A secluded spot beloved by locals to the Rogers Park neighborhood, Marion Mahony Griffin Beach offers a quiet respite from Chicago’s busy pace. The sandy beach spans a half-acre of water frontage for visitors to enjoy Lake Michigan’s cooling waters, or for a nice stroll in the off season. Also called Jarvis beach for its adjacency to Jarvis Avenue, this is a great summer destination that’s off the beaten path.
Marion Mahony Griffin Beach Park History
Jarvis Street takes its name from R.J. Jarvis, a friend of the Rogers and Touhy families who founded and subdivided Rogers Park. In 2015, the beach was renamed in honor of Marion Mahony Griffin, an internationally significant architect who had been largely forgotten up until recent years. Griffin was born in Chicago and raised in Winnetka, IL, and later received her architecture degree from MIT. She later found employment with Frank Lloyd Wright, helping to design some of his most significant commissions, and even completed some of his abandoned works when he left his studio in 1909. After traveling the world, Griffin lived out her years in the Windy City.
Her eponymous beach honors Griffin’s contributions to architecture and to Chicago. The beach has been a significant need for local recreation since the 1920s and is among the 18 street-end beaches acquired by the Chicago Park District in 1959.
Marion Mahony Griffin Beach Park Details
Swimming is one of the favorite pastimes at this hidden gem. Swimming is permitted while lifeguards are on duty, each day from 11am to 7pm. Lifeguards strictly enforce the no distance swimming rule, so you’ll notice markers to stay within for safety. There’s also no paddleboard or sport access, and no changing rooms or bathrooms.
There is limited parking at the end of Jarvis Avenue, but if you can make it here, you’ll enjoy a half acre of sandy waterfront. The secluded beach offers a great place to sun and swim away from the city crowds.
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