Located on the North Side of the Rogers Park neighborhood, Tobey Prinz Beach offers a secluded spot to enjoy the Lake Michigan waterfront. Lifeguards are on duty for swimming, and the adjacent park offers shady greenery to enjoy an afternoon picnic. There is also a public art installation, Windform, for visitors to enjoy. The 100-foot abstract concrete sculpture by Lynn Takata represents the movement of the nearby waterfront.
Tobey Prinz Beach History
Formerly Pratt Beach Park, the Chicago Park District renamed the park in honor of Tobey Prinz. The teacher and community activist advocated for lakefront green space in the 1950s, when he was a founding member of the Rogers Park Community Council. Over the years, Prinz served as the organization’s chairman and vice president. She was also involved in the 1960s civil rights movement and attended the March on Washington in 1963.
Prinz also had a lasting effect on Chicago’s housing conditions as a founder of the Rogers Park Tenants Committee. A strong proponent for open spaces and parks in the neighborhood, it is only fitting the picturesque beach bears her name. When lakefront property was available for development in the late 1950s and early ’60s, Prinz lead a “Save the Beaches” campaign. Ultimately, it protected about a dozen street-end beaches, including her eponymous park.
Tobey Prinz Beach Details
Prinz Beach Park spans 2.4 acres in Rogers Park on the north side. This charming neighborhood beach features sandy waterfront and an adjacent park with shady spaces to sprawl out on a picnic blanket and enjoy the view. There, you’ll find Windform, a 100-foot abstract concrete sculpture by Lynn Takata. Takata worked closely with the Rogers Park community to design the sculpture, a favorite for children to climb and play on. The design is intended to reflect the water’s movement. The sculpture offers many places to sit and enjoy the views of the lakefront beyond.
At the beach, swimming is permitted when lifeguards are on duty daily from 11am to 7pm. There are no paddle or board sport access to the Lake Michigan Water Trail from Prinz Beach, and Kiteboarding is not permitted. The beach does not have bathrooms available. A small pier offers an ideal location for fishing.
You’ll have to find limited street parking here, or you can take the CTA Red Line to Loyola station. Once you’re here, you won’t find crowds of tourists. Rather, the spot is favored by locals who enjoy a quiet respite along the lakefront and views of the nearby lighthouse.