4830 S Western Ave, Chicago, IL 60609
Chicago Park District, John Ronan Architects
Parks & Playgrounds
John Ronan Architects, TERRA Engineering, Thornton Tomasetti, dbHMS, APMonarch, Fountain Technologies Inc.
The headquarters of the Chicago Park District relocated from Downtown Chicago to the Brighton Park neighborhood on the city’s southwest side. The resulting 17-acre site offers wide-ranging recreation opportunities for all ages and abilities. Outdoor amenities include athletic fields, a spacious great lawn, and a dedicated children’s play area, which is divided into multiple components.
The park’s entrance from the north features an interactive entry plaza with water-activated pools. Moving south, there is an inclusive playground that focuses on climbing, motion, and accessibility through topographic features. A sculptural water feature acts as a transition to the nature play area, where creative play elements encourage exploration.
The native habitat on the northeast corner of the site serves as an educational landscape. Here, visitors interact with a variety of native plant species that provide a habitat for local birds, mammals, and insects, including important pollinators. Stormwater is infiltrated on-site through planted areas and permeable surfaces, helping recharge local aquifers and keep water out of the city’s sewer system.
The park, a former brownfield site, also houses the new 78,000 sq. ft. Chicago Park District administrative building and fieldhouse, designed by John Ronan Architects.