that greatly improved the water quality by re-establishing native marsh ecology. The pondside restoration of prairie plants has included many native species: little bluestem, sky-blue aster, nodding wild onion, side-oats grama, butterfly weed, purple prairie clover, rough blazing star, wild quinine, prairie phlox, coneflowers, false dragonhead, northern prairie dropseed, showy goldenrod, rattlesnake master, shooting star, and wild bergamot.[5] North Pond is notable as the site where Mayor Richard M. Daley and the US Fish and Wildlife Service signed an Urban Conservation Treaty for Migratory Birds in April, 2004, making the city eligible for federal funds to restore habitat for the lakefront migratory pathway for about 160 species of birds.

Green Heron at the North Pond
Beaver at the North Pond 2008
Cover of the book "Tales from an Urban Wilderness" in front of the North Pond
Beaver Lodge Re-appears in Chicago's North Pond Dec., 2009

Restoration of marsh and prairie native plants has drawn a great diversity of wildlife to this urban pond including many species of birds, turtles, frogs, and even a few beavers. Great Blue Herons, Black-crowned Night Herons, Green Herons, Mallards, Wood Ducks, Song Sparrows and woodpeckers can regularly be spotted at the North Pond.

The "Lincoln Park Beaver"

Few sightings of wild animals in Lincoln Park have caused as much excitement as when a beaver was spotted swimming across the middle of North Pond one winter day. Being a creature more associated with wilderness streams and rivers a beaver inside the city limits was unusual indeed.
— Scott Holingue, Tales from an Urban Wilderness, 1994


The "Lincoln Park Beaver" has not been as well received by the Chicago Park District and the Lincoln Park Conservancy, which was concerned over damage to trees in the North Pond area. In March 2009, they hired an exterminator to remove a beaver family using live traps, and accidentally killed the mother when she got caught in a snare and drowned.[7] Relocation costs $4,000-$4,500 per animal. Scott Garrow, District Wildlife Biologist with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, opined that relocating the beavers may be "a waste of time", as there are records of beaver recolonizing North Pond in Lincoln Park in 1994, 2003, 2004, 2008 and 2009.[6][7][8][9]

As of fall 2009 a new beaver lodge has appeared on North Pond's northwest bank.


  1. ^ "Lincoln Park History". Parks & Facilities. Chicago Park District. Archived from the original on 2009-06-20. Retrieved 2009-06-21.  
  2. ^ "National Register of Historic Places – Illinois (IL), Cook County". Retrieved 14 August 2009.  
  3. ^ "Hidden Truth: The Chicago City Cemetery and Lincoln Park". Retrieved 2009-07-07.  
  4. ^ "Hidden Truth: Potter's Field". Retrieved 2009-07-07.  
  5. ^ Chicago Park District (Feb. 2002). "Nature Areas: Lincoln Park Pond". Retrieved Dec. 6, 2009.  
  6. ^ a b Holingue, Scott: "Tales from an Urban Wilderness: Wildlife's Struggle for Survival in a Park Where City & Wilderness Meet", page 63. Chicago Historical Bookworks, Jan. 1, 1994
  7. ^ a b Boehm, Kiersten (14 Nov 2008). "Lincoln Park Beaver Relocated". Inside at Your News Chicago, IL Edition. Retrieved 4 Dec 2009.  
  8. ^ "Park District Kills Beaver in Lincoln Park". April, 2009. Retrieved Dec. 4, 2009.  
  9. ^ John Greenfield (May 7-13, 2009). "Why are there signs that claim the Park District murdered a beaver?". Time Out Chicago. Retrieved Dec. 4, 2009.  

External links

Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

There is more than one place called Lincoln Park:


United States of America

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